Ex-Utah Jazz shooting guard finds better NBA home

Utah Jazz (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /

Matt Thomas may now find more opportunities than he did with the Utah Jazz.

Some Utah Jazz enthusiasts hoped to see more of Matt Thomas down the homestretch of the 2020-21 season. After all, the franchise traded a second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors in March for his services, only to seemingly forget the 6-foot-4 sharpshooter existed on the end of the bench.

After averaging only 7.1 minutes across 19 regular-season appearances, Thomas played only six total minutes in a Jazz jersey during the playoffs. Utah brass then waived him in early August.

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The second-year NBA player, an Iowa State alum, never enjoyed enough time on the floor in Salt Lake City to warm up his textbook shooting stroke. Still, seeing that Thomas has made 41.3 percent of his 3-point attempts for his career, it seemed only a matter of time until the 27-year-old received a shot elsewhere — even if his complete repertoire and defensive efforts are lacking.

A better spot for the brief Utah Jazz guard

Now, Matt Thomas has found a new home in the league much closer to his home state of Wisconsin. According to a tweet from NBA insider Keith Smith this week, the Chicago Bulls have signed the former undrafted prospect.

True, the Bulls deal appears to be of the training-camp variety. Nevertheless, should Thomas impress the decision-makers across preseason action, he would likely have a better chance at carving out a role for a Chicago bunch that is coming off a 31-41 campaign than he did with a Utah squad that finished with a league-best 52-20 record.

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Thomas spent two years overseas out of college before earning a multi-year payday with the Raptors in 2019. Thus far, he’s averaged 4.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in the NBA.