Utah Jazz hold free agent mini camp — with Jabari Parker, Bruno Caboclo and others — as head coaching search continues
The Jazz front office has its hands full with offseason duties, including taking a closer look at some of the lower profile free agents of the league.
The Utah Jazz were already preparing for a packed offseason before the departure of their head coach Quin Snyder.
Now, on top of everything else that needs to get done — all of the preparation that goes into the draft and free agency period — there’s a coaching search that has to be given as much attention as anything else.
“The last two weeks have been, I mean, they’ve been different, obviously, with Quin resigning,” Jazz vice president of pro personnel and Salt Lake City Stars general manager Bart Taylor said. “We have the coaching search that we’ve had to add on to it, so it’s been a lot more work. In a way it’s kind of good that we don’t have a draft pick.”
Despite the heavy schedule and burden of finding a head coach, that hasn’t stopped the Jazz brass from filling the days, including holding a free agent mini camp on Monday to take a closer look at some of the lower profile free agents of the league.
The two-day, 20-player camp includes Jabari Parker, Aamir Simms, James Palmer, Ade Murkey, Jay Huff, Bruno Caboclo, Joel Ayayi, Caleb Homesley, Justin Robinson, Denzel Valentine, Langston Galloway, DJ Funderburk, MaCio Teague, Frank Bartley, Reggie Perry, Grant Riller, Sindarius Thornwell, Isaiah Pineiro, Trae Bell-Haynes and Vitto Brown.
“It’s really a year-long process,” Taylor said of picking who would take part in the camp. “We start as early as kind of right after Summer League, just identifying guys that maybe go to the G league or go overseas, and we kind of keep a running list all year.”
With the help of the rest of the pro personnel staff, as well as the international scouting staff, Taylor and other front office executives find out who would be interested and bring in players to see if anything noteworthy stands out.
For some players that the staff is more familiar with, it’s more about reacquainting themselves with the player and seeing if they’re in shape or have added anything new to their game, as is the case with someone like Parker, a former No. 2 overall pick who CEO of Jazz basketball Danny Ainge is familiar with after spending time with him in Boston.
“It’s similar to really anybody else that we want to see,” Taylor said. “It’s really as simple as that to be honest.”
In addition to the free agent camp and the coaching search, the Jazz are still preparing for the draft, just differently than they have in years past.
While the Jazz do not own a pick in the draft, they could still deal their way in. That’s meant that they have had fewer prospects come in and work out, but have done the same kind of preparation and internal work because if they do make a deal that nets a draft pick, it could be in any range of the draft.
“It’s been hectic,” Taylor said. “We have a great staff and we’ve been used to doing a lot. ... We used to bring in 115 draft workout guys and mini camps on top of that, so I don’t think it’s anything more grueling than it used to be. It’s just different work that we’re doing.”
And the work doesn’t stop from here. The Jazz have to finish preparing for the Salt Lake Summer League that kicks off on July 5, for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas that runs from July 7 through July 17, and all the while have their hands full in free agency and the trade market. Oh, and they still need a head coach.
So as the NBA calendar heats up in the coming weeks, so will the work behind the scenes for the Jazz.