Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the former San Diego State player J.J. O'Brien has signed a non-guaranteed contact with the Utah Jazz. And I'm happy about this, as you should be too! The true NBA Rookie (no prior pro experience) signed on to play for the Utah Jazz summer league teams in Utah and Las Vegas, and what really stood out was his defensive abilities. Often in "crunch time" he would get the call and be on the floor, and it wasn't just for his comfort level with driving and finishing around the basket. Zeigler reports:
San Diego State coach Steve Fisher could never stop raving about JJ O'Brien and his basketball IQ and his unmeasurable worth to a team. The Utah Jazz agrees.
O'Brien's agent confirmed Tuesday that the 6-foot-7 Aztecs alum agreed to contract terms with the Jazz: a one-year deal at the NBA minimum salary of $525,000 that is partially guaranteed and will reserve his spot at preseason training camp. O'Brien has been playing with the Jazz's summer league team, first in Salt Lake City and currently in Las Vegas.
The deal comes a day after O'Brien had 13 points (10 in the third quarter), three rebounds and three steals in a 91-82 win against Minnesota in Las Vegas. He shot 5 of 7 overall and, impressively, 3 of 3 behind the NBA's extended 3-point line as he makes the transition from the paint to perimeter. (O'Brien made only 11 3s all of last season with SDSU from the shorter NCAA line.)
Check out his entire article to get more background information of J.J., and more information on how this all developed this summer. I'm very happy about this because after the first or second summer league game in Salt Lake City I had my eye on this kid. Seems like the Jazz did too.
As it now stands, the Jazz have a number of players on these non-guaranteed contracts: Bryce Cotton, Elijah Millsap, Chris Johnson, Jack Cooley, and now J.J. O'Brien. The over-all roster is now 14 players, and moves are going to happen either shortly, or later on in August and September. I think we'll see a salary dump trade in our near future, I don't expect the Jazz to make a signing like this (bolstering an already jam packed wing rotation) before training camp without having other moves to make.
This new, though, may be ill received by Jared Cunningham and Olivier Hanlan 's camps. But may the best may get the job.