The Utah Jazz made a few more cuts and their training camp roster, once a robust 20, is now whittled down to 17. The first was J.P. Gibson, but he even saw the writing on the wall as his contract was for just one day. The next two came a little too early for me.
Welp. I'm not exactly "fans" of these guys, but I do support them. Both have been around for quite a while in this franchise -- even if they didn't make the team. Kevin Murphy did not have a pre-draft interview, but the Jazz did not hesitate to draft him back in 2012, where he played in summer league, fought through training camp, and made the team as a second rounder. He was traded the next off-season, then was cut by the Golden State Warriors. After bouncing around in the NBA Developmental league he became an every day player for the Idaho Stampede. He was brought back for another training camp with the Jazz, and now, well, is likely to go back to Idaho. Dee Bost did get a pre-draft workout in 2012, but was not invited to summer league or training camp. He remained on the Utah radar for years though as he struggled to stick with a club. He was invited to the Free Agent mini-camp back in 2013, and again to the Free Agent mini-camp in 2014. Clearly he did enough there to earn an invite to training camp this year. He, it should be noted, was also an Idaho Stampede player.
The Jazz have sole affiliation with the Stamps, so it wouldn't surprise me to see the two Stamps guys return there. Perhaps this was more than just the Kevin Kruger special (where a NBA-DL guy is brought into training camp just to work out the NBA players, and not actually given a shot to make the team). I had hoped that these two players would have competed against the Jazz players fighting for those last few spots.
Bost was a solid, but unspectacular four year guard in college. He has played NBA Summer League ball with the Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, and Dallas Mavericks -- making it so far as to play some preseason ball with the Blazers as well. He has played professionally in Europe, South America, and the NBA DL, where he was an All-Star last year. I guess the competition from Trey Burke, Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Ian Clark, and Toure' Murry was just too much.
Murphy was a bigtime scorer at Tennessee Tech, and another guy who played four years in the NCAA before moving onto the pro leagues. Drafted by Utah he didn't see much time, but HAS played in the NBA, and was waived by the Dubs before the ink dried on the trade that sent him there. He has seen some Summer League action with the Jazz, Warriors, and Los Angeles Lakers. Professionally he has played in France, and twice in the NBA-DL, first with the Reno Bighorns (as a Jazz assignee during his rookie season), then with the Stamps last season. He improved quite a bit, but I guess the Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood wing rotation was already stocked.
I hope to see them both play for the Stampede this year, and know that the Jazz will be keeping a close eye on them all season long -- even if they would no longer have exclusive rights to them in the future.