The Utah Jazz held an open scrimmage on Saturday at Vivint Arena. 

Free to fans, it was a mostly unserious affair — some players hit the court in sweats or wearing jewelry — but it was a nice opportunity for the fans to get to know the new faces on this Jazz roster and have some fun.

Despite the fact that this was the Jazz players facing Jazz players and the stakes were as low as they could be, there were a few nuggets of interest.

Here’s what I saw:

Jared Butler had a great day

Out of all of the Jazz’s players, I was most impressed with Jared Butler on Saturday.

Butler has had some rough outings as of late. He played in mostly garbage minutes last season and was never given much opportunity outside of small stretches. Also, his Summer League performance in July left a lot to be desired, to say the least. He has seemed nervous and anxious and often uncomfortable or rushed.

Related
During Jazz practices, there are winners and losers

But on Saturday, Butler looked settled and confident. Maybe it was because the stakes were low and that he’s used to playing with and against everyone that was on the court and maybe he is just becoming more confident.

No matter the reason, Butler looked savvy on both sides of the ball, shot well, had some beautiful pinpoint passes and never seemed like he was out of control.

This is the version of Butler that was expected when he was drafted out of Baylor. If Butler is still on the team when the season begins, this is the version of him that the Jazz hope to see more of.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker the facilitator 

Throughout Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s short career, he’s been known for giving a ton of effort on the defensive end, being a quick and crafty creator and offensively aggressive (albeit sometimes ill-advised).

But he’s been working a lot more this offseason on being a facilitator and creating for his teammates, and I think there is some clear evidence that he’s becoming a better passer.

Head coach Will Hardy has made it known that he wants the ball to move a lot and is asking for more passing from all of the guards, and it’s exciting to see that’s already being taken to heart, even before the start of the regular season.

The green light conundrum

Jordan Clarkson has always been the guy who can go get a bucket and pretty much has a green light to shoot the ball and take what shots are open to him whenever he wants.

But there are quite a few guys on this Jazz team who seem like they are trying to be that guy.

On one hand, if you’ve got Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker and Collin Sexton all taking shots whenever they want and a bunch of young guys playing for their contracts, that could lead to some pretty bad basketball, which is kind of what you want from the Jazz right now (the race to get Victor Wembanyama is on).

On the other hand, if you’re trying to develop some other players to be facilitators and play within an offensive system and move the ball but it stops every time Sexton or Horton-Tucker touch it, that could be a problem.

Odds and ends

  • The new court with the large black J-note and the black and yellow lettering actually looks really nice. Also, Vivint Arena is outfitted with new big screens and visual aids around the gym which make things seem really fresh and new.
  • The rookies had to sing in front of the crowd, and after some encouragement, they sang Baby Shark, and it was adorably hilarious. Good fun all around.
  • Saben Lee had some highlight-worthy dunks that were extremely fun for the fans. Although it’s hard to imagine that Lee will be on the roster once opening day is upon us, it was good to see that he’s an athletic guy who actually has some tricks in the bag.