‘Shoot, he’s an NBA player’: Danuel House Jr. looks to stay a little longer

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SALT LAKE CITY — Danuel House Jr.’s bow-and-arrow celebration took place in Memphis.

Then he came out again.

And even.

And even.

House had four 3-point celebrations in Utah’s 119-109 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Not bad for a player who wasn’t even sure he was on the road. Go ahead and put more arrows in the quiver, Mr. House. (Or at least a little more webbing — it may look like a bow and arrow, but it’s a nod to his son’s favorite superhero, Spider-Man.)

Friday morning, House signed his third 10-day contract with the Jazz, and that night he went 4 of 5 from deep on his way to a team-high 21 points.

“He goes out there and plays defense, plays hard, crashes for the boards, hits some open shots,” Mike Conley said. “He’s not afraid to shoot it. He’ll take a few shots, set back shots, transition shots and so on, ‘no, no, no, no, no, no – yes, yes, yes’, but it’s that’s why you love him because he’s not afraid of any moment he’s not afraid to protect anyone and that’s really special for us even though we haven’t been rewarded by no victory.

At one point, Conley explained why House had a pretty decent chance of staying even after his third (and potentially final) 10-day contract. Barring another COVID-19 hardship contract, to keep House past those next 10 days, the Jazz would have to sign him for the rest of the season.

So does he think he’s shown he’s worthy of this full contract?

“I think I’ve done enough to get a third 10 Day,” House said.

Fair enough.

House, however, checks a lot of the boxes Utah is looking for on the wing. He’s a high-energy defender on the perimeter and a willing (and useful enough) 3-point shooter. These are two traits Coach Quin Snyder holds in very high regard. He is more likely to reprimand a player for not taking a shot than for missing one. He probably won’t have to worry about that with House.

“Just great commotion – he shoots the ball well and makes plays,” Jordan Clarkson said. “Defensively I think he was a big part of our runs last game and helped keep the games close so you had a chance to win. He’s playing really well. I’m really proud of him. I am happy that he is able to have this opportunity to come in and play and make an impact.”

House finished 3 of 5 on the rim and just 2 points off his career high he set in 2019 against the Miami Heat. House has never been a 20-point scorer — and don’t expect him to become that with the Jazz, no matter how long he stays — but he had a successful NBA career. He was a big part of Houston’s playoffs in 2019 and 2020, where he averaged 26 minutes in 16 games over those two seasons.

It wasn’t that long ago, and House is only 28. It looks like there’s even more in the tank.

“Shoot, he’s an NBA player,” Jordan Clarkson said.

He’s at least officially one for the next nine days – and maybe longer.

“I knew I had to go out there and make the most of the opportunity and make sure I’m able to propel the team and not pull the team back,” House said.

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