Ryan Aston , 2019-07-17 04:30:00
Second-round picks Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman will be the first players to occupy the Utah Jazz’s two-way roster spots next season.
When Utah Jazz decision-makers Dennis Lindsey, Justin Zanik and David Morway were working the phones to acquire multiple picks at the end of the 2019 NBA Draft, they weren’t doing it for kicks. Utah’s brain trust was looking for players who could compete for roster spots and factor into the team’s plans as early as next season.
After the last couple days, I think it’s safe to say that all three of the Jazz’s second-rounders — Miye Oni, Justin Wright-Foreman and Jarrell Brantley — are right on schedule in that regard.
Sporting the look of a potential 3-and-D specialist during summer league, Oni was the first domino to fall, officially signing a deal with the club on Monday. He’s a safe bet to be on the Jazz’s 15-man roster for opening night.
Now, Wright-Foreman and Brantley have moved onto the next phase as well, signing two-way contracts with the Jazz on Tuesday.
Brantley, who was taken with the No. 50 overall pick (via the Indiana Pacers), was impressive in limited summer action, displaying a varied offensive skill set that belies his size at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds.
He only played four games between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, and was especially limited in the latter run, but managed to average 13.5 points, five rebounds and a steal in SLC.
Meanwhile, Wright-Foreman — the 53rd overall pick — faces a unique challenge as he transitions from the college game to the NBA. He was one of the NCAA’s most electrifying scorers over his last two years at Hofstra, but to make it in the Association, he’s going to have to evolve into more of a defender and playmaker for others.
Wright-Foreman had his ups and downs in summer league, but definitely showed flashes. Over four games, he put up nearly 12 points, just over three dimes and 1.5 steals in 26 minutes per contest.
With their two-way signings, Oni’s deal and the return of Nigel Williams-Goss after a strong two-year run in Europe, the Jazz’s offseason work is all but done.
French baller William Howard also has a verbal agreement with the Jazz and is probably the odds-on favorite to snag the 15th and final roster spot, but the Jazz could bring other players into camp to compete with him as well.
It’s been a wild summer to say the least. And while Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic stole the headlines, the rest of Utah’s moves — right down to their second-round picks at the back end of the roster — have set the team up nicely for the year to come.