Johnny Juzang signs two-way deal with Utah Jazz after NBA Draft
Johnny Juzang will begin his NBA career on a two-way contract.
The former standout UCLA scorer went undrafted Thursday night in the 2022 NBA Draft, but shortly after the draft ended, Juzang agreed to a two-way deal with the Utah Jazz, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Utah did not own a pick among the 58 selections, and there was some talk about the Jazz trading or buying their way into the field, but that ultimately didn’t come to pass. They signed both of their allotted two-way deals Thursday night.
UCLA’s Johnny Juzang has agreed to a two-way contract with the Utah Jazz, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2022
As a two-way player, Juzang will be eligible to play in 50 of Utah’s 82 regular-season games. Juzang will not, however, be eligible for the postseason roster. He’ll be allowed to practice with the team, travel with the team, and sit on the bench for the remaining 32 games as an inactive member of the team if the team chooses, or he can spend time with their team’s G League affiliate. For the Jazz, that’s the Salt Lake City Stars.
The contract value on a two-way deal is half of the rookie minimum salary, or approximately $502,000. That contract is also non-guaranteed, meaning a player could be cut at any point, but they are also able to be signed to multi-year deals, which has happened with a number of two-way standouts in recent years.
Though going undrafted might feel like a disappointment for Juzang, a two-way opportunity will certainly afford him some developmental opportunities with the Jazz and a chance to play quite a bit of basketball bouncing back and forth between the NBA and G League.
The 6-foot-7 guard was the driving force behind UCLA’s Final Four run in 2020-21 and then an equally important piece in the Bruins’ run to the Pac-12 title game in 2021-22 and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
A transfer from Kentucky, Juzang spent the last two seasons with his hometown Bruins. He appeared in 57 games (55 starts) and averaged 15.8 points on 44% shooting from the floor and 36% shooting from 3-point range. Juzang blossomed into a go-to scorer under coach Mick Cronin, immediately bursting onto the scene in 2020.
After just 12 minutes a night and three points a game for Kentucky as a freshman, Juzang scored 16 a game for the Bruins during the 2020-21 season. He had 20 or more eight times his first year in Westwood and averaged 22.8 points a game during UCLA’s remarkable run from the First Four to the Final Four in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. He declared for the 2021 NBA Draft but elected to come back for the 2021-22 season.
Juzang got off to a blazing hot start to the year, but a COVID outbreak in the team and an ankle injury suffered mid-season made things a bit choppy. Still, he averaged just under 16 a game to go with 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists and earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 First Team.