The Jazz are set to hold one heck of a training-camp battle.
Utah just added its 20th player, the offseason limit, to compete for 15 regular-season roster spots.
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free agent forward J.J. O’Brien.
Utah has 13 players with guaranteed contracts, leaving two potential vacancies on the regular-season roster for the other seven players.
Jeff Withey’s deal is $200,00 guaranteed, and Treveon Graham’s is $75,000. Christopher Johnson, Jack Cooley, Elijah Millsap and Bryce Cotton have unguaranteed contracts. O’Brien’s salary is partially guaranteed, according to Mark Zeigler of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
O’Brien, a 6-foot-7 forward, went undrafted out of San Diego State. He’s well-rounded for a power forward, though undersized. He’s not quite skilled enough to be a small forward.
Most likely, the Jazz waive him and assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.
Withey, Millsap and Cotton are the favorites to make the regular-season roster. Withey has shown some ability at the NBA level and has the largest guarantee. Millsap looked good defensively last season. Cotton might be needed at point guard with Dante Exum injured, though Utah has Trey Burke and Raul Neto, and Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles and Rodney Hood can handle some point guard duties.
Like Graham’s, O’Brien’s partial guarantee gives him a slight leg up. Its size – but more importantly, how he plays in camp and the preseason – will determine whether he makes the team.