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Jazz banking on Trent Forrest’s continued growth after extending two-way contract

“I’m just happy to be back with the Jazz,” Forrest said after his free throw was the winning bucket in a double-overtime Jazz victory against the Dallas Mavericks in an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.

Utah Jazz guard Trent Forrest makes a layup against the Phoenix Suns at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
Utah Jazz guard Trent Forrest (3) makes a layup attempt against Phoenix Suns forward Johnathan Motley (12) during an NBA preseason game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz see potential in Trent Forrest.

On Wednesday the team announced that they had signed Forrest to a two-way contract for a second straight season, the positive points of Forrest’s game outweighing the smaller aspects where he still needs development.

“I’m just happy to be back with the Jazz,” Forrest said after his free throw was the winning bucket in a double-overtime Jazz victory against the Dallas Mavericks in an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas. “I love being around those guys, the rookies that came in last year and even the older guys. It’s a tight group.”

Forrest has proven that he can capably playmaker and has good court vision. He did as much last season when he stepped up at the tail end of the regular season when both Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley were sidelined with injuries.

When talking about what kind of a player Forrest is, Jazz summer league coach Bryan Bailey has a hard time finding any flaws. Forrest is athletic, he makes great passes, doesn’t get caught ball watching, is thinking one play ahead, one action ahead, and for a player who is heading into his second season, shows a lot of maturity that usually takes more time to develop.

“Trent is a great player,” Bailey said. “He’s patient, doesn’t get sped up.”

If there is one part of Forrest’s game that still needs a little bit of work, it’s his jump shot, and in particular his 3-point shooting. But that’s not something that the Jazz are necessarily worried about.

Forrest has been told that he needs to be better prepared when the ball comes to him — be ready to shoot before the shot is even there. He puts in a ton of reps and he’s been working on his shot all offseason. The coaches and his teammates have seen the work and the improvement and they’re just as excited for him receiving a second contract as Forrest is himself.

“It’s amazing, it’s like watching a flower grow,” Jazz teammate Elijah Hughes said. “We came in together and to see the strides he’s made so far, he’s deserving of that two-way contract.”

For Forrest, this second two-way deal is just another chance for him to prove that he belongs in this league and after hearing Bailey say that Trent doesn’t have any weaknesses to his game, it helps to boost his confidence and validate his belief that he’s where he belongs.

“It means a lot, especially for me being undrafted and still being able to be in the league and to know that’s (his shot) the only thing I really need to be complete,” Forrest said. “It means I can stay and play in this league for a while. Any time I get feedback from the coaches I appreciate it.”

Forrest will have a hard time breaking into the Jazz’s regular season rotation, but as he learned last season, there are always opportunities that will present themselves, it’s just about making the most of them.