Utah Jazz Hold Annual Free Agent Mini-Camp


You all may be aware that the 2015 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching. If you’ve been following along here at The J Notes, you’ll have noticed many recent draft-related articles. From Spencer Wixom’s mock draft and analysis of others’ mock drafts to reports on draft prospect workouts, we’ve got it covered.

With all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming draft, the 2015 free agency period is flying under the radar to a degree. However, savvy league executives are preparing for it as well as the draft. Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey is definitely savvy.

From June 9-11 the Jazz hosted a free agent mini-camp featuring 27 players who hope to land on an NBA roster next season. It’s the third consecutive year of the Jazz holding a mini-camp. In the Dennis Lindsey era the Jazz are becoming known for being very thorough in evaluating players in an effort to continually strengthen the team’s roster. You can view the complete list of participants here, but I’ll spotlight a few of them in this space.

The first name I saw that stuck out to me is Brock Motum. He was invited to last year’s mini-camp, played with the Jazz in the Las Vegas Summer League and even came to training camp before ultimately being waived. I’d have to say that his inclusion in this year’s mini-camp definitely shows that the Jazz like him.

One of the mini-camp participants is the brother of an NBA All-Star. Marquis Teague‘s brother Jeff Teague is the Atlanta Hawks’ starting point guard. Nick Wiggins is a member of the Jazz-owned-and-operated Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League and is also the brother of reigning Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. Besides Wiggins, three other members of the Stampede were invited to the camp. Another interesting name is Devin Booker, the brother of Jazz fan-favorite Trevor Booker.

When looking at the list of players invited to these mini-camps some people may wonder if holding them is worth the effort. Keep in mind that two players who came to last year’s mini-camp spent time with the Jazz last season: Patrick Christopher and Jack Cooley, the latter of which signed a multi-year deal with the team. So there does seem to be value in bringing in these players.

Utah Jazz Director of Pro Player Personnel David Fredman spoke with the media during the mini-camp, calling it “a lot of fun” and noting that the players’ agents realize the value of having their clients come to this based on how much the Jazz have utilized D-League callups in recent seasons. You can view all of his comments here.

Jody Genessy of the Deseret News brought up an interesting aspect of the mini-camp in this article. When holding these camps, the Jazz invite college coaches (including from local schools) to come and help. This year new Utah State head basketball coach Tim Duryea was invited. He talked about one perk being getting “great Jazz gear”, which I had to bring up here because as a fan, that has crossed my mind many times as a cool part of working for the Jazz.

Will any of this year’s mini-camp participants play for the Jazz (or another NBA team) in 2015-16? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter if you think so.

Next: Myles Turner and Trey Lyles Do Battle in Utah Jazz Workout

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