By Mike Misek

2010/11 Utah Jazz Payroll: $54.8 million
2010/11 NBA Salary Cap: $56.1 million
Roughly: $1.3 million under cap


Carlos Boozer – Unrestricted Free Agent
Kyle Korver – Unrestricted Free Agent
Kyrylo Fesenko – Qualifying Offer for $1.0 million
Wes Matthews – Qualifying Offer for $932K
Sundiata Gaines – Qualifying Offer for $762K
Othyus Jeffers – Qualifying Offer for $762K

Draft Picks – 9th and 55th overall picks

The Good: The season of the Utah Jazz was nothing short of incredible. Blindsided by Boozer’s decision to opt in to his deal, Kevin O’Connor had to make multiple moves to save money all while the team won 53 games. There are not a long list of franchises who can move two former first round picks to save money, and replace them with an undrafted rookie and a NBDL alum, without seeing any effect on the team’s performance. The team was giving real minutes to Wesley Matthews, Othyus Jeffers, Kyrylo Fesenko, and Ronnie Price during the stretch run of the regular season. Fesenko and Matthews were starting in the playoffs. It speaks to the greatness of Jerry Sloan, the Jazz front office, and the legitimate stardom of Deron Williams that the team could take a Golden State approach to filling their roster and still make the second round of the playoffs.

The Bad: If the Jazz were able to turn straw into gold this past season, is it possible that they will be able to replicate the feat when their second best player leaves this summer as a free agent? The Jazz have none of their previous four first round picks left on their roster, and the second round has only netted them Paul Millsap and a pair of European prospects still in need of seasoning. It is one thing to find role players who can supplement the abilities of the stars, but it is another to find a star. For the Jazz to continue being a 50 win team, they will either need to hit a home run with their lottery pick or turn the clock back on Kirilenko to 2006.  

The Future: The Jazz will enter the summer over the salary cap and one mid-level signing under the tax line. If the four restricted free agents are on the financial books for the qualifying offers, the Jazz will be about $4.5 million under the tax with one roster spot short of the league mandated 13. Such conditions make it difficult to see the Jazz working out a sign-and-trade with Boozer where they take back a matching contract. Also, it is not outside the realm of possibilities that Wesley Matthews receives a free agent tender sheet from another team. As great as he has been as an undrafted rookie, the team will have to determine what dollar amount will be too much to match.  

At least theoretically, they could replace Boozer’s production offensively and would be a much better team defensively with Millsap, giving more power forward minutes to Kirilenko, and a drafted wing. If the Jazz are able to bring in another rangy small forward who can effectively spread the floor and defend the perimeter players who are too strong and long for C.J. Miles or Wes Matthews, they would have a pretty good chance of absorbing the blow that comes with losing a two-time All-Star and two-time member of Team USA in the Olympics. 



  1. Wing in the draft
    The comment of having AK team up with Milsap to fill Boozers time at PF is why drafting Babbitt to play the 3 wouldn’t be a bad move. Babbitt has alot going for him.

  2. Jazz
    aran, where’s the state of the cap grade? If the jazz could get a legitimate 4-5 player who can be a low post threat, they can let go of boozer. Whiteside , Monroe, Davis, Udoh, Patterson

  3. Jazz
    Well, it was just last season that The Jazz traded their #1 pick Eric Maynor to OKC for a tuna sandwich.
    The questions now have to be whether they will match an offer to W. Mathews or afford be willing to afford their #1 pick. Utah has always been unbelievable at selecting players as evidenced by the fact that they only have 2 1st rd picks on their roster (Kirilenko/Williams), the rest being 2nd rd picks and freeagents.
    Kirelinko’s deal expires after this year at about 17 million…. it would help a ton to get rid of it. It’s just hard to imagine any team taking that contract on even for a season.

    • maynor trade
      Jazz traded Maynor so that the Thunder would take on Harprings contract, and if they had gotten a tuna sandwich, it would have been better then what they got.

  4. Depends on sloan
    What approach does to the game does Sloan want to take. If he wants to play a half court style of game they could choose Aldrich, Patterson, or Babbit. If they want to try to run some and play AK47 at the 4 spot they could draft a solid wing who can play both 2 and 3. If they take that route they could go with Henry or George. I think henry could fit what they need very well if they want to play more uptempo.

  5. They gotta go big – didn’t
    They gotta go big – didn’t the Lakers big men just have their way with them inside?

    Boozer is gone, AK is gone after this year, and Okur is coming off a serious injury & not exactly young, either.

    So….. aside from Milsap [good, but undersized] they have AK & Okur – two older guys with serious questions about their health.

    The pick will be Patterson, Monroe, Davis, Aldrich, or Udoh. I’d say any of them would be a great fit in Utah. They can target a wing player w/ their 2nd round pick.

  6. Kosta Koufos
    I don’t mean to be “that guy”, but Kosta Koufos was drafted in the first round in the ’08 draft. I know he played a lesser role than Fesenko, but he’s still on the roster and though he hasn’t shown a lot of promise, he still has time to develop.

    It’s just a slight correction since so many people have said things like “The Jazz have none of their previous four first round picks left on their roster” or “they only have 2 1st rd picks on their roster (Kirilenko/Williams), the rest being 2nd rd picks and freeagents.”

  7. Utah Jazz
    Well, like many say, Boozer is leaving. The Jazz now are faced with a team that needs to find ways to replace Boozer. However, Millsap will definitely find more time playing at the 4. Okur is injured and AK is eating a large amount of money. Hopefully he’ll contribute a lot similar to 2006’s AK. They should move AK back to PF, a role where he got more points, rebounds, and blocks. Overall, health and size is an issue here with the team.

    With the 9th pick, draft Monroe, Patterson, Udoh and use the 55th pick to grab a wing. Re-sign Matthews, he was a breakout player who surprised many. D-Will needs some help, he worked wonders and carried the team when it all matters.

  8. Go Big
    Bigs are hard to find, so drafting a big would be essential. Cole Aldridge and Greg Monroe fit that bill best who both come from defensive minded programs and are used to being coached and avoid finding themselves in Sloan’s doghouse. Personal pick is Monroe, who is skilled and tough and will fit right in. (remember they really wanted Roy Hibbert a couple years ago who is in a similar mold out of Georgetown).

    It would be nice to see if Koufos has learned anything from his time watching and playing in the D-League, he certainly has the tools to develop into an Okur type player. This year he’ll have every opportunity to prove himself as Okur will most likely be out most of the season with the same injury Elton Brand had a few years back.

    Resigning Matthews is a must. They’ve been looking for a Hornacek to D-Will’s Stockton since they drafted him and it apears they’ve found him. He is definitely a SLoan guy and should be signed long term.

    Another wing is not high priority as AK will be logging major minutes at the 3/4 playing in a contract year. I see him putting in a Ginobili type season and being a major factor for them.

    2nd round pick should go to Dexter Pittman, Jerome Randle or Luke Harangody.

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