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Malik Fitts earns two-way deal with the Utah Jazz

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Saint Mary’s forward Malik Fitts prepares to inbound the ball

Saint Mary’s forward Malik Fitts prepares to inbound the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)


With the 2021-22 NBA season just days away, the Utah Jazz are making their final roster decisions, including signing forward Malik Fitts to a two-way deal.

Fitts joined the Jazz at the start of training camp, but at the time there weren’t any two-way spots available. Trent Forrest signed on for a second two-way contract with the Jazz during Summer League, and then on Sept. 22, the Jazz signed Justin James to the final two-way roster spot.

But the Jazz decided to move on from James, waiving him on Oct. 1, leaving room for someone else to earn that spot.

Through four preseason games, Fitts proved to be a reliable shooter, and with this length and speed at his size and position, he was one of the more intriguing prospects on the Jazz’s training camp squad.

“I feel like I was able to show my defensive versatility and also being able to shoot the 3-ball,” Fitts said after Jazz practice on Friday. “Defending is something I want to make sure I keep getting better at.”

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said that on Friday night he spoke to Jazz vice president of pro personnel and Salt Lake City Stars general manager Bart Taylor about Fitts and went on to note that through the preseason, Fitts impressed the coaching staff and front office, not just with his ability to shoot, but the way that he’s approached his time in Utah.

“The first thing that jumps out is the consistency of his shooting — when he shoots the ball, especially when his feet are set, you think it’s going it,” Snyder said. “But the thing to me that’s always the most important when you have a guy that’s trying to make a roster, or crack a lineup or get in the league, competitiveness more than anything is determinative. That’s what I’ve liked and seen in him.”

Fitts, who spend spent a year a Brewster Academy, the same boarding school in New Hampshire that Donovan Mitchell attended, played his freshman collegiate year at USF before transferring to Saint Mary’s. He went undrafted in 2020 and then spent time playing with the LA Clippers and their G League affiliate last season.