The bright lights of Las Vegas are something to behold.
Whether it’s strolling the breathtakingly long and crowded Strip or experiencing the boisterous roar of the casinos where dreams – rarely – come true, Vegas has something for everyone.
But for the Utah Jazz, Vegas will ideally serve a prominent purpose.
For many players on the Utah summer league team, Vegas is much more than the bright lights of the Strip and casinos. It’s about what they do under the bright lights on the basketball court, where many want to further their basketball careers.
Bruno Caboclo has the most NBA experience of the Utah roster, having appeared in 105 games (20 starts) for the Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets. However, the former first-round pick hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2020-21 season and is looking to fill a potential role for the Jazz in the upcoming season.
Like Caboclo, Justin Robinson is no stranger to playing in the league. He played 25 games last season alone and demonstrated his ability to adapt to multiple scenarios.
While Caboclo and Robinson have a variety of NBA experiences, the most popular player on the team is also the most difficult to overlook.
With “tacko, tacko, tacko” chants falling off the rafters in recent days, the honor of the most popular player on the team is UCF’s 7ft 6 center. Tacko Fall is not only loved for his overall skills as one of the greatest players in league history, but also for his friendly and easy-going demeanor that makes him such a valued teammate.
As players use Summer League to make their mark on their respective careers, October sees two players looking to step up and take bigger roles with Jazz.
Jared Butler and Xavier Sneed saw action in the NBA last season, competing alongside stars Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson and the other Jazz players.
While Sneed offers significant value at 6-foot-5 with good length and athleticism, Butler is entering his second season in the NBA and is in contention for the backup point guard spot next season.
The good news for the Jazz is that they do not go into Saturday’s first game against the Atlanta Hawks without experience.
They played three games in the Salt Lake City Summer League earlier this week. Although they failed in all three, there was a significant improvement in every game as predicted since the team had only started training and playing together last weekend.
Butler saw the biggest improvement, shining in Thursday’s 95-84 loss to Memphis.
He finished the game with 22 points, seven assists and seven rebounds — a far cry from his 10-point performance in Tuesday’s opener.
“Jared was better tonight,” said Summer League coach Bryan Bailey. “We fought defensively for him. I think he had a few properties where he guarded really well, kept the guys in front and got on the fast track. … He finished with seven assists. I think he played a good game overall.”
Regardless of what happens in the next four games, it will give others a chance to continue making their mark – all of which comes under the bright lights of Las Vegas.