UTAH JAZZ

Report: Utah Jazz Sign Free Agent Vernon Carey Jr. Through 2023-2024 Season

Apr 8, 2023, 12:59 PM

Vernon Carey Jr. Utah Jazz contract...

SAITAMA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 30: Vernon Carey Jr. #13 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards - NBA Japan Games at the Saitama Super Arena on September 30, 2022 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Utah Jazz have signed free agent center Vernon Carey Jr. through the 2023-2024 NBA season.

Carey Jr. will be on the roster for the final two games of the season against Denver and Los Angeles.

The 22-year-old Duke product has played for the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards in his three-year career.

Carey Jr. averages 1.9 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in just 5 minutes played.

Carey Jr. is expected to play for Utah’s summer league team in July.

Players like Kris Dunn, Luka Samanic, and Simone Fontecchio were all given a shot this season by the Jazz and made the most of it. Vernon Carey Jr. hopes to add his name to that list.

Jazz Officially Eliminated From Play-In Tournament

For the first time in seven seasons, the Jazz will miss the playoffs after officially being eliminated on Thursday.

The Jazz had a narrow pathway to qualifying for the play-in tournament had they won their remaining games to close the season.

Now, heading into the last weekend of the regular season, the Jazz can turn their attention to the standings across the league in hopes of improving their lottery odds.

The Jazz will have no worse than a share of the 10th-best odds of winning next month’s draft lottery. They can improve those percentages depending on how they perform in their next two outings.

If the Jazz beat Denver on Saturday and Los Angeles on Sunday, they’ll finish the season with a 38-44 record. This could pull them into a tie with either Chicago or Dallas in the standings.

Dallas and Chicago will face off on Friday with the winner moving to 39 wins on the season. They would then move out of reach of the Jazz’s maximum win total.

The loser may be motivated to drop their final game of the season in hopes that the Jazz will catch them.

If the Jazz lose to Denver or Los Angeles, they’ll guarantee themselves no worse than the ninth-best odds of moving up in the lottery.

There is an outside chance that Orlando, Washington, or Indiana could climb to 36 wins before the season’s end. This would improve the Jazz’s odds of winning the lottery, but those three teams have little motivation to do so.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Report: Utah Jazz Sign Free Agent Vernon Carey Jr. Through 2023-2024 Season