JULY 17: Italian small forward Simone Fontecchio is signing a two-year, $6.25MM contract with the Jazz, Fontecchio’s agent Sam Goldfeder informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). News of the deal was first reported by Cesare Forgione of EuroDevotion.
Fontecchio is considered the top international free agent prospect at his position by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (via Twitter). Givony opines that Fontecchio possesses enough positional versatility to also play at shooting guard or power forward.
Fontecchio, then with Italian club Virtus Bologna, first declared for the 2015 NBA draft before ultimately withdrawing his name from consideration. He worked out for the Celtics, then led by current Jazz president Danny Ainge, during that initial process in 2015. He later went undrafted in 2017.
The 6’8″ wing most recently joined Spanish club Baskonia for the 2021/22 season. During 31 ACB League contests with Baskonia, he averaged 12.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.7 APG. The 26-year-old also posted shooting splits of .465/.410/.851 last season.
Fontecchio has also suited up for Italian clubs Olimpia Milano and Reggio Emila and German team Alba Berlin.
EuroHoops reports that Fontecchio’s three-year contract with Baskonia includes an exit clause, expiring this month, that allows him to sign with an NBA team. EuroHoops adds that the Lakers had also been considering tendering an offer to Fontecchio.
Thanks to their trade of All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves and current rumblings that All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell could be next, the Jazz have been quite active during the 2022 offseason. That said, the Fontecchio signing will mark the team’s first actual free agent addition this year.
Utah will likely use a portion of its mid-level exception to sign Fontecchio.