Miye Oni’s time with the Utah Jazz is over.
In 2019, the Jazz became the first team to secure an Ivy League player through the NBA Draft since the Minnesota Timberwolves took Penn’s Jerome Allen 24 years earlier by getting Oni in a trade with the Golden State Warriors, who had taken the Yale standout with the No. 58 pick.
Oni appeared in 80 games with the Jazz, averaging 2.8 minutes per contest in 16 outings this season – down from 9.6 minutes in 54 games last season.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 4, 2022
The Jazz cut Oni loose for cash considerations Tuesday, dealing him to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with a future second-round pick. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Thunder will waive Oni and open up a roster slot ahead of next month’s trade deadline.
That leaves Oni’s future in the NBA uncertain. Oni averaged 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game during his time with the Jazz.
It’s tough to see the team that Oni devoted himself to for nearly three seasons dump him for cash ostensibly to avoid being locked into paying him the full $1.78 million coming due on his partially guaranteed contract, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. But the NBA is a business that Oni is bigger than.
Calling Oni a “legit interesting dude,” the Deseret News’s Sarah Todd recalled on Twitter that Oni was “possibly the busiest Jazz player,” recording music, finishing his degree from Yale with online classes, studying real estate and following other interests while having also competed for the Nigerian national team and performed community outreach.
For now, though, Oni’s next move is unclear.