Sunday, September 24 2023

The Utah Jazz are signing forward Luka Samanic through the 2023-24 season, according to agents George Roussakis and Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports. In late March, the Croatian basketball star inked a 10-day contract with Utah. His new deal includes guaranteed money and trigger dates.

Samanic, 23, was selected 19th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2019 NBA Draft. During his rookie 2019-20 season, the 6-foot-10 wing appeared in four games with San Antonio. Samanic averaged 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 16 minutes per game.

Referring to a few NBA betting sites, the Jazz are officially eliminated from playoff contention, following Thursday night’s 114-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sportsbooks are giving the Phoenix Suns the best odds to win the Western Conference.

Moreover, Samanic shot 31.3% from the field and 37.5% beyond the arc in his rookie year. In the 2020-21 season, the forward made 33 appearances. The Croatia native logged 3.7 points, 2.1 boards, and 9.3 minutes per contest. To add to these statistics, the first-rounder shot a career-best 44.8% from the floor.

Through seven appearances and two starts this season with the Jazz, Samanic is averaging career highs of 7.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 20.2 minutes per game. He’s also shooting a career-high-tying 44.8% from the field. However, a seven-game sample size is not much to go off of.

Utah Jazz sign forward Luka Samanic through the 2023-24 season, new contract includes guaranteed money and trigger dates

In Utah’s 135-133 win loss to the Los Angeles Lakers this past Tuesday, Luka Samanic scored a season-high 12 points in 23 minutes as a starter. Along with notching four rebounds, two dimes, and one steal, Samanic shot 5-of-6 (83.3%) from the floor and drained two 3-pointers.

Additionally, the third-year wing signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Boston Celtics last September. While with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate, the forward averaged 22 points, 8.1 boards, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steal, and 29.3 minutes per game. Based on these aforementioned stats, he can succeed with the Jazz.

Samanic led the G League Showcase Cup in total rebounds with 184. Not to mention, the forward ranked ninth in points (594) during the regular season, eighth in field goals (226) and 2-point field goals (109), 41st in 3-pointers (49), sixth in offensive rebounds (56), and third in defensive rebounds (128).

Furthermore, in Samanic’s early years of his basketball career, the forward represented Croatia in multiple FIBA events. In 2017, he helped his team win 90-84 over Great Britain at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship Division B en route to winning MVP and the gold medal.

At the NBA level, Luka Samanic is showing signs of improvement. If the Croatian can play consistent basketball with the Jazz — similar to his outings with the Maine Celtics in the G League — another multi-year extension could be in his future.

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Source: Basketball Insider


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