LAS VEGAS — Soon after the ink dried on Georges Niang’s new contractto remain in Utah on Friday, his best friend Naz Mitrou-Long came up to his room at the Encore Las Vegas Hotel/Casino to congratulate him.
Less than 24 hours later, Mitrou-Long would be sharing a similar experience.
Around noon on Saturday, the former Iowa State star signed a two-way deal with the Utah Jazz at the same hotel next to his agent, Mike Silverman.
“That was really the goal for me coming out of summer league,” said Mitrou-Long, who went undrafted in 2017. “I’m glad we got that done.”
The 6-foot-4, 218-pound guard also signed a two-way contract with the Jazz in December, then a pair of 10-day contracts last season.
He is currently playing with the Jazz’s Summer League team in Sin City and appeared in 40 games with the Salt Lake City Stars last season, averaging 18.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 35 minutes per game.
In his lone Jazz game against Denver on Dec. 26, he famously nailed a triple in one minute before butting heads with Trey Lyles, which required nine stitches. He is looking to build off that NBA experience.
“Just to continue to do the right things, not to be out of character or do nothing crazy,” Mitrou-Long said. “To continue to grow and learn more of the Jazz’s system through the coaches and any opportunity that I get up, I’m going to run with it and any opportunity I get down to apply different things, I just want to continue to grow.”
Mitrou-Long has been staying in the same Salt Lake City apartment with Niang this offseason and considers the area as his second home. Returning to Utah, especially with his close friend Niang, is what he’s been working so hard for this off-season.
“I’m just happy that the Jazz were so patient with me and kept contributing to the fact that they wanted to see me grow and they invested their time, their money and their knowledge into making me a better player and kept me around because they knew I had a chance to maybe seal this thing up,” Mitrou-Long said. “I’m happy I stuck around and I’m happy they kept me around for it. I feel blessed right now. I feel really good.”