UTAH MAKES PRESEASON ROSTER ADJUSTMENT
The NBA regular season may not tip off until October 25th in Salt Lake City, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to discuss for the fighting J-Notes. Preseason of course has been ongoing, with two battles against the Clippers under their belt. After playing in Hawaii and Seattle, Utah gets to stop at home to take on Scoot Henderson and the Blazers followed by a quick stop out in Sacramento before the season officially gets under way. Preseason is a great barometer for determining lineups, rotations, and roles for guys that the coaching staff may not be too sure about. We have witnessed it in the form of the notorious “point guard battle of 23” as Utah tries to solidify its starting backcourt. We also know preseason is all about determining your end of the bench guys. Depth is determined before the season begins as multiple players fight for final roster spots and two-way contracts. Just because you suited up for the Jazz summer league or were given a contract sometime during this past offseason does not guarantee your role with the team the following year.
Michigan State’s three-point shooting ace, Joey Hauser, found himself on the wrong side of the business decisions in pro basketball. Hauser, who shot 46 percent from deep last year at MSU, was released from his two-way contract after appearing in multiple summer league games for Utah this year. Hauser struggled to carve out a role, and failed to make any impact as a shooter in his limited opportunities.
Utah has now turned their attention to former first round pick, Josh Christopher. Christopher was signed to fill the vacant two-way contract, meaning he can spend time with both the Jazz and Utah’s G league affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. Christopher, age 21, was drafted by Houston out of Arizona State with the 24th overall pick in 2021. His last two seasons in Houston have seen Christopher average 6.9 PPG. 1.1 Assists, and 1.1 Total rebounds. He was a near 46 percent shooter from the field and a 28 percent man from behind the arc. Utah will be banking on the Shooting guard’s athleticism and upside to hopefully translate as he slots into a developmental role for the Jazz.