One of the most beloved Michigan State basketball players in recent memory has officially found his new NBA home.
After going two rounds without hearing his name called, as expected, Joey Hauser was signed very quickly after the draft by the Utah Jazz. He inked a two-way deal with the Jazz which basically means that he can be on Utah’s NBA roster as well as its G-League affiliate’s. He is going to gain some very valuable experience at each level.
Only two players per organization can be signed to one of these deals so it’s a pretty big deal that Hauser was one of Utah’s top options.
This also makes me optimistic about his future in the NBA. Maybe Utah saw enough in Joey to believe that he can play his way onto the roster after learning in the G-League.
It’s going to be fun to watch him grow in the NBA Summer League as well.
From zero to Michigan State basketball hero
When Hauser committed to Michigan State after starting his career at Marquette, everyone expected big things from the former top-50 recruit. He was supposed to provide an offensive spark to the Spartans and he did that early in his first year after redshirting in 2019-2020.
And then conference play began, he went on a little cold streak, and it looked like he was a shell of his former self. That carried over into the early parts of the 2021-22 season. He was often criticized and the fanbase seemed to turn on him even when Tom Izzo wouldn’t.
But he snapped out of it in the NCAA Tournament, being the reason that Michigan State was able to beat Davidson. His success there carried over into a big 2022-23 season as he put up career numbers.
In fact, he went from 7.3 points in 2021-22 to 14.4 in 2022-23 and his rebounds, assists, steals, free throw percentage, 3-point percentage, and field goal percentages all increased.
Hauser went from a guy who fans were counting down the days until he left to a player who was the most trusted and arguably the most consistent. He went from no NBA future to a guy who now finds himself in a coveted two-way contract for non-draftees.
Joey went from zero to hero and now his basketball career is far from over.