Jazz sign, then waive, Isaiah Miller

The Utah Jazz have signed and subsequently waived guard Isaiah Miller.

Miller (6-0, 190, UNC Greensboro) spent the 2022-23 season with Utah’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, where he saw action in 29 games (four starts) and averaged 7.8 points and 4.2 rebounds during the regular season.

The Covington, Ga., native played with the Jazz entries at the 2022 Salt Lake City Summer League and NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, posting averages of 3.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in four games.

The 25-year-old played four collegiate seasons at UNC Greensboro, where he saw action in 132 games (80 starts), tallying averages of 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.4 steals in 25.6 minutes per game. He earned Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors three times (2019-21), and the Southern Conference Player of the Year twice (2020-21).

Jazz sign Omer Yurtseven

The Utah Jazz, two days ago, signed center Omer Yurtseven.

Yurtseven (7-0, 255, Georgetown) is entering his third NBA season, having spent two campaigns (2021-23) with the Miami Heat, owning averages of 5.2 points on 53.3 percent shooting and 4.9 rebounds per contest in 65 career games (12 starts). During the 2021-22 campaign, the 25-year-old totaled 11 double-figure scoring outings, including two 20-plus point outings and eight double-doubles. He’s appeared in 17 postseason contests in two seasons.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Yurtseven was a three-year collegiate player at NC State (2016-18) and Georgetown (2019-2), appearing in 81 games (61 starts) with career averages of 12.1 points on 53.9 percent from the field, along with 7.1 boards, and 1.4 blocks in 23.6 minutes per contest. Following his sophomore season, he was selected to the 2017-18 All-ACC Third Team.

Yurtseven began his professional career with the Fenerbahçe SK U18 squad in 2013-14 and, in 2014-15, appeared in six games for the Fenerbahçe senior squad. He competed in 19 games (one start) for Fenerbahçe in 2015-16 before opting to go to college.

Jazz trade center Damian Jones to Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center Damian Jones in a trade with the Utah Jazz for cash considerations.

Jones (6-11, 245) played in 41 games (one start) for the Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers this past season and averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.6 minutes. He shot .640 (55-86) from the field and a career-best .588 (10-17) from three-point range. Jones also scored in double figures on three occasions and registered one double-double.

A two-time NBA Champion with Golden State (2017 and 2018), Jones has played in 240 games (75 starts) over his seven-year NBA career with Utah, L.A. Lakers, Sacramento, Phoenix, Atlanta and Golden State with averages of 5.2 points on .662 shooting from the field and 3.4 rebounds in 14.6 minutes. He has also appeared in 12 postseason games (one start) with Golden State. The Vanderbilt University product played under current Cavaliers assistant coach Luke Walton for Sacramento during parts of the 2020-21 season and the entirety of the 2021-22 season. He was originally drafted by the Warriors with the 30th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Hawks trade John Collins to Jazz

The Atlanta Hawks have acquired forward Rudy Gay and a conditional 2026 second-round pick in a trade with the Utah Jazz for forward John Collins.

The transaction creates a $25.3 million trade exception for Atlanta, currently the largest in the NBA. The exception can be used to acquire a player(s) in subsequent trades and will expire in a year. The 2026 conditional second round pick will be sent from Memphis to the Hawks if between 31 and 42.

“Being able to create financial flexibility moving forward was a major priority for us. The added flexibility will give us greater optionality as we look at opportunities to improve our team,” said Hawks General Manager Landry Fields. “John was a key contributor our team over the past six seasons and played an instrumental role in helping us become a regular playoff contender. We would like to thank him for his professionalism and leadership over the years and we wish him the best in Utah.”

Gay, a 17-year veteran, has career averages of 15.8 points on .452 shooting, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.9 minutes per game over 1,120 games (779 starts) with Memphis, San Antonio, Sacramento, Toronto and Utah. Last season in Utah, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward appeared in 56 games, averaging 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 14.6 minutes per game.

His 1,120 games played rank fifth among active players, while his 17,642 points rank ninth. He has appeared in 19 postseason games with averages of 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.5 minutes per game.

Collins was selected by the Hawks with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. In six seasons in Atlanta, the forward from Wake Forest has career averages of 15.8 points on .551 shooting, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 block in 29.2 minutes per game in 364 games (313 starts). During the 2022-23 season, he averaged 13.1 points on .508 shooting, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 30.0 minutes in 71 games (all starts).

Jazz sign Joey Hauser to two-way contract

The Utah Jazz yesterday signed forward Joey Hauser to a two-way contract.

Hauser (6-9, 220, Michigan State) appeared in 34 games (all starts) for the Spartans last season, owning averages of 14.4 points on 48.4 percent from the field and 46.1 percent from three, 7.0 boards, and 1.8 assists in 34.1 minutes per game.

The Green Bay, Wis., native appeared in 131 career-collegiate games over four seasons (Michigan State 2020-23 and Marquette 2018-19) and holds career averages of 10.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 26.9 minutes per contest. Following his freshman season at Marquette, which included five Big East Freshman of the Week accolades, he earned 2018-19 Big East All-Freshman Team honors.

Utah Jazz sign rookies Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George and Brice Sensabaugh

The Utah Jazz have signed forward Taylor Hendricks, guard Keyonte George, and forward Brice Sensabaugh to rookie contracts.

Selected 9th overall in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft by the Jazz, Hendricks (6-9, 210, Central Florida) put up averages of 15.2 points on 47.8 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three, along with 7.0 boards, 1.7 blocks, and 1.4 assists in 34.7 minutes per contest during his sole collegiate campaign. He earned 2022-23 All-AAC Second Team and All-AAC Freshman Team honors in a season where he notched six games with 20-or-more points and five double-doubles.

George (6-4, 185, Baylor), drafted 16th overall by Utah, appeared in 33 games (all starts) in his lone collegiate season last year, averaging 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 28.7 minutes per contest, garnering 2022-23 Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. The 19-year-old also earned 2022-23 All-Big 12 Second Team, All-Big 12 Newcomer Team, and All-Big 12 Freshman Team accolades. In 2022-23, he posted 12 games with 20-or-more points, knocking down multiple threes in 22 contests.

Sensabaugh (6-6, 235, Ohio State), selected with the 28th pick, appeared in 33 games (21 starts) during the 2022-23 season, where he averaged 16.3 points. 5.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 24.5 minutes per game, garnering 2022-23 All-Big Ten Third Team honors. The native of Orlando, Fla., also received 2022-23 All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors, ranked third nationally in scoring average among freshmen, and was the first Ohio State player to lead the team in scoring since D’Angelo Russell in 2015.

On the Jazz and the 2023 NBA Draft

Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

The NBA draft is here. And the Utah Jazz will be big players in how it unfolds.

A year after having zero picks in the draft, the Jazz have three in the first round this time, at Nos. 9, 16, and 28. At least for now.

Naturally, this became the year that the front office decided not to disclose the players coming in for workouts and interviews. While some prospects inevitably spilled the beans themselves with Instagram posts, the braintrust was nevertheless looking to gain a competitive advantage by not giving too much away.

On Wednesday morning, Bart Taylor, the Jazz’s Vice President of Player Personnel, addressed a few media members to provide at least a little context about how the team’s process has unfolded since the season ended.

Taylor: “We have tons of conversations constantly of, ‘Where do you think your guy is?’ ‘Where do you think they’re gonna go?’ with the agents, with other teams. We’re trying to figure that out, even as of [Wednesday], who might be there. And then that way we can have those conversations [Wednesday, Thursday] leading into the draft of, ‘OK, if these two guys are there, who are we taking?’ We’re trying to get all that out so that we’re not on the clock, like, ‘Well, who are we taking?’ and then we have Ryan [Smith] sitting looking at us like, ‘Do you guys know what you’re doing?’ We try to figure all that out before so that we look at least semi-educated.”

Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen wins 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player award

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen has won the 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player award.

He becomes the first player in franchise history to garner the award.

Markkanen (7-0, 238, Finland) averaged a career-best 25.6 points (12th in the NBA) on 49.9 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, along with 8.6 boards, and 1.9 assists in 34.4 minutes per game, boosting his points per game by over 10-plus from 2021-22. Markkanen totaled 16 games with 30-or-more points during his first season in Utah, after having tallied just 15 such games in his previous five NBA campaigns. He was one of only six players in the NBA to average over 25 points and eight boards in 2022-23 (min. 60 games played) alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Julius Randle, and Jayson Tatum.

The 25-year-old earned his first All-Star selection in 2022-23, starting for Team Giannis during All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City. Markkanen became the first player in NBA history to knock down over 200 threes, while throwing down over 100 dunks in a single season. His 200 three-point makes were the most in a season by a seven-footer in NBA history. He logged 23 games with over 20 points and 10 boards last year, which was the 10th most such outings in the NBA.

The Finnish international registered three games with 40-or-more points, including a career night against Houston on Jan. 5, where he totaled 49 points on 15-of-27 from the field, becoming only the fifth player in Jazz history to tally 49-or-more points (Dantley, Malone, Maravich, and T. Robinson) and he was the first Jazz player to total multiple 40-point, 10-rebound games in a season since Karl Malone in 1997-98.

The first Utah player to earn the Most Improved accolade, Markkanen becomes seventh international player to be named Most Improved, joining Pascal Siakam (2018-19), Giannis Antetokounmpo (2016-17), Goran Dragic (2013-14), Boris Diaw (2005-06), Hedo Turkoglu (2007-08), and Gheorghe Muresan (1995-96).

Utah Jazz sign Vernon Carey Jr.

The Utah Jazz have signed forward/center Vernon Carey Jr.

Carey Jr. (6-9, 270, Duke) spent the 2022-23 season with the Washington Wizards and the Wizards’ G League affiliate, Capital City Go-Go, seeing action with the Wizards in 11 contests. With Capital City, the 22-year-old played in 14 games (all starts), averaging 20.7 points on 61.9 percent from the field, along with 8.3 boards, and 1.9 assists in 27.6 minutes per game.

Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft (32nd overall), the Miami, Fla., native has three years of NBA experience with Charlotte (2020-21) and Washington (2021-23), having appeared in 37 games (five starts), owning career averages of 1.9 points and 1.4 boards in 5.1 minutes per contest.

Carey Jr. played one collegiate season at Duke (2019-20), where he averaged 17.8 points on 57.7 percent from the field, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 31 games, earning 2019-20 Consensus All-America Second Team Honors, the NABC Freshman of the Year Award, ACC Rookie and Freshman of the Year honors, and was named to the All-ACC First Team.