Former Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler will reportedly be making his first big step toward a return to the NBA, and it will involve one of the greatest Utah Runnin’ Utes basketball players of all-time.
On Wednesday, Substack’s Marc Stein reported that Butler will be joining the Grand Rapids Gold of the NBA G League after getting waived by the Jazz last month. The Gold’s head coach is former Runnin’ Ute point guard Andre Miller.
Jared Butler will be joining the @NBAGrandRapids Gold and new coach Andre Miller, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 2, 2022
Butler was squeezed out of a roster spot in Utah by a roster crunch in Jazz camp and will be closely watched by NBA teams looking for guard help.
There were high hopes for Butler’s NBA career after the Jazz made him the 40th pick of the 2021 NBA draft, as he had been pegged by many to be taken in the teens but fell because of medical concerns that arose.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Butler hasn’t ever ended up having any of those medical concerns, but he wasn’t able to find any consistent minutes as a rookie last season, then he struggled in summer league action earlier this year.
As Stein indicated, the Jazz had a roster crunch during training camp because of all of the players acquired in the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell trades, and in particular, there was a glut of guards.
The Jazz ultimately waived Butler on Oct. 15.
Now Butler will be coached by Miller in Michigan (the Gold are the Denver Nuggets’ G League affiliate). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Aug. 31 that the Gold were primed to hire Miller, and it was made official a few weeks later.
Miller led the Utes to the 1998 national championship game, and then he played in the NBA for 17 years, six of which were with the Nuggets.
Miller previously coached a prep school in California. In a bit of an ironic twist, his new job sees him replacing Jason Terry, who left his post as head coach of the Gold to be on the Jazz’s coaching staff.
The Gold’s season is scheduled to begin Saturday on the road against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.