Second-year Jazz shooting guard Jared Butler is facing a pivotal 2022/23 season, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Drafted with the No. 40 pick in 2021 out of Baylor, Butler was signed by Utah to a two-year deal. To justify a qualifying offer from Jazz management next summer, Jones writes, Butler will have to earn a rotation spot, which isn’t a given even if All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell is dealt before or during the year.
During his rookie season, Butler averaged just 3.8 PPG, 1.5 APG and 1.1 RPG in 42 games (8.6 MPG), and his 2022 Summer League output was inconsistent. Butler, listed at 6’3″ (though Jones estimates his height as being closer to 6’1″), had trouble in a variety of facets on offense, especially when it came to creating enough space between himself and his defender to effectively score. Jones does note that Butler has improved in the pick-and-roll.
There’s more out of Salt Lake City:
- As the Jazz continue to contemplate trades centered around Mitchell, Tim MacMahon of ESPN (YouTube video link) posits that the team should move on from its lone remaining All-Star in the near future so that new head coach Will Hardy is free to operate with a team in full rebuild mode. “Let’s be honest, the Jazz don’t want 34-year-old first-time head coach Will Hardy to go into training camp and have the Donovan Mitchell saga, the Donovan Mitchell drama, dominate the storyline on a day-to-day basis,” MacMahon said. Mitchell has four years and $134.9MM remaining on his current contract.
- The Jazz will be adding a new member to their extended coaching staff. Scott Morrison, who coached NBL squad the Perth Wildcats during the 2021/22 season and was on Boston’s staff alongside Hardy, will serve as the new head coach for Utah’s NBAGL club, the Salt Lake City Stars, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Morrison was previously the head coach of the Celtics’ G League club, then known as the Maine Red Claws (now the Maine Celtics of the NBA G League), from 2014-17. He was honored as the NBA G League Coach of the Year in 2015 for his efforts.
- Several developing Jazz players had intriguing Summer League turns this year. Sarah Todd of the Deseret News unpacks the performances of Utah’s young Summer League competitors, including second-year players Butler and Leandro Bolmaro, new two-way player Johnny Juzang, and veteran 7’6″ center Tacko Fall.