It says something about the Utah Jazz’s summer that Nikkeil Alexander-Walker – who has been a part of the team since February – is now one of the longest-tenured players on the roster.
Currently, the Jazz have six players who have been with the team for at least one season: Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic joined in July 2019; Jordan Clarkson was acquired through a trade in December of that year; Udoka Azubuike was drafted in November 2020; Jared Butler was a second round pick in July 2021. And the next month they added Rudy Gay via free agency.
According to NAW, two-way signee Xavier Sneed has been with the team since February.
That means there are a lot of new faces with the Jazz right now.
Even Quin Snyder is gone after eight years as head coach, replaced by 34-year-old newcomer Will Hardy.
It already feels like a completely different team.
That said, it’s probably worth taking a quick look at all the new guys the team has brought in over the last couple of months.
The 23-year-old is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound combo guard. Known as “Young Bull,” he was the No. 8 pick out of Alabama in the 2018 NBA Draft by Cleveland. As part of Mitchell’s deal, he will come to the Jazz on a four-year, $72 million deal. While few have criticized his passing and defense, he has the potential to fill it. He looked like a breakout star in 2020-21, averaging 24.3 points, 4.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds, shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.1% from 3s.
Beasley, 25, may be the most talented player in the Gobert deal, having played six years in the NBA — the first 3.5 with the Nuggets and the next 2.5 with the Wolves. At his best, the 6-4/187-pounder is a guy who can score around 20 ppg and shoot over 40% from beyond the arc. At worst, Beasley spent more than two months in a Minnesota prison for pointing a gun at some people — an incident he believes gave him the bad name he wants to fix.
34-year-old Patrick Beverley, who was acquired through the Gobert deal, is hoping to become a champion. So the Jazz headed to the Lakers again, with TTHT as the primary returner. He’s already played three seasons in the NBA, and he’s still only 21 years old. He’s got a unique build at 6-4, 234, but he’s a terrible 3-point shooter, shooting just 27.6% for his career. Still, he showed some playmaking chops and an ability to get into the rim. The prospect, a 7-foot-1 wing, is more than a middle linebacker.
The former UCLA star had a sensational run in the NCAA Tournament as a sophomore, but didn’t develop much as a junior, going undrafted and signing a two-way contract with the Jazz. He goes 6-5/209, and has a 6-11 wingspan. He hasn’t shown a ton in summer league since being involved in a car accident, but he could have a shot if he shows improvement over his form during that NCAA run.
After leading Kansas to the national title, the senior was projected as a late lottery pick, and that’s where he landed, going 14th to the Cavs. He goes 6-5/215, is considered an aggressive and strong perimeter defender, and averaged 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds as a senior, shooting 40.7% on 3s. Also, if you’re wondering how he pronounces his name, it’s “Oh-chai uh-bah-gee.”
The Argentinian has an impressive international career – playing pro football at the age of 16 before moving to FC Barcelona. He was drafted 23rd overall in 2020, but didn’t go to the NBA until this season and hasn’t played much. Just days away from turning 22, the 6-6/200-pounder has an enviable skill set – he’s a smart defender who makes an effort and is a good dribbler, passer and playmaker. Is there a downside to his game? His poor shooting and poor finishing at the rim mean he’s not a prolific scorer. at all.
“The Finn” (yes, he was born in Finland) played college ball at Arizona, then was drafted No. 7 overall by the Wolves in 2017 and promptly traded to the Bulls as part of that sick Jimmy Butler deal. Last year, he signed a four-year contract as part of the brand and business of the three teams. The 7-foot, 240-pounder wound up being part of an oversized Cavs frontcourt, which also featured Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. The 25-year-old averaged 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds over five seasons. He shot 40.2% from 3 during the 2020-21 season, but 36.4% from deep overall.
Known as “V8,” the engine that never stops, he bounced back from breaking his left leg three times between high school and college, proving he has the ability to overcome adversity. Last season, he held on as a pro, starting most of the Wolverines’ games. The 23-year-old goes 6-9/214, rebounds well (11.8 per 36 minutes for his career) and is a shifty defender. If he takes a shot less than 5 feet from the hoop, it might be an adventure though.
After sitting out the NBA’s free agent market, the Jazz finally dipped their toes in the overseas pool with Fontecchio, signing him to a two-year, $6.25 million contract. The 26-year-old Italian has played professionally in his native country, as well as in Spain and Germany. He is 6-8 and 209 pounds. He scored 19.3 points for Italy in the 2020 Olympics. And this past season, playing for Spanish team Baskonia, he shot 41.0% on 3s in ACB league play and 40.2% from deep in Euroleague play.
Like Markkanen, Johnson is a forward who is a former lottery pick (No. 8 in 2015) following a strong collegiate career at Arizona. His NBA career, however, was more tumultuous. The 26-year-old, another player involved in the Beverly-THT trade, was all washed out of the league because he was a less athletic player than expected and a poor 3-point shooter (30.0%) for him. Profession. After getting another shot as an emergency replacement player for Kovid, however, the 6-6, 242-pounder had some success with the Lakers — especially against the Jazz — playing as a four and small-ball five and finding continuity on defense.
The well-traveled veteran forward (now 27) is the most likely to make the Jazz’s regular season roster. After playing in minor leagues in the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Colombia, he was in good shape with the Lakers’ G League affiliate, which led to a 10-day contract with the Suns due to COVID. Emergency list filler. After starring for LA’s Summer League team this year, he agreed to a 1-year deal with Utah, but the 6-8, 200-pounder looks more like a player for the Salt Lake City All-Stars than the Jazz.
The only other center on the roster now besides Azubuike, the 7-1, 245-pounder was acquired in the Gobert trade after being drafted No. 22 overall this year. The 21-year-old set the NCAA record for top block percentage this past season (a stat that goes back a dozen or so years, of course), and will be counted on to help fill some of Utah’s defensive gaps. Offensively, he had a stretch-five reputation coming out of high school, but he didn’t show that much at North Carolina or Auburn.