Jazz Rumors

Jarrell Brantley Expected To Sign With Russian Team

Having been waived by the Jazz on Thursday, forward Jarrell Brantley appears to have already lined up his next team. According to a report from Orazio Cauchi of BasketNews.com, Brantley is expected to sign with Russian club UNICS Kazan.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports (via Twitter) that Brantley amended his contract with Utah to remove the modest guarantee (about $84K) that he was owed, which suggests he knew another opportunity awaited him in free agency. According to Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link), it was an “amicable parting of ways” between the Jazz and Brantley. The 25-year-old is on track to clear NBA waivers this weekend.

Brantley averaged 2.3 PPG and 1.0 RPG in 28 games (4.9 MPG) for Utah in 2020/21, his second season on a two-way deal with the team. He received a qualifying offer from the Jazz in free agency and accepted it, but it was minimum-salary contract that only included that small partial guarantee of $84K.

The former second-rounder figures to play a larger role and have more financial security overseas, according to Cauchi, who suggests Brantley’s new deal could be worth seven figures. Jones reported that as well.

Brantley’s new team, which plays in Kazan, Russia, competes in the VTB United League and also earned a spot in the EuroLeague for the 2021/22 season. Assuming Brantley finalizes a deal with the club, he won’t be the only former NBA player on the roster. Isaiah Canaan, Lorenzo Brown, and Mario Hezonja are also members of UNICS Kazan.

Jazz Waive Forward Jarrell Brantley

The Jazz have waived forward Jarrell Brantley, according to a team press release.

The 6’7” Brantley appeared in 37 games over two seasons with Utah, averaging 2.4 PPG and 1.3 RPG in 6.3 MPG. He also saw action in four postseason games.

The No. 50 overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Charleston had a big year with the Salt Lake City Stars in 2019/20, posting averages of 18.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 3.7 APG in 33 games (32.4 MPG) to earn All-NBAGL First Team honors.

Brantley, a two-way player in 2020/21, had accepted a qualifying offer of $1.66MM from the team in early August. The Jazz will only incur a cap hit of $84,414 by waiving Brantley, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Utah now has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, plus Miye Oni, Derrick Alston, and MaCio Teague on non-guaranteed deals. The team also has a two-way slot open, with guard Trent Forrest occupying the other spot.

2021/22 NBA Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2021/22 NBA regular season will get underway next month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to resume an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2020/21, our voters went 17-13 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’21/22?

As a reminder, the NBA played a 72-game schedule in 2020/21, so a team that won 41 games last year finished with a 41-31 record. This year, a club that wins 41 games would be a .500 team (41-41). For added clarity, we’ve noted the record that each team would have to achieve to finish “over” its projected win total.

We’ll turn today to the Northwest division…

Utah Jazz

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Denver Nuggets

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Portland Trail Blazers

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Minnesota Timberwolves

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Oklahoma City Thunder

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Thunder poll.

Previous voting results:


  • Brooklyn Nets (55.5 wins): Over (63.2%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (51.5 wins): Under (70.0%)
  • Boston Celtics (46.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • New York Knicks (42.5 wins): Over (65.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (36.5 wins): Under (50.6%)

Northwest Notes: Mitchell, Micić, Krejci, Simmons

Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell played through an ankle injury during Utah’s two-round 2021 postseason run. In a new conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Mitchell has indicated that the injury is healing nicely.

“The ankle feels good,” Mitchell said. “I’ll be ready to go. I think last year definitely was shaky. There were just so many different obstacles with the ankle and whatnot, but — like I said — no slight to Phoenix or Milwaukee or the Clippers, you know, (but) I feel like if we were healthy, you know, we… get to the Finals.”

The Jazz fell 4-2 to the Clippers in the second round of the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers were missing their best player, Kawhi Leonard, for the final three contests of the series, while Utah’s starting guards – Mitchell and Mike Conley – were coming off injuries of their own.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Guard Vasilije Micić revealed in a podcast interview with Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews that he was tendered a strong offer to join the Thunder for the 2021/22 season, but ultimately decided to remain in Europe, with the Turkish club Anadolu Efes. Micić cited a few factors behind his decision. A big one was that he wanted to be able to play in the Olympic qualifying games for Serbia in July and wouldn’t be able to sign Oklahoma City until August, so he didn’t want to risk an injury while he was still unsigned. Micić, a draft-and-stash prospect, was named the EuroLeague MVP while helping Anadolu Efes win the 2021 EuroLeague title.
  • Thunder guard Vit Krejci will resume five-on-five workouts this week, reports Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The 21-year-old Krejci, selected with the No. 37 pick and flipped to the Thunder on draft night, tore his ACL in September 2020. He recently signed his first NBA contract.
  • As chatter grows surrounding a potential Timberwolves deal for Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic unpacks what a deal could look like, as well as how likely it looks that a deal could happen between these particular franchises, with Minnesota apparently uninterested in including their two most valuable players, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. Krawczynski notes that a trade appears unlikely before the start of training camp, and that Sixers team president Daryl Morey will do his darnedest to drum up more interest in Simmons around the league. If the market for Simmons remains relatively apathetic, Krawczynski opines that the Timberwolves have a chance to add him.

Derrick Alston Jr. Signs Training Camp Deal With Jazz

5:27pm: The Jazz have confirmed the signing of Alston via a press release.

5:04pm: Former Boise State wing Derrick Alston Jr. is signing a training camp deal with the Jazz, reports Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).

The 6’9″ swingman averaged 17.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.2 APG across 32 games, all starts, during his final collegiate season with the Broncos in 2020/21. He also posted shooting splits of .444/.382/.856.

Alston, 23, went undrafted in 2021. He was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team in 2020 and the All-Mountain West First Team in 2021.

Further details of the contract have yet to be released, but it is most likely an Exhibit 10 agreement.  As of this writing, the Jazz have 13 guaranteed contracts ahead of training camp and one of their two-way slots available. There are thus a few avenues through which Alston could latch on with the club.

Jazz Notes: Championship Window, Roland, Snyder, Ranking

The clocking is ticking on the Jazz to deliver a championship, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News writes. They have become a luxury tax-paying team and made some major front office changes along the way. The additions of Rudy GayHassan WhitesideEric Paschall and rookie Jared Butler should make them deeper, but they also have some players near the end of their careers and All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are on max extensions, Todd notes.

We have more on the Jazz:

  • Irv Roland has been added to Quin Snyder’s coaching staff, according to a team press release. Roland was on the Rockets’ staff from 2017-19. He began his career with the Celtics in 2004, assisting with video analysis. In 2005, he joined the New Orleans Hornets, also in the team’s video department, and worked there until 2010. He was also an assistant with the Suns from 2013-17.
  • Conventional wisdom would suggest that Snyder won’t ride his rotation players as hard as he did last year, when the club finished as the top seed but struggled through an injury-marred postseason, Todd speculates. It will intriguing to see if Snyder changes that philosophy and if the main players will buy into it, she adds.
  • The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen has been rankings teams heading into training camp and places the Jazz at No. 4. Feigen notes the team didn’t make any major offseason moves, other than re-signing Mike Conley.

Snyder Won't Tinker Too Much With Rotation

  • Jazz coach Quin Snyder isn’t likely to tinker too much with his lineups and rotations this coming season, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News speculates. Snyder isn’t the type of coach who does a lot of experimentation but he will play to the strengths of his personnel and there are some new faces, so that will require some flexibility, Todd adds.

Justin Patton Agrees To Sign With Hapoel Eilat

Another NBA big man is headed to Israel, as Justin Patton has agreed to sign with Hapoel Eilat, according to a report from Yakov Meir of Israel Hayom (via Twitter). A source confirmed the news to our JD Shaw (Twitter link).

Word of Patton’s agreement comes on the heels of former No. 10 overall pick Thon Maker signing a deal with Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem.

Patton, 24, was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft and began his career with the Timberwolves, having been included in the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. However, a series of foot injuries limited the center’s availability in his first few years in the NBA as he bounced around from Minnesota to Philadelphia to Oklahoma City to Houston.

In four total seasons, Patton has appeared in just 22 NBA games. Thirteen of those appearances came in 2020/21, as he spent several weeks on a two-way contract with the Rockets, averaging 5.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in 19.0 minutes per contest. He was released in April, then suited up for the Jazz and Knicks in Summer Leagues in Utah and Las Vegas earlier this month.

Northwest Notes: McCollum, Lillard, Simmons, Murray

Trade rumors have been swirling around Damian Lillard since the Trail Blazers were knocked out of the playoffs, but backcourt partner CJ McCollum believes Lillard is “all in” for the new season, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Appearing on a podcast with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, McCollum discussed Lillard, new coach Chauncey Billups and several other topics.

“I don’t want to speak for him, but having a close relationship, he and I talk every day, or every other day, from sharing memes to sending videos to each other to serious talks about our season, what it takes to win, what it’s going to takes to win a championship, I have a pretty good sense of where he’s at,” McCollum said of Lillard. “And I think his goal is to win a championship. I think, at the end of the day, that’s what we all want. We want to put ourselves in the best position to win a championship. But I mean, he’s all in. I think at this stage I can say that he’s all in. He just wants to win at the end of the day.”

Lillard held a press conference last month while preparing for the Olympics to deny a report that he was about to ask Portland’s front office for a trade. Although he hasn’t demanded a deal, Lillard has communicated his desire to upgrade the roster to give the Blazers a better chance to compete for a title.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Michael Rand of The Star Tribune examines the latest rumors about the Timberwolves‘ interest in Ben Simmons, concluding that Minnesota would like to acquire Simmons but doesn’t have the assets to make a deal. Rand suggests an offer of D’Angelo Russell, Jaden McDaniels and at least one first-round pick, which he concedes still may not be enough to interest the Sixers. Daryl Morey, Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations, is looking for a star in return, so the Wolves might need to get other teams involved to have a chance at Simmons.
  • March is a “reasonable target date” to expect Nuggets guard Jamal Murray to start playing again, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. That would be 11 months since his surgery for a torn ACL. Denver targeted a scoring guard in the draft to make up for the loss of Murray, Singer adds, and came away with Bones Hyland.
  • Jazz owner Ryan Smith tells Ben Anderson of KSL Sports that fans shouldn’t read anything into his golf outings with former Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. There have been rumors that Ainge might be considered for a position in Utah’s front office, but Smith says they have been playing together for a long time. “I’ve played golf with Danny Ainge for 20 years,” Smith said. “I know the media likes to write about it like there’s this thing going on with Danny, but Danny has been a mentor and a friend for 20 years.”