Utah Jazz guard Trent Forrest (3) looks for an open teammate during an NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.
Mengshin Lin, Deseret News
As the NBA playoffs were approaching, the Utah Jazz — with an open roster spot — needed to make a decision.
The spot had been left open as an insurance policy and to allow flexibility should any intriguing prospects become available. That’s not unique to the Jazz, as it’s quite common for NBA teams to operate with that 15th roster spot available.
It had long been believed that the Jazz would convert Trent Forrest’s two-way contract to a standard NBA contract to fill in that last spot and make him eligible to play in the playoffs.
Forrest had spent the last two seasons improving and gaining the trust of everyone in the organization and, God forbid anything happen to Donovan Mitchell or Mike Conley in the postseason, Forrest would be able to seamlessly slip in to provide sturdy relief minutes.
According to team sources, while higher up and more influential roster moves would be decided on by the front office, with input from the coaching staff and other departments, when it came to the 15th roster spot — for a player who wouldn’t likely see the floor much in the postseason — the team would defer to head coach Quin Snyder and what his preference would be.
It was a pretty open secret that Snyder liked Forrest and trusted him quite a bit. The two-way guard became a regular part of the Jazz’s rotation, was getting playing time ahead of rookie Jared Butler and was the first option the Jazz coaching staff turned to when there was an injury in the backcourt lineup.
“One of the things that I’d heard about Quin is that he don’t usually trust a lot of his younger players,” Forrest said, “so it definitely meant a lot for me to know that he trusted in me to make plays and things like that.
“It was definitely kind of a big confidence boost for me.”
Though a wrist injury and a concussion kept Forrest sidelined for eight games late in the 2021-22 season, it still looked like he would be the best option for the final roster spot.
But, in his first game back from the concussion, just four days before the end of the regular season, Forrest suffered a badly sprained left foot.
The type of sprain the Forrest suffered (midfoot) would likely mean that he would be unable to play through the postseason, so if the Jazz were going to convert Forrest’s contract, it would largely be ceremonial.
There wouldn’t be any financial difference for the Jazz or Forrest at that point, and Forrest wouldn’t be playing, but the Jazz went forward anyway, converting Forrest to standard deal on the final day of the regular season.
Even though Forrest didn’t play in a game after his contract was converted, he said it was important to him.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News
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