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Jazz's Trent Forrest celebrates new contract with a win and a wave

Utah Jazz center Udoka Azubuike sets a pick so guard Trent Forrest can get past San Antonio Spurs guard Justin Turner during an NBA Summer League game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.

Utah Jazz center Udoka Azubuike sets a pick so guard Trent Forrest can get past San Antonio Spurs guard Justin Turner during an NBA Summer League game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — Trent Forrest looked over to the Dallas Mavericks bench and waved. That's one way to celebrate signing a new contract.

Forrest signed a new two-way deal with the Utah Jazz Wednesday afternoon, and that night he sank the game-winning free throw in Utah's 81-80 double-overtime win over the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League. He then channeled his inner Damian Lillard and gave a small wave toward the Dallas bench.

It turns out a new contract and a dominant run through Summer League breeds some confidence.

A two-way contract is a guaranteed deal in which the player gets to play for both the NBA team and its G League affiliate. Forrest signed a similar contract last season after going undrafted from Florida State. While not officially on the 15-man roster, the deal keeps Forrest, who has been one of the best guards in all of Summer League, in the organization

"I just feel good to be back with the Jazz," Forrest said. "Just a team that I'm familiar with. I love being around those guys. I mean, the rookies that came in last year but even our older guys. I mean, we're really like a tight group, and they look out to help me a lot so I just enjoy being around those guys and I learned so much. I'm definitely glad to be back."

Even if it is on a two-way deal. Forrest is essentially the 16th man on the roster and will get the chance to play if the Jazz need him — just like they did last season. Forrest appeared in 30 games with the Jazz during the regular season and four more in the postseason.

"Especially for me from being undrafted to now, I mean, still being able to be in the league," Forrest said. "... It means a lot because it means I can stay and play in this league."

Forrest said Donovan Mitchell and others reached out to him over the summer and expressed how much they wanted him to return in some capacity. It's clear the Jazz are glad he's back, especially the summer version of the team.

Forrest had 16 points and nine assists to once again lead Utah to a Summer League win. The team is now 2-0 in Vegas play after going undefeated in the Salt Lake City Summer League the week prior.

And due to Summer League's interesting overtime rules, Forrest even got to celebrate a true walk-off win.

Since the result of any Summer League game is more or less meaningless, no one wants to see any game go on for longer than needed — and the Jazz were certainly prolonging Wednesday's contest.

Elijah Hughes made a late 3-pointer in regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime. Then near the end of the first overtime, Udoka Azubuike rebounded Hughes' free-throw miss and dunked it to help send the game into a second extra session. Once the game got to that point, the rule was simple: the first point wins.

Forrest wasted little time to be the hero. After Azubuike — who had 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocks — won the tip, Forrest took the ball and drove to the rim. He didn't score but he drew a foul, which gave him a chance to end it at the free-throw line.

He missed the first but nailed the second. And then he waved.

Correction: In an earlier version, Udoka Azubuike's last name was incorrectly spelled Azuibuke.

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