So here's what it means: This week, the Jazz signed rookie second-round pick Joel Bolomboy to a deal that includes $1 million in guaranteed salary. Bolomboy, an athletic power forward out of Weber State, has impressed the Jazz with his work ethic, demeanor and play during summer league and is now expected to make the opening night roster. Utah envisions Bolomboy replacing some of the energy and athleticism the team lost when Trevor Booker left for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency this summer.
On paper, the Jazz have 14 guaranteed contracts, with center Jeff Withey and guard Chris Johnson battling it out for the last remaining roster spot. The Jazz were impressed by Withey last season, his defense, and his ability to step up when big men Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert missed significant time due to injury.
Withey's production last season was unexpected on some levels by the organization. Should he make the team, the remainder of his contract would be guaranteed in January. But there is little doubt that his shot-blocking and defense last season were welcomed by the Jazz.
Friday's trade is also the last physical remnant of the Enes Kanter deal of two seasons ago to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz could receive OKC's 2018 lottery-protected first round pick, however. In 12 appearances this past season, Pleiss averaged two points and 1.3 rebounds per game, while making more of an on-court impact in the D-League, than with the big club. Pleiss, had he stayed with the Jazz, again figured to be at the bottom of the big man depth chart — especially with the acquisition of Boris Diaw and Bolomboy's signing.
Utah begins training camp on Sept. 26. The Jazz begin their preseason slate on Oct. 3, at the Portland Trail Blazers.