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Tag:Jazz
Posted on: July 13, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 10:14 pm
 

The other side: Utah snags Jefferson

Posted by Royce Young

Quietly, the Jazz are building.

Building a championship contender? To be determined. Building a quality, in-the-mix team in the West? Absolutely.

Yeah, yeah, Utah lost Kyle Korver and Carlos Boozer to other teams in free agency. Yes, Wesley Matthews may be playing in Portland next year. But the Jazz may already have Matthews' replacement lined up in Ronnie Brewer. And it appears they have Boozer's in Al Jefferson.

Can Jefferson replace the All-Star Boozer? I suppose that's yet to be determined. But Jefferson is an actual center more than Boozer who was a four that often masqueraded as a five, while Mehmet Okur hovered around the 3-point line.

Coming off a second knee injury, Jefferson managed a quality season of averaging 17.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg. Boozer went for 19.5 and 11.2 last season. Having Jefferson allows Utah to move Paul Millsap into the starting lineup, something the Jazz clearly kept him around to potentially do when they matched Portland's four-year, $32 million offer.

Now with Jefferson, Utah has a more complete starting five. Deron Williams at point guard. Ronnie Brewer/Wesley Matthews off the ball. C.J. Miles playing small forward. Millsap at power forward with Jefferson teaming inside with him at the five. That's a pretty stout group. Especially when you think about Jefferson playing with Williams. If you can't see Jerry Sloan's mechanical pick and roll offense flowing beautifully between those two, you're probably a Nuggets' fan having nightmares about it.

And you know who Utah matches up much better with now? That team in purple and gold.

This all hinges on Jefferson continuing to heal and regain his form. Again, it's not like he was bad last year. Heck, he played in over 70 games. Though it was pretty obvious that he wore down late in the season, with another summer of conditioning and rehab, one should expect him to return to his old, dominant post-playing self.

And if he does, look out. I'm not saying Williams to Jefferson is the new Stockton to Malone, but it's certainly not that far off.

Posted on: July 12, 2010 10:07 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 10:43 pm
 

Report: Utah nearing deal for Jefferson (Updated)

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE : Based on this tweet from Jazz CEO Greg Miller, I'm assuming the deal is done.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Utah Jazz have emerged as the front-runner for Minnesota big man Al Jefferson. Originally, the Mavericks were thought to be in the lead, but Utah's cap situation obviously has improved with the subtractions of Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver due to free agency.

As Stein says, Jefferson's contract would slide into the $14 million trade exception that Utah created earlier this week in its sign-and-trade deal with Boozer.

As mentioned when Dallas was in play for Jefferson , the Wolves are looking for quality assets and not necessarily just a salary dump, though Minnesota would prefer not to take much back.

If the deal goes through, clearly the Jazz re-emerge as a major contender in the West. Jefferson still hasn't entirely recovered from a second knee injury, but the Minnesota big man is just 25 and averaged 17-9 last season for the Wolves. Team him with Paul Millsap inside with Deron Williams setting things up and you've got a quality roster.

Also, as is with any deal involving Minnesota, KAAAAHHHHNNN.

Posted on: July 10, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 7:18 pm
 

Report: Portland signs Matthews to offer sheet

Posted by Royce Young

The Blazers have signed guard Wesley Matthews, a restricted free agent, to a five-year, $34 million offer sheet, Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

If you need help with that, that's $6.8 million a year. Matthews had a nice rookie campaign averaging 9.4 points per game and turning into one of last year's rookie surprises. If you remember, he was an undrafted free agent. And now he's turned a quality year into a potentially large contract. Pretty, pretty good for a guy that didn't hear his name called last June.

The report says that the Blazers offered Matthews a frontloaded deal that would pay him close to $9.2 million the first year in an effort to discourage Utah from matching. Maybe Portland's just messing with the Jazz though. If you recall, the Blazers offered a four-year, $32 million deal to Paul Millsap last year that forced Utah's hand to match it. The Jazz did and kept Millsap. Hard to figure if Matthews is important enough match on.

Obviously without Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, Utah's got more space, and more need. Matthews signed the contract Saturday night and the Jazz have seven days to match.

 
 
 
 
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