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J.J. O'brien earns spot on Jazz summer league roster

Undrafted J.J. O'brien will play in the Utah Jazz summer league this summer.

J.J. O'brien during the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, NC.
J.J. O'brien during the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, NC.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. O’Brien is the lone San Diego State Aztecs product to garner an invite to camp following the end of the 2015 NBA draft.

Coach Steve Fisher has praised O’Brien as one of the smartest basketball players he has ever coached, but a shaky and unproductive backcourt forced Fisher to implement O'Brien into the backcourt. Fisher's unwavering trust in O'Brien's ability to adapt was exhibited in O'Brien playing a career-high of 1183 minutes. Leading into a senior season as his most productive having a 46.6 shooting percentage, and averaging 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game. Being an Aztec also means there’s an emphasis on defense. O’Brien led the Aztecs in steals (51), but was versatile to guard against all five positions on the court.

His highlight reel won’t reveal impressive ball-handling or 360-dunks. The stats aren't impressive because of his seemingly-vanilla stats O’Brien has had trouble being a standout player. O'Brien didn't dominate his senior year like Xavier Thames previously. The key point in O'Brien's game is the stuff under the high-top fade-- he knows how to facilitate the ball and knows who to get it into the hands of the right people, leading the team with 88 assists.

Some of the draft needs for the Utah Jazz was looking for a solid-lengthy wing who could slide into the backcourt with Trey Burke. That's why they picked up Olivier Hanlan (Boston College) at 42. The Jazz have Trey Burke and Alec Burks but it looks like to add to the youth of the Jazz, they’re going to have to add defense. Utah Jazz have the youngest roster in the NBA and their players have a lot of upside. There is a still a chance for O’Brien to compete for a roster spot.