by Griffin Gamble
The NBA Summer League is back and is off to an entertaining start. The Utah Jazz had two different teams for the Salt Lake City summer league last week and now have one team for the main event: Las Vegas Summer League.
The Jazz had arguably the most exciting game of the tournament last night in a double overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks. Several players have really stood out during this run. This includes some names Jazz fans may be familiar with and also some new faces.
Trent Forrest has clearly been Utah’s best and most consistent player in this summer league and he continued that Wednesday night. He tallied 16 points while also having nine assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block. At times, the Mavericks began to trap Forrest when coming off ball screens and he was still able to produce. He also knocked down the game winning free throw in the sudden death second overtime.
Forrest was with the Jazz last year on a two-way contract. He even saw some playing time towards the end of the season when injuries to Mitchell and Conley plagued Utah’s backcourt. The Jazz will be signing Forrest to another two-way contract for this upcoming season.
Forrest looked around the league and there was some speculation he might make a team’s 15 man roster. However, it seemed in his best interest to return to the Jazz for this season. He has all the tools to be a great backup guard for the Jazz and will help with backcourt depth. If he can improve his jump shot (especially from three point range), Forrest could be a great role player in this league.
A surprising name from this summer league who has made some noise is Baylor guard MaCio Teague. Teague was teammates with Jazz draftee Jared Butler and played a key part of their championship run. The 6’4” guard was Baylor’s second leading scorer while averaging 15.9 points per game. He has proven to be a knock down shooter as he shot 39.5 percent from three last season. It was surprising to see him go undrafted considering his mature style of play, shooting ability, and championship DNA.
Teague has had some impressive games so far this summer. That includes a 26 point game against the San Antonio Spurs on August 4th.
Teague is already 24 years old, but agreeing to an exhibit 10 deal will allow him to compete in the Jazz training camp for a two-way spot or maybe a spot on the G-League affiliate: the Salt Lake City Stars.
Other Guys to Watch
Aside from the two names above, the Jazz summer league roster is full of exciting young talent. A couple other names to look for are guys you may know from the college level.
Udoka Azubuike is a force to be reckoned with on the inside. The seven-footer out of Kansas was at one of the top big men in the country while playing for the Jayhawks. He finished last night’s game with 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocks.
Elijah Hughes made his return to the team last night after exiting previously with concussion protocol and did not disappoint. Hughes drained a clutch three with under five seconds left to send the game to overtime. The second round pick from last year’s draft looks much stronger and confident in this summer league so far.
Another second-round pick worth noting is Jarrell Brantley. The Jazz re-signed Brantley on August 7, 2021. He has spent the past two seasons in the G-league on a two-way contract. Brantley had some great games in the Salt Lake City summer league and is looking to carry that momentum into the Vegas summer league.
The Jazz will play the Miami Heat on Friday night. It’s time to see if they can keep this hot streak going in the offseason and maybe bring home the Las Vegas Summer league Championship.