September 25, 2022

The Salt Lake City Summer League, which this year included the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzles, ended Thursday night.

The Jazz have only played three games and won no wins, but have they found players who could be useful next season? Here are some possibilities.

The Jazz’s off-season playing days aren’t over yet, as the team will also compete in the Las Vegas Summer League. Utah’s first game is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NBA TV against the Atlanta Hawks.

Jared Butler

Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler battles Oklahoma City Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins in a Summer League game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

One of two Jazz players officially designated as “standouts” in the Salt Lake City Summer League, Butler played in two games and showed a glimpse of potential.

After his 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against the Grizzlies, Jazz coach Bryan Bailey told the Deseret News, “Jared was better tonight. We insisted on the defensive for him. I think he had possessions where he guarded really well, kept the guys in front and got into the passing lanes. … He finished with seven assists. I think overall he had a good game.

Butler struggled mightily from 3-point range against Memphis — he shot 4 of 14 from behind the arc — but at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, the Jazz’s second-round pick in the 2021 NBA draft could still become a helpful, defensive reserve guard with a cocky spirit.

Especially if the Jazz decides to miss players like Mike Conley, Patrick Beverly and Malik Beasley.


Bruno Caboclo

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Utah Jazz’s Bruno Caboclo (55) attempts to rebound past Philadelphia 76ers’ Julian Champagnie (5) and Charles Bassey (23) during Summer League action at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday 6 July 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The other standout for the Jazz, Caboclo was a pleasant surprise in Salt Lake City.

Eight years after being the 20th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft – touted as “two years away from being two years away” by Fran Fraschilla – few, if any, believe Caboclo will be a game-changer, but in two games played he averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the floor.

He recorded 17 points, seven rebounds and three steals in the last game against the Grizzlies and had a memorable block.

Registered at 6 feet 9 inches and 218 pounds, the 26-year-old Brazilian would fill a need for the Jazz, that of a versatile winger. During his seven-year NBA career, Caboclo played as a small forward, power forward, and center.

Currently, the Jazz lack experienced wings — think players between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-9 who can defend multiple positions — despite acquiring several wing prospects in the trade from Rudy Gobert.


Kofi Cockburn

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Utah’s Kofi Cockburn (26) dunks as they face the Philadelphia 76ers in Summer League action at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Due to the Gobert trade, the Jazz have a gaping hole in the center, with only Udoka Azubuike and rookie Walker Kessler currently under contract – backup center Hassan Whiteside is an unrestricted free agent.

Cockburn doesn’t quite fit the bill of a modern NBA center — nor does Summer League fan favorite Tacko Fall — but the 7-foot, 285-pound Jamaican has been solid in his three outings with the Jazz , if it is subject to faults.

At the University of Illinois, Cockburn was the center of the offense, which will be a major adjustment for him as he tries to get on an NBA team.

However, Cockburn was effective on the boards and when given the ball in the paint he usually put it in the basket, making 10 of 16 field goal attempts in total.