Jazz wrap up: NBA Summer League in Las Vegas

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz wrapped up their summer league season as they beat the Denver Nuggets by 10 points this past Sunday. With the win, the Jazz finished with a winning record of 3-2 and ended the Summer League on a high note.

Held annually in Las Vegas, the NBA Summer League is an opportunity for teams’ younger and developing players to play in a tournament. Each team plays five games. The two teams with the best records play for the championship, and the other 28 teams play a consolation game. The Portland Trailblazers beat the New York Knicks this past Sunday to take home the NBA Summer League title.

The Jazz’s Summer League team was headlined by Johnny Juzang, an undrafted rookie from UCLA, Tacko Fall, the 7’6″ center who most recently played with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Jared Butler, the Jazz 2021 second-round draft pick.

Johnny Juzang, the undrafted Jazz rookie out of UCLA. Photo: Utah Jazz

Johnny Juzang, the UCLA star who helped the Bruins to an NCAA Final 4 appearance in 2021, was signed to a two-way contract with the Jazz on July 15th. Juzang was UCLA’s leading scorer this past season and was a first-team all-PAC-12 selection. He averaged over 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds through the five games in Las Vegas for the Jazz.

The Jazz did not have a single draft pick this year but signed two other undrafted players after draft night. Kofi Cockburn, a center from Illinois, and Jordan Usher, a wing from Georgia Tech, played for the Jazz during summer league but have not been signed to extensive deals yet.

A bright spot from the Las Vegas tournament was the emergence of second-year guard Jared Butler. Butler, selected 40th overall by the Jazz last year, shined offensively for the team. He averaged over 13 points per game throughout the tournament and took home Summer League player of the day honors after scoring 22 points and dropping seven assists in a game versus the Grizzlies.

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