Utah Jazz: Draft steal becomes a 2-year guarantee

Utah Jazz rookie guard Jared Butler (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz rookie guard Jared Butler (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler appears to have found his way onto the roster.

Unfortunately, 2021 Baylor national champ Jared Butler won’t have the chance to compete for the Utah Jazz during the ongoing Las Vegas Summer League action. After the powers that be traded down on July 29 to draft him at No. 40 overall — meaning no guarantee in the contract department at the time for the second-rounder — they decided not to rush his return to the court.

The 20-year-old perimeter weapon had to sit out pre-draft workouts while awaiting clearance from the league’s fitness-to-play panel regarding a heart condition. And that was likely the principal reason for Butler’s dramatic drop from once being a projected lottery pick.

Nevertheless, Butler’s definite upsides seem well worth the two-year guaranteed contract he inked with the Jazz this week. His representation at Priority Sports announced the signing on Thursday.

Will Jared Butler find minutes with the Utah Jazz?

True, Butler will face considerable competition for playing time. However, his competitiveness, clutch play, and complete prowess last season as a junior suggest it’s only a matter of time until the 6-foot-3, 195-pound keen playmaker carves out a regular role in Salt Lake City.

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At 16.7 points per game, Butler was the leading bucket-getter for a 28-2 Bears team. He averaged 4.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals as well last season while sizzling at 41.6 percent from downtown with 2.6 deep splashes per game.

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Meanwhile, the second-leading scorer for the 2020-21 Baylor squad, MaCio Teague (15.9 points per game), has an outside chance to join Butler on the Jazz roster next season. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound silky shooting guard is already 24 years old, currently playing for Utah in Las Vegas on an Exhibit 10 deal that he agreed to after going undrafted.