As the Utah Jazz continue to deal with COVID-19 issues within the team — Jared Butler and Udoka Azubuike were added to the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Monday — the team added a third player on a short-term deal.
The Jazz announced Monday afternoon that they have signed 2016 lottery pick Denzel Valentine to a 10-day hardship deal, adding him to Danuel House Jr. and Norvel Pelle as players on those contracts.
On Sunday night, it had been reported that the Jazz were eyeing Valentine after a deal for James Ennis fell through (The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday that Ennis will sign with the Denver Nuggets on a short-term deal).
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Valentine spent the first part of this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the New York Knicks on Jan. 3 and subsequently getting waived.
The 28-year-old was the player of the year in college basketball in 2016 playing for the Michigan State Spartans, and he was selected 14th overall by the Chicago Bulls in that year’s NBA draft.
Valentine played in four seasons with the Bulls before joining the Cavaliers. He has career averages of exactly 7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 254 career contests.
Incidentally, Valentine’s brother Drew is the head coach of the Loyola Chicago Ramblers, who beat the San Francisco Dons last week in a last-minute game that was played at Salt Lake Community College.
The Jazz’s opponent Monday night, the Detroit Pistons, will be without head coach Dwane Casey after he entered health and safety protocols earlier in the day. Assistant Rex Kalamian will coach the team.