John Collins Makes First Jazz Appearance At Summer League

Jul 5, 2023, 10:25 PM

Forward John Collins made his first appearance in Utah watching the Jazz in the Salt Lake City Summ...

Forward John Collins made his first appearance in Utah watching the Jazz in the Salt Lake City Summer League. (Photo: KSL Sports/Ben Anderson)

(Photo: KSL Sports/Ben Anderson)

SALT LAKE CITY – John Collins made his first appearance in Utah as the Jazz fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 104-94 in the second game of the Salt Lake City Summer League.

Rookie Keyonte George scored 14 points on 5-10 shooting including 3-5 from downtown to go with four assists and three rebounds but left the game with a minor foot injury in the fourth quarter.

George said he was hoping to play in Thursday’s finale, but didn’t have official clearance from team officials after the game.

Luka Samanic Shows Promise Against Sixers

After a difficult first game, Luka Samanic had a very promising second game against Philadelphia scoring 19 points on 7-11 shooting to go with nine rebounds.

Standing 6-foot-10 and weighing 225 lbs, Samanic has an impressive physical build for a 23-year-old, and unique fluidity for a player of his size.

Against the 76ers Samanic showed off that physicality repeatedly spinning into the paint and finishing over smaller, less athletic defenders.

Like so many NBA players, the development of his three-point shot will be key to his future, but if he can get it to fall consistently, he could become an intriguing part of the Jazz’s future.

Samanic began his career with the San Antonio Spurs after being selected with the 19th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft but rarely saw the floor during his first two seasons in the NBA.

However, he dominated the G League during the 2022-23 season averaging 22.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 27 games with the Maine Celtics.

Samanic has connected on just 23 of his career 82 three-point attempts but hit 3-5 from downtown against the 76ers on Wednesday night.

The Croatian forward likely won’t be a knockdown shooter this soon in his development with the Jazz, but with continued growth, he could have a promising NBA future.

Summer league coach Evan Bradds expressed optimism about Samanic’s shooting, highlighting a few simple mechanical tweaks that could improve his success rate.

When Will John Collins Trade Be Official?

John Collins was at the Delta Center taking in game two of the Salt Lake City Summer League.

The soon-to-be Jazzman was wearing the team’s mountain logo shorts, under an Adidas t-shirt but was technically doing so as a fan.

Though the trade for Collins with the Atlanta Hawks has been agreed upon and could be finalized by Thursday, I was told the deal likely wouldn’t be official until Friday the 7th.

Collins seemed legitimately excited to be in Utah, though he’s always received high praise for his professionalism from those who covered him in Atlanta.

The forward sat courtside during the game with head coach Will Hardy, front office members Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik, rookie Taylor Hendricks, and coaching consultant Jeff Hornacek.

Agbaji’s Mixed Bag

Ochai Agbaji scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Jazz’s loss to Philadelphia, but his performance featured high highs and low lows.

The second-year guard continues to cover space well defensively and is a dangerous three-point shooter, especially when given space.

Agbaji has upper-echelon athleticism that shines in the open floor, and he’s shown he’s an adequate defender in space, one of the more difficult skills in the NBA.

However, when tasked with expanding beyond his traditional 3-and-D role, his performance dropped off considerably.

Agbaji struggled to score off the dribble shooting just 6-17 overall, committed six turnovers, and was disqualified after committing 10 fouls.

The Kansas product looked better in game one with the ball in his hands but clearly has a ways to go before it will be a real tool in the NBA.

With Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, and Lauri Markkanen, the Jazz don’t need Agbaji to create offense for himself next season, but his development beyond a 3-and-D wing will depend upon his growth in that area.

Potter, Hauser Struggling

Through two games, it’s been a less-than-ideal beginning to the summer league for Joey Hauser and Micah Potter.

Hauser signed a two-way deal with the Jazz out of Michigan State where he proved to be one of the top shooters in all of college basketball.

Through eight quarters of play, Hauser is just 1-7 overall from the floor, with all of his attempts coming from downtown.

Potter has also struggled to shoot the ball connecting on 5-15 from the floor including 2-11 from the three-point line.

While Hauser’s poor shooting could be chalked up to the leap he’s taking between college basketball and the pros, Potter’s struggles are more difficult to explain away.

Potter has spent two seasons in the NBA before this year’s summer league has has significant time playing in the G League.

The former Wisconsin big man is recovering from elbow surgery last year and may need more time before he feels 100 percent, but with open rosters spots quickly getting filled in the NBA, he may open the 2023-24 season in the G League.

Jazz Salt Lake City Summer League Finale

The Utah Jazz will host the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday at 7 pm MT in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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John Collins Makes First Jazz Appearance At Summer League