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Jazz begin final roster cut down by waiving Stanley Johnson following preseason finale

Utah Jazz’s Stanley Johnson speaks during an NBA basketball Media Day news conference Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in Salt Lake City. | (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press via KSL.com)
SALT LAKE CITY (KSL.com) — It’s officially decision time for the Utah Jazz.
After weeks of filling out the trade market for its veterans, the Jazz have begun the final process of getting their roster down to 15 players. The team has to have its final roster set by Monday at 3 p.m. MDT.
Moments after the Jazz’s 115-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the preseason finale, Utah informed forward Stanley Johnson he had been waived, in a move first reported by the Deseret News.
Johnson’s salary of $2.3 million is fully guaranteed and will still be paid by the Jazz, despite him not being on the roster. Johnson appeared in just one preseason game for Utah and helped the Jazz get a win at Portland.
“Yeah, this is always a really hard time of year,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said before the loss to Dallas. “We have a lot of capable players that are in our training camp right now. A lot of guys who are deserving to be on an NBA roster, but we have some hard decisions to make. We gathered a lot of information on these guys and our team over the last couple of weeks, and so it’s really about what’s best for our group at this point.”
What’s best for the Jazz isn’t necessarily to have the best 15 guys.
Johnson, who helped spark Utah’s win against the Blazers with a strong individual defensive effort, didn’t fit into Utah’s long-term plans. He also may have been a good enough contributor to help the Jazz win games they might not necessarily want to right now.
The move also gives Utah a chance to keep another younger player on the roster — like a Jared Butler, Leonardo Bolmaro or Udoka Azubuike — and see if they can develop. Utah, however, still needs to cut at least one more player to reach the league’s maximum roster number of 15.
“I mean, it’s a business,” said forward Rudy Gay, who seems safely entrenched in Hardy’s rotation. “I think that’s when you realize it’s a business. I’ve been around for a long time. I’ve had friends be traded, people I got drafted with traded, I’ve been traded, cut, it happens in the league. Everybody here are pretty good players, but the fact of the matter is what will help us here and I believe anybody on this team can go on any team and find a spot.”
Based on preseason production, Bolmaro and Azubuike appear to be the most likely to be included in the final cut. Bolmaro appeared in just one preseason contest, and Azubuike just returned to practice for the first time since an ankle injury that cut his year short last season.
“It’s always tough to build relationships with them and get to know them and become friends with them, so it’s always tough to see somebody go. But, obviously, it’s part of it,” Lauri Markkanen said.
The post Jazz begin final roster cut down by waiving Stanley Johnson following preseason finale appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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