clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Downbeat #1986 - Training Camp, the SLC Stars, and Chris Morris?

Wow, what a strange sequence of thoughts

Chris Morris

The NBA season is fast approaching. Are you ready?

The Utah Jazz have few (effectively: zero) open roster spots — so we’re not expect many players to come into Training Camp. For example, former Idaho Stampede player and 10-Day Utah Jazz bigman Jerrelle Benimon said “smell ya later” and signed with a team in China already. He was offered a spot in camp, but instead went for security. I can understand that opinion, as the team is pretty much all locked up already. After all, we have:

  • The Big Three (Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert)
  • The New Old Guys / Old New Guys (Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw, and George Hill)
  • The Usual Suspects (Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, and Trey Lyles)
  • The Point Guard Gauntlet (Shelvin Mack, Raul Neto, and Marcus Paige)
  • Bolomboy meets World (Joel Bolomboy)
  • and The Non-Guaranteed Guys (Jeff Withey, Christapher Johnson, and Quincy Ford)

That’s 18 players on a maximum 15 man roster. Paige is also on a partially guaranteed deal, so it’s easy to see him and Chris not make the team. Ford is just on a training camp deal, and frankly, some of our reads could set up a GoFundMe account to pay for his 2 weeks of work with the team.

But there’s basketball worth playing in Utah even if you aren’t going to make the Jazz. There’s still the Utah Salt Lake City Stars to worry about. Johnson worked his way up and out of the NBA Development League, and I don’t think he wants to go back. Paige could get on one of those Jack Cooley type deals where he’s not “officially” on the Jazz, but is very much part of their program.

Who else is going to follow him there? Probably Ford. Anyone else? Well, the team has worked out wingman Jermaine Taylor. Taylor is a 29 year old guard who played for the Idaho Stampede back in 2014-2015.

The team has also worked out bigman Henry Sims. We’ve seen Sims a lot. He has played in 135 NBA games over his career, and with the Jazz in the 2012-2013 summer league. He has also taken part in a few Jazz Free Agent Mini Camps if I remember correctly.

According to Basketball Insider’s Alex Kennedy, next up for Dennis Lindsey and company will be Richard Solomon.

Unlike Taylor and Sims, Solomon has zero NBA experience. He’s a 6’11 bigman who went undrafted back in 2014. He played for the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic in the Summer League this last year — where he had a combined averages from the two leagues of 2.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 spg. He hasn’t taken any bad shots, but he hasn’t really played much either. (10 total shots in 7 games this summer) He isn’t a three point shooter, either -- going 7/29 in four years in college, and not take any in his NBA life (INC NBADL).

I don’t think he’s going to make the team, but these work outs do help the Jazz expand their files on the players that they have seen. Also, the 24 year old Solomon could be a nice fit for the Salt Lake City Stars. Who knows? I guess we’ll have to leave that up to the people who have magic powers of foresight or something.

Tony Jones, of the SL Trib, had a great talk with George Hill.

Lots of cool points of interest there, if you didn’t get a chance to read it earlier. He talks about his time with the Indiana Pacers, blonde hair, and his early days with the San Antoino Spurs. Also, the big issue that’s going to hang over him all year, being his future in the NBA and/or with the Utah Jazz. From TJ’s article:

With one year remaining on his contract, and without an extension (for which he is eligible in October), Hill will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Hill said that's not on his mind, however. He knows he will play a big role for the Jazz this season, and his potential value on the market next summer could be significant.

Still, the focus is on playing this season and trying to win as much as possible. He knows if he does that, the dominoes will fall into place.

Tony Jones, Salt Lake Tribune, 2016

Personally, I think Hill is a great “Three and D and get out of the way” point guard. I don’t think he’s going to be the MVP of the team this year. But he’s going to be very important for the team . . . for at least a few months. Hopefully Dante can supplant him in the starting line-up sometime in February or March. That would be the best case scenario for the #5 draft pick who missed all of last season. It may not be the best case scenario for Hill, though.

There are 43 days until the season begins. Man.

This got me thinking to the Utah Jazz, who have had a few #43s in their history:

Which takes me down to this Chris Morris mix (where he’s sporting #34, his normal number after Bryon Russell gave him the #34).

Morris was touted in basketball magazines (like The Sporting News) as the top Free Agent acquisition in the entire NBA when he signed with the Jazz. He didn’t really play like that in Utah though. He came from the Nets, which is kinda where we’re getting Joe Johnson from (Nets, via buyout, via signed with the Miami Heat). Hopefully this time around the results will pay off.

Do you live in Taylorsville, Utah? The Salt Lake City Stars are going to hold a clinic there this Saturday!

It will be hosted at the Taylorsville Recreation Center, and will feature Stars assistant coach Jordan Brady! You probably know all of this is you were among the 50 “pre-selected Junior Jazz youth” taking part of this camp. But otherwise, for us “non-selected’s” you now have caught up.

We have a changing of the guard to announce:

Billy is going to be missed. Back in the @Utah_Jazz days of twitter he was there to interact with us reckless boggers. He will be missed, but never forgotten.