Predicting Toughest Jazz Cuts Ahead of 15-Man Roster Deadline

Predicting Toughest Jazz Cuts Ahead of 15-Man Roster Deadline

The Utah Jazz will host some closed-door meetings this week.

The Utah Jazz are closing in on their final roster decisions. Saben Lee getting waived on Sunday means there are still three players on the chopping block in order to get down to the final 15-man roster.

With only two preseason games remaining, let’s dive into what players might be sent packing this week.

Simone Fontecchio

Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch (24) carries the ball around Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio (16) during the fourth quarter at Rogers Place.

Fontecchio had a great summer on the international stage playing for his home country Italy, but unfortunately he appears lost since arriving in Salt Lake City. He is fortunate that he has a. He plays a role in need and b. He is locked into a two year deal.

Fontecchio has some work to do if he’s going to crack the rotation, but he’s safe to make the initial roster because of his high ceiling.

Cody Zeller

Portland Trail Blazers center Cody Zeller (40) during warm-ups before Portland plays Sacramento Kings at Moda Center.

Zeller was brought in to add depth to the center position, but this was before the trade that brought Kelly Olynyk to Salt Lake City. This puts Zeller at the fourth spot on the depth chart.

It’s a day late and a dollar short this time around for the veteran.

Jared Butler

Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler (13) takes a shot over Toronto Raptors forward Gabe Brown (44) during the fourth quarter at Rogers Place.

Butler has been underwhelming since being drafted in the second round in 2021 with the 40th pick. He has a skill set that is applicable to the NBA, which would make letting him go difficult, but he is part of a young and crowded team’s backcourt.

Being a part of a rebuild initially put Butler in a good spot. But, the inability to trade Mike Conley and the acquisition of Collin Sexton could spell doom for Butler’s tenure in Utah.

Stanley Johnson

Initially, Johnson appeared to have a long shot of making the roster, but he did play 15 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers and performed well. He can also play the four positions, which is a position the Jazz could use more depth. If the Jazz feel Fontecchio does not have the NBA potential, keeping Johnson in this season’s lineup makes sense.

Leandro Bolmaro

Utah Jazz guard Leandro Bolmaro (10) dribbles against Dallas Mavericks guard A.J. Lawson (29) during an NBA Summer League game at Cox Pavilion.

Bolmaro came to Salt Lake City in the Rudy Gobert trade and is on the bubble. Bolmaro was only able to see ten minutes of action in his two preseason games. This is atypical for second-year draft picks. It appears Bolmarois is at the bottom of the depth chart. He could be heading out.

Rudy Gay

Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay (8) holds onto a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter at the Chase Center.

If we’re going off of performance on the court, then Gay would be let go, but we’re not the ones writing the checks. The Jazz would be on the hook for $12 million if they decide to keep Gay, or they could cut bait and keep a player that may develop into something.

This one could go either way, but my money is on Gay being waived or bought out.

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From the outside looking in, it could be Zeller, Gay, and Bolmaro on their way out. Because Butler is a homegrown player and can create his own shots, he barely makes it.

Players have two more games to make their case as the Jazz host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, followed by the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

Follow Patrick on Twitter @pbyrnesNBA.

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