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On Wednesday night the Utah Jazz played their second preseason game, a loss on the road to the Dallas Mavericks. Almost all of the Jazz’s veteran players were watching from the sideline in street clothes. Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert had the night off to rest, Hassan Whiteside was out with a sore left heel, Bojan Bogdanovic nursed his sore right shoulder and Rudy Gay remained sidelined, recovering from offseason surgery on his right heel.
That means that the Jazz dug deep into the bench and training camp roster in order to field a team. It’s not a secret that Marques Bolden, Derrick Alston Jr. and Malik Fitts probably won’t make the Jazz’s regular season roster.
The more likely scenario is that they end up on the SLC Stars, another G-League roster or on a two-way contract somewhere. Even so, the Jazz’s main rotational players were engaged and doing everything they could to guide the players who won’t even be their teammates when the regular season starts on Oct. 19.
During timeouts Gobert took Bolden to the side and gave him pointers, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder called Fitts over and explained plays and gave him tips, and Mitchell was often the first player on his feet, cheering on the young prospects and calling out coverages.
These players don’t have to do those things. No one has asked them to take the players who won’t be here in the long run under their wings, but they do so anyway.
Now, you could say that there isn’t anything more to take from this observation than what is on the surface, but I say that it shows a level of camaraderie that is good for the Jazz. The Jazz’s players are unselfish and generous and competitive. It doesn’t matter that they lost both games in their Texas preseason slate. What matters is that they were connected, even when half the team wasn’t playing — no matter who was on the floor.
New with the Jazz
Stat of the week
Through the Jazz’s first two preseason games, rookie guard Jared Butler has averaged 19 points and three assists and has impressed everyone along the way.
This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, the crew recaps the highlights and news from Jazz media day and training camp in Las Vegas. On Friday, a new episode recapping the first two preseason games will be available.
From the archives
This week in Jazz history
It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since the Jazz signed forward Jeff Green in the offseason, hoping that he would be able to give the team more versatility and depth. Instead, Green never really worked out for the Jazz after his 2019 signing and was eventually waived by the team before the season was halfway over.
- Fans abuzz after Jared Butler’s preseason performances (Deseret News)
- What does the future hold for two-way guard Trent Forrest? (Deseret News)
- How good are the Jazz? Here’s what NBA GMs think (Deseret News)
- Newest Jazz players share their early impressions of coach Quin Snyder (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Former NBA players charged in $4M health care fraud scheme.
Nets guard Kyrie Irving ineligible to play at home after not meeting NYC vaccination requirement.
Lakers’ Trevor Ariza out at least two months after ankle surgery.
Up next: NBA preseason
Oct. 11 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans | AT&T SportsNet
Oct. 13 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks | AT&T SportsNet