Utah Jazz host 18 free agents in a two-day minicamp. Here’s what the team is looking for

Team brings in some NBA vets and G League stars for the sole purpose of trying to “find guys at the end of the roster that can contribute.”

Atlanta Hawks' Wes Iwundu, left, drives up the court against Philadelphia 76ers' Seth Curry, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, in Philadelphia. The Hawks win 98-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Eighteen NBA free agents are taking part in a two-day minicamp hosted by the Utah Jazz this week.

Eleven of those participating in the sessions at the Zions Bank Basketball Campus — which began Tuesday and will conclude Wednesday — have at least some NBA experience, including the likes of Allen Crabbe, Wes Iwundu, Alize Johnson, Tyler Johnson, T.J. Leaf, Pat McCaw, and Chris Silva.

Thirteen of the players made appearances in the NBA G League during the 2021-22 season.

Bart Taylor, who serves in the dual role of Jazz Vice President of Pro Personnel and Salt Lake City Stars General Manager, said the purpose of the minicamp is simple.

“We need to find guys at the end of the roster that can contribute,” he said after Tuesday’s session concluded.

Taylor said that while all the players involved were familiar to the Jazz in some capacity, there’s an advantage to having them get up close and personal that you just don’t get from watching tape, or even just seeing how they perform in games.

“What we’re looking for, really, is their competitiveness and how hard they play, how they pick up concepts. Getting to know them up close and in-person,” Taylor said. “You can watch guys with another team and see how they play, and you can like ‘em or not like ‘em, but when they’re in your building and you’re able to touch them and coach them and really get a feel for how they interact with other teammates, how they interact with coaches, how they pick things up, that’s a really big piece for us in our evaluation.”

Asked if the free agent minicamp was a side effect of not being able to get as many NBA Draft prospects in for workouts this year on account of not currently holding a draft pick, Taylor said the Jazz were simply making it a point to hold fewer draft workouts than has been their custom (the team held pre-draft workouts last Thursday and on Sunday). He added that the minicamp came about solely as a result of being in contact with agents anyway in an attempt to fill upcoming Summer League rosters.

He added that it wasn’t hard to get players to agree to show up, on account of head coach Quin Snyder’s history of player development.

“That’s been more of the driving force when talking to people — they want to come here because they know this is a place where they can get better,” said Taylor.

And so, all 18 players agreed to come to Salt Lake City for the two days, where Jazz staff will predominantly have them play 5-on-5 games. Team officials not only want to see what players can do physically, but to get a sense of who can be a leader, who can stay within his role and simply focus on doing the things he does best, and not try to get outside of his forte.

And if it just so happens that 13 of the 18 players in town happen to be between 6-foot-5 and 6-9 and might theoretically help the team address its glaring lack of sizable wings, well, that can’t be a bad thing, right?

“We’re always looking for long arms who can play on the wing,” Taylor said. “… It is something that we do look for, so it has shown up in this group.”

None of the players were made available for interviews.

Utah Jazz free agent minicamp roster

(In alphabetical order)

Derrick Alston Jr: 6-9, 190; 24 years old; zero NBA games; averaged 19.6 points, 6.9 rebounds for Salt Lake City Stars of G League in 2021-22

Allen Crabbe: 6-5, 212; 30 years old; 381 career NBA games over seven seasons; 9.1 points, 38.7% on 3s

Kevon Harris: 6-6, 216; 24 years old; zero NBA games; averaged 15.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists for Raptors 905 of G League

Aaron Henry: 6-6, 210; 22 years old; played in six games for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2021-22

Wes Iwundu: 6-6, 195; 27 years old; 226 career NBA games over five seasons; 4.4 points

Alize Johnson: 6-7, 212; 26 years old; 72 career NBA games over four seasons; 2.5 points and 3.0 rebounds

Tyler Johnson: 6-3, 186; 30 years old; 354 career NBA games over eight seasons; 9.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 36.0% 3-pointers

Carlik Jones: 6-1, 185; 24 years old; played in five games for Mavs, Nuggets in 2021-22

Tyrique Jones: 6-9, 238; 25 years old; zero NBA games; former Xavier University player who has played professionally in South Korea, Israel, and Italy

Louis King: 6-7, 205; 23 years old; 26 career NBA games over three seasons; 4.2 points

T.J. Leaf: 6-10, 222; 25 years old; 146 career NBA games over four seasons; 3.3 points on 49.2% FGs, 34.1% 3-pointers

Pat McCaw: 6-7, 181; 26 years old; 199 career NBA games over five seasons; 3.8 points per game

Isaiah Miller: 6-0, 190; 23 years old; zero NBA games; averaged 12.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists for Iowa Wolves of G League

Craig Randle II: 6-4, 185: zero NBA games; averaged 26.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.3 assists for Long Island Nets of G League

Chris Silva: 6-8, 234; 25 years old; 69 career NBA games played over three seasons; 2.6 points, 3.6 rebounds

Deividas Sirvydas: 6-8, 190; 21 years old; 23 career NBA games over two seasons; 1.9 points, 1.5 rebounds

Justin Tillman: 6-8, 229; 26 years old; zero NBA games; averaged 23.5 points, 11.6 rebounds for College Park Skyhawks of G League

Jared Wilson-Frame: 6-6, 220; 25 years old; zero NBA games; 17.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists for Salt Lake City Stars of G League