Utah Jazz waive promising young forward on two-way contract

Utah Jazz (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Utah Jazz have waived forward Jarrell Brantley. The team announced their decision via press release yesterday.

A versatile, athletically gifted 6’7, 250-pound combo forward on paper, Brantley was never able to make a significant impact on the Jazz. In two seasons with the club, he averaged 2.4 points and 1.3 rebounds.

Still, there have always been reasons for hope with the 25-year-old Charleston product. His per 36 averages from 2020-21 certainly read like a player with potential: 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals last season. Furthermore, Brantley had an exceptional season with the G-League’s Salt Lake City Stars in 2019-20, with averages of 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists, earning All-NBA G-League honors.

For some fans of the Utah Jazz, it may be hard to see Brantley go. Diehard fans can get attached to players regardless of the consistency of their on-court impact on their favorite squad. Nonetheless, the Jazz are a veteran-heavy squad with their eyes set squarely on the NBA championship. Rostering a 25-year-old they had no intention of playing for significant stretches evidently came to feel like a misallocation of resources for General Manager Justin Zanik and his team in the front office.

Brantley was on a two-way contract, meaning he could be promoted to the NBA roster or demoted to the G-League at the discretion of the Utah Jazz. Currently, Trent Forrest is the only remaining player on the roster on such a deal.

Brantley had accepted a qualifying offer of $1.6m in early August, meaning that the Jazz will only take a cap hit of $84,414, per Bobby Mark of ESPN.

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Over the 37 games in which Jarrell Brantley appeared with the Utah Jazz, he flashed potential. He was simply in need of too much developmental attention for a contending team to provide. Hopefully, he’ll find an opportunity in the NBA with a team in a better position to roster him.