Utah Jazz waive Juancho Hernangomez, as roster reshaping continues

Forward was productive after coming over in the Joe Ingles trade, but the front office decided against keeping him at a $7 million salary.

The Utah Jazz waived forward Juancho Hernangomez on Thursday.

Hernangomez, a 26-year-old forward from Spain, came to the team along with Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the February deal that sent franchise staple Joe Ingles to Portland.

Initially considered just a salary-filler throw-in in the deal, the 6-foot-9 forward unexpectedly became a part of coach Quin Snyder’s rotation, supplanting free-agent addition Rudy Gay, thanks to his combination of hustle and shooting.

Hernangomez appeared in 17 games with the Jazz, starting nine, and averaging 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.7% from the field and 43.8% on 3-pointers.

However, with the team set to potentially make big changes this summer, the front office had a decision to make on his contract. Hernangomez was set to make a base salary of $6,632,880, while carrying a cap hit of $7,307,130 for the 2022-23 season. However, that figure was only guaranteed if he was on a team’s roster beyond June 30.

Jazz brass apparently did not see the value in retaining Hernangomez on that salary figure.

The move is just the latest to re-shape the roster on a busy first day of NBA free agency. Previously on Thursday, the Jazz declined to make qualifying offers to forward Eric Paschall and guard Trent Forrest. Subsequently, the team traded starting wing Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets for the 2023 first-round draft pick tied to the Philadelphia 76ers.