Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy has said many times that he does not have outlandish expectations of his players, but there are two things that every player must do in order to earn their playing time, and that’s “play hard and pass.”

Well, the good news is Hardy won’t have to do much to get that message across to the Jazz’s three incoming rookies, Cody Williams, Isaiah Collier and Kyle Filipowski.

“Will talks about a lot of things but the main things he talks about is that you don’t play free minutes and you need to move the ball,” Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said on Tuesday as the team formally introduced the rookies. “So having players that like to pass and can pass, gives you a really good base to grow your game.”

Each of the three rookies comes to the Jazz with a foundation that is based on effort and hard work, and they are all skilled and willing passers. Importantly (especially when it comes to pleasing their new head coach), these three players aren’t overly worried about volume scoring.

“The biggest impact I can make is on the defensive end,” Williams said. “We practiced today and we pulled up the numbers — (the Jazz were) 30th in 3-point attempts allowed, 30th in defensive percentage in the league last year. So me coming in, especially as a rookie, with my length and my size and my versatility, things I can bring is on the defensive end is kind of my focus.”

Utah Jazz release Summer League roster

Williams, picked 10th overall by the Jazz, showcased his defensive versatility, ability to run pick-and-roll and his playmaking ability at Colorado last season, and feels like those are all things that will translate directly to the NBA.

Collier, picked 29th by the Jazz, has been lauded for his passing and playmaking ability since he was in high school, and he showcased not only that but his toughness on the defensive end and ability to play through contact at USC last season. Even so, Collier said he won’t be taking anything for granted at the next level.

“I have to prove myself regardless, and I’m just happy to be in this situation,” he said. “I get to play basketball for a living, that’s a blessing already.”

Filipowski might be nearly 7 feet tall, but he has worked really hard to build a foundation of playmaking in his game, even modeling some of his work after players like Lauri Markkanen and Nikola Jokic.

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All three rookies will play in both Salt Lake City and Las Vegas Summer League and while they’re looking forward to the experience, they aren’t sure what to expect.

“To be honest, I’ve got no idea,” Filipowski said with a laugh. “I’m a rookie, and I’m just kind of looking forward to soaking that all in. I love learning as much as I can from all the guys around me, and just trying to grow from it however I can.”

That’s a welcomed perspective as far as Zanik is concerned. He said he doesn’t want to place any unnecessary expectations on any of the rookies, that their performance during Summer League is not going to define their rookie seasons. Instead, how they use their opportunities throughout the season — in the NBA or G League — the speed at which they develop and their willingness to learn will inform their careers.

And, of course, there won’t be any free minutes given if they don’t play hard and pass.

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