Trading for two big names give Luka Samanic a realistic shot to return to the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz may land some big fish this offseason, and doing so may give Luka Samanic another shot.
Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors
Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

We weren't overly impressed with what we saw from Luka Samanic this season. Granted, he only played a handful of meaningful games, starting just seven but playing in 43. That said, he averaged under 10 minutes per game for his season and saw stats that represented that. He went from averaging 9.9 points per game in 2022-2023 to just 4.1 in 2023-2024.

He saw his shooting splits decline as well, going from .456/.258/.692 to .380/.203/.786. His rebounds were cut in half (4.3 to 2.1) as were his assists (2.1 to 0.4), and his true shooting also fell, from 55.0% to 48.5%. Now, a lot of his decline could have been his limited usage. While his official usage rate stat went up, only barely, and only because he was playing a lot more garbage minutes this season.

Our defense of his stats shouldn't get in the way of the truth, even when given a chance, Samanic didn't impress. Making his status on the team next season very much in doubt. If the Jazz stands pat and don't make any major changes, it's unlikely Samanic will get retained.

That is unless the Jazz do in fact make trades to acquire two major names. If the Jazz land two All-Star caliber players, Samanic's return once again becomes a topic for debate. The Jazz will need players who can fill the roster on the cheap, and Samanic is someone who's been in Will Hardy's system for two seasons now, giving him a better understanding than a player of similar value off the street would.

Being familiar with Hardy's scheme and not costing a lot may not be enough to get Samanic a spot on the 2024-2025 squad but it could be enough to get him considered. Even if he does get considered and given a new contract, be it partially guaranteed or otherwise, Samanic has to prove that he can be a better, and more reliable player in the coming season.

Being an inexpensive bench player is great if you're just trying to fill out a roster but he'll still need to be able to play well if called upon to replace an injured starter.