NBA Summer League: What do we expect from the Utah Jazz?

The NBA Summer League is just around the corner, but before our guys head to Las Vegas, we're showcasing them here at home. You can see them at the Delta Center on Monday, July 8-10 at the Salt Lake City Summer League.

But before you go, here are some things to look out for in this Utah Jazz summer league.

The Rookies

This team may be one of the most entertaining/interesting summer league teams the organization has ever had. New additions to the team from this draft include Cody Williams (10th overall pick), Isaiah Collier (29th pick), and Kyle Filipowski (32nd pick). We'll also see some familiar faces including Walker Kessler, Keyonte George, Taylor Hendricks, and Brice Sensebaugh. And there are some flashy names as well including Kenneth Lofton Jr., Darius Bazley, and others. Maybe we'll see the Jazz win some trophies before the season even starts!

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With so many names, which one should you be paying attention to the most in Summer League? Isaiah Collier should be the first name on every single fan's list. A former top-three pick, he fell to No. 29 in this year's draft and will be looking to prove something to the world.

I think Collier will have an extremely impressive Summer League and other GMs around the league will realize they made a mistake not drafting him higher. They will say what they said about Donovan Mitchell in 2017: “How could we let him fall that far?” When you look at his highlights in college, you just see things that Collier does that no other player in the draft could do and I can't wait to see him show the world during Summer League.

Other players I think could stand out are Cody Williams, who was selected 10th and is brother to OKC Thunder forward Jalen Williams. It will be interesting to watch. With so many people comparing him to his brother, we will see him show that he has his own identity and has a different skill set than his brother Jalen. Also playing alongside Keyonte George, it will be interesting to see how they fit together and how that chemistry develops as the season goes on.

Kyle Filipowski will be the last player from this 2024 draft class on the summer league roster and I'm excited to see how he'll throw in summer league. It's nice to have a stretch 5 on the roster because that's the direction the league is going. He did it at Duke, can he do it with the Jazz? Another thing to watch for is how he'll block out the outside noise and focus on basketball.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors

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The second graders

Other interesting things to watch during the summer league are our sophomores, some players going into their second year, and what they can bring to the roster.

Keyonte George, who led this offense, made a lot of noise in his rookie year and looked like he was going to be the point guard of the future. Something I'll be looking for from him this summer league is his decision making. Has it gotten better and will his turnovers go down? The Utah Jazz were among the league's highest turnovers per game last season. What will Keyonte do this year to lower that number and what are some things he worked on in the offseason that he can show in summer league?

Another second-year player I would watch is Taylor Hendricks. The 2023 9th pick will have something to prove in 2024. Since he struggled with injuries for most of his rookie year, we saw very few signs of what the former 9th pick could become. Hendricks didn't get any playing time until the end of the season last year. In summer league, I will be paying attention to his physical condition and what his jump shot will look like in year two. We saw his potential throughout last season. How did he train in the offseason? And whether he will be fully healthy when the year begins.

Rounding out our sophomores we have Brice Sensabaugh. Despite playing very little for the first team, he was a hit for the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per night. I'm excited to see what he's been working on in the offseason and how he'll show Coach Hardy and the coaching staff this summer league. I hope Sensabaugh has the “I'm too good not to play” mentality this year!

NBA: Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz

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Who else should we as fans be watching for besides our rookies and sophomores? I think one name to watch for is Walker Kessler. He is currently on the summer league roster, but we will see what happens in the next few weeks. But after a stellar rookie year, his sophomore year was not the jump fans were expecting. After being part of Steve Kerr's Team USA roster fairly early in the season, he suffered an injury that never seemed to heal properly. He was out of action at times throughout the season, which affected his confidence. I hope to see a healthy, rejuvenated Walker Kessler and see the jump all Jazz fans have been expecting after his rookie season.

Others to watch out for this summer league include the beast that is Kenneth Lofton Jr. I think I disrespected him by barely talking about him this far down. For that I apologize, I can't wait to see Lofton Jr. play in the summer league this year. Along with Collier, Lofton Jr. is one of those I will be keeping an eye on. When he signed with the Jazz towards the end of the season last year, Lofton Jr. made an immediate impact and got the Jazz giving him his guaranteed contract. From what I saw in the offseason, Lofton Jr. looks incredibly fit and I can't wait to see what he does in the summer league.

Darius Bazley and Jason Preston are also some names to keep an eye on. I don't think they'll have an impact on the first team this year, but they're some pretty spectacular, eye-catching players and I'm excited to see how they'll help round out the rest of the Summer League core. Max Admas, Babacar Sane and Armando Bacot will also be in the squad, so we'll see if any of them make an impact.

So Craig Bolerjack would say it's going to be an exciting summer league and I can't wait to see which players stand out and which players we should keep an eye on during the regular season. Remember, the Salt Lake City Summer League is July 8-10 and the Vegas Summer League starts just two days later on the 12th.