Posted by Royce Young
Last week, the Jazz officially announced what many of us already had figured out: Mehmet Okur was done for the rest of the season. Okur had been battling an Achilles injury, an ankle injury and a back injury. He tried to come back briefly during January, but as Okur admitted, it was too soon.
But with Okur shutting down after a lost season filled with injury, some thought he might be leaning towards retirement. Okur says not so fast.
"The smart thing was just to shut me down and get rehab and get ready to go next year," Okur told the Deseret News. "I should be OK. I'm not that old. I'm just 32. It's going to be a huge summer for me. Obviously, I'm going to keep getting rehab, especially start with my left leg and make it stronger, then my back. I can't wait."
Next year is the last year on Okur's contract (he's owed $10.9 million by the Jazz), so obviously he's looking to go ahead and cash those checks. But Okur said that he's got a few more years left in the tank and is hoping to play until his later 30s.
Easy to forget that Okur was a pretty darn good big man before injuries started slowing him down. He was an All-Star in 2007 and as a seven-footer with range past the 3-point line, he always was a difficult matchup for anyone. If he can get healthy, he'd surely make a difference for the Jazz next season and might be able to wrangle another contract after that.