The Utah Jazz will bring former summer league standout Stanton Kidd and French baller William Howard to camp, but only one can make the opening night roster.
To say it’s been a busy month for the Utah Jazz is a massive understatement. In the blink of an eye, half the roster was turned over and a plethora of new faces made their way to the 801 as part of the team’s pursuit of contender status and, ultimately, an NBA championship.
Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic were the headliners; they were fallowed in short order by Ed Davis and Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay. More recently, Jazz brass has been shoring up the back end of the roster, and the final dominoes look to have fallen on Wednesday.
Right on the heels of their move to sign second-round picks Miye Oni, Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman, the Jazz have officially locked up journeyman baller Stanton Kidd (27) and French wing William Howard (25).
With Brantley and Wright-Foreman both inked to two-way pacts, it would seem the Kidd and Howard will go head-to-head for the 15th and final spot on the Jazz’s main roster. However, the team will bring other players to training camp, too.
If you’ve been following the Jazz for the last few years, Kidd’s name is one that should be familiar. Although his performance for Utah’s entry into this year’s summer competition was up and down, he was a standout performer for the Jazz two years ago.
Over six combined games during the 2018 summer leagues in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, Kidd put up 11 points, three boards and 1.2 blocks per contest. Along the way, he made it rain from distance, hitting 10-of-21 3-point shots (47.6 percent).
More than anything, though, his length defensively and energy on the court made him an easy player to root for.
There were actually reports that the Jazz were interested in signing Kidd last summer. However, his Euro buyout was significant at the time. The 6-7, 215-pounder spent the last two years with the Turkish squad Darussafaka.
Meanwhile, talk of Howard’s potential signing with the Jazz have been coursing through the hoops blogosphere for several days. However, he had a buyout of his own to contend with (reportedly 150,000 Euros).
Although Howard was part of Utah’s summer squad earlier this month, injuries kept him out of action.
In 54 games for CSP Limoges in France, the 6-8, 205-pound Howard averaged just under 10 points and four boards per contest last season. He’s shot between 36.7 and 38.5 percent from three for four years running, and adding outside shooting has been a key objective for the Jazz this offseason.
While Kidd and Howard likely have a leg up in the battle for the final roster spot, nothing is a given. Again, other players will be brought in to compete, and you never know who might become available once team’s start cutting players during the preseason.
For a sterling example of the latter, see Ingles, Joe five years ago. Thanks, Clippers!
However, given the time and money investment involved in bringing Kidd and Howard on-board, it’s probably safe to say the Jazz think highly of them.