With the Jazz’s release of their 2019-20 opening night roster — and corresponding official heights (without shoes) and weights — on Monday afternoon, most of the Jazz’s players saw some small declines, while a few others made some gains.
Stanton Kidd was among those to get officially shorter, going from 6-foot-6 to 6-5, but considering his name was on that opening night roster, arguably no one on the team made a bigger gain than he did.
The Jazz announced Monday that they had waived French forward William Howard, meaning that Kidd prevailed in the battle for the team’s 15th and final roster spot.
As for the measurement news, perhaps not unexpectedly, Donovan Mitchell was the headline news, as his height went from 6-3 to 6-1.
Kidd appeared in all five of the team’s preseason games, averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game. He shot 38.9% from the field and just 10% of his attempts from deep. However, he is regarded as an NBA-caliber perimeter defender.
After the Jazz’s fourth preseason game — one in which Kidd played and Howard did not — Kidd spoke of the uncertainty involved in going to work every day unsure if he would be invited back the next.
“It’s tough, it’s always on your mind, but at the end of the day you gotta know it’s just basketball; I’ve been playing this for a long time, come in the game or come into practice and work hard, do what they ask you to do, and whatever happens after that happens,” Kidd said. “The biggest thing is you’ve just got to be you. That’s what all these guys have been telling me, from Jeff [Green] down to Donovan on to Joe [Ingles]. All these guys — Royce [O’Neale], who went through it himself, Georges [Niang], all these guys are telling me, ‘Just be you. Be yourself. If you can be yourself every day, it’ll work out for you.’ ”
After two years at South Plains College, and then one apiece with North Carolina Central and Colorado State, he made his way to Europe, playing a season with Belgian team Limburg United, then a season with the German club Tigers Tübingen, followed by two years in Turkey playing for Darüşşafaka.
That earned Kidd an invite to the Jazz’s Summer League roster, and he averaged 10.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in six games. Veteran big man Ed Davis cited Kidd as one of the pleasant surprises of camp, saying, “I definitely think he has a position in this league.”
Howard played in three preseason games for the Jazz, averaging 6.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 11.5 minutes, on 57.1% shooting overall and 37.5% from deep.
There were no other surprises, roster-wise, as rookie guard Nigel Williams-Goss — a second-round pick from 2017 who spent the past two seasons playing in Europe — was also included among the 15-man group.
Perhaps of more interest to many, though, were the long-awaited official measurements of the players. While no one gained any height, and a few remained the same, almost everyone on the team saw a decline, now that they’re being measured in socks rather than sneakers.
Mitchell, to the apparent surprise of none of his teammates, if their Media Day reactions were any indication, was tied for the biggest decline, losing two inches in height.
“He said he was about 6-4 yesterday,” center Ed Davis noted then. “I think it was ’cause of his hair.”
Mitchell was joined by O’Neale (6-6 to 6-4) and Emmanuel Mudiay (6-5 to 6-3). Rookie two-way guard Justin-Wright Foreman also dropped two inches, going from 6-2 to 6-0.
Among the players who lost an inch from their official measurements: Mike Conley (now 6-0), Davis (6-9), Dante Exum (6-5), Green (6-8), Ingles (6-7), Niang (6-7), Miye Oni (6-5) and Williams-Goss (6-2). The team’s other two-way player, Jarrell Brantley, also dropped an inch to 6-6.
Ingles had joked on Media Day that he’d actually grown an inch over the summer, while also teasing Conley about the bun hairdo he was sporting: “Look at that thing on top of his head. He gained about six inches.”
The new official weights also carried a few surprises. Exum, who showed up to the team’s training camp looking noticeably more muscular, went from 190 pounds to 214. While center Rudy Gobert’s listed height of 7-1 did not change, his weight went from 245 to 258. Forward Bojan Bogdanovic also saw a double-digit weight bump, as the 6-8 sharpshooter went from 216 to 226. The most noteworthy decline was Davis, a lean and wiry center who went from 225 to 218.