Utah Jazz: 2 promising players who could become special

This article was first published as Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox every Friday.

I opened the Utah Jazz mailbag this week and answered a few fan questions and one topic that kept coming up was the team’s young prospects and which player would take a big developmental step or who i was excited for.

It’s a subject that excites me every season and could be even more intriguing in the near future for the Jazz. Not only do I love watching the pace of development and seeing who succeeds and who fails, but I also love cheering on underdogs and seeing hard work turn into happiness.

In my postbag article, I mentioned that the coming season would be huge for Jared Butler and could provide him with many opportunities to become the player the Jazz expected him to be when they drafted him.

But, there are a few other players I’m particularly interested in. First, the Jazz’s two-way signing, rookie Johnny Juzang. I watched him a bit during his time at UCLA, then I watched more when he played summer league ball with the Jazz last month, and he feels like someone who could really become a phenomenal role player with a long career in the NBA.

What really stands out for me with Juzang is that he is a natural goalscorer who can score at all levels and he never feels rushed or his confidence is shaken. Even when the ball didn’t come in he didn’t change his shot selection or hesitate to let it fly and that’s a hard thing to teach even some veteran players so it was nice to see in a rookie . Also, I noticed how smooth and consistent his shooting form was. Whether it was a 3-point jumper or a 15-foot jumper, its shape never changed and it always felt balanced with a quick release. Again, something that is not as common as one might think.

The other player that really intrigues me is Leandro Bolmaro, the 6-foot-6 forward the Jazz got in the Rudy Gobert trade.

He’s a second-year Argentinian player and he really seems to have the tools to be an all-rounder. He’s a good passer, he has good maneuverability, he has great length, he knows how to get out of tight situations without turning the ball over and he’s also a smart scorer.

So those are the two players on the roster I want to keep a close eye on, but I’m also excited to see who else the Jazz will bring to the end of the roster once the summer is over and who the Jazz might sign to another two-way or who they might add to the Stars list. There could be diamonds in the rough.

New with Jazz

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check “Unrecoverable” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat journalist Sarah Todd and lifelong jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).

This week, the crew pays tribute to legend, Bill Russell, before tackling other NBA news as well as the latest non-news on the Donovan Mitchell front.

The podcast has been moved to a new feed, so remember to follow or subscribe by searching for “Unsalvageable” through your podcast provider.

New episodes are released every week. You can listen on Apple podcast, Spotify, embroiderer and wherever you stream podcasts.


This Week in Jazz History

Although not specifically related to jazz, I thought it was an interesting piece of the NBA that would be nice to share.

On August 3, 1949, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the NBA. The BAA included the Boston Celtics, Minneapolis Lakers (later LA Lakers), New York Knicks, Philadelphia Warriors (later Golden State Warriors), and Rochester Royals (later Sacramento Kings). The NBL included the Syracuse Nationals (later Philadelphia 76ers) and the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (later Atlanta Hawks).

How to pass the time during the offseason

Now that the Jazz season is over, that means I have some time to catch up on the things I love but didn’t have enough time for during the NBA season. Here I will suggest my latest way to pass the off-season time and also take your suggestions.

Spending time with good people is so good for the soul.

Sure, that’s probably one of the most obvious things you can say, but I feel like sometimes we get caught up in our daily cycles and forget to recharge in good company and nurture relationships that are important.

This week I had a great evening with some of my favorite people. There was great food, conversation, warm belly laughs and at the end of the night I figured this was exactly what I needed and should aim to do it more often.

I know life can be busy and I know it can be difficult to find a time that works for a large group, but if you have the ability to plan ahead and set aside time to spend with people that build you up and make you feel happy as you should. Like I said, it really feeds the soul.

Bonus Points

  • Utah Jazz to open slate of pre-season games in Canada (Deseret News)
  • Jazz assistant Alex Jensen just got a new (part-time) gig with Team USA (Deseret News)
  • Donovan Mitchell’s Top 5 Jazz Moments (So Far?) (Salt Lake Grandstand)

around the league

Entering the final year of his contract, LeBron James and Lakers discuss extension.

Oklahoma City Thunder re-sign Mike Muscala.

Examination of the Celtics pursue Kevin Durant.

Leandro Bolmaro during a break in action against the Chicago Bulls in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Minneapolis. Bolmaro became a member of the Utah Jazz as part of Rudy Gobert’s trade that sent Gobert to the Timberwolves.

Craig Lassig, Associated Press

Ada J. Kenney