Utah Jazz fans hoping to get a look at the Jazz’s 2021 draft pick next week during the Las Vegas Summer League will have to wait until the 2021-22 season begins.
On Friday, Jazz general manager Justin Zanik spoke to local reporters about the team’s offseason moves and indicated that if the offseason wasn’t so compressed he would have liked to Jared Butler play Summer League ball, but with the situation the way that it is, he’d prefer for Butler to have a little more time to ramp up and get to know the Jazz’s system.
“I kind of feel like if Vegas was 10 days later ... then he’d play,” Zanik said. “But he hasn’t had contact in a while.”
The No. 30 overall draft pick was unable to take part in pre-draft workouts leading up to the July 29 NBA draft as he waited for the NBA’s fitness-to-play panel to clear him. The reason he was flagged and needed the panel to clear him was due to a heart condition that he’s known about since before he began playing for Baylor. He’d been cleared to play in each of his three collegiate seasons with the Bears.
Butler hasn’t played competitively since winning a NCAA title with Baylor in early April.
“There’s no need to have his first contact be in competitive live games,” Zanik said. “I think we’ll be able to accomplish a lot of that in our open gym period after Labor Day, two or three weeks before camp starts.
Butler has been present during the Jazz’s Salt Lake City Summer League games and said that he can’t wait to get started and for the season to begin.
“He’s chomping at the bit to play,” Zanik said of the 20-year-old rookie. “We’re just having him be patient.”