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Categories: Utah Jazz

Do we miss Wesley Matthews?

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Wesley Matthews against Kenyon Martin

Wesley Matthews was the best undrafted player last season. Now he’s the person all the undrafted rookies dream of.

After playing four years in Marquette University, he waited for 50 rounds of 2009 NBA draft. None of the teams ever picked him up. He was invited to the Utah Jazz camp. The Jazz needed some wing players because Kyle Korver underwent surgery during off season and was supposed to miss the first two months or so. What a lucky man he is. Another key shooting guard CJ Miles was injured during the training camp.

Matthews didn’t miss his chance. He had a good defense skills as well as hustles. He knew how to move in Sloan’s offense and was able to make open three pointers. He played all 82 games and made Ronnie Brewer, who was soon to be a FA, be traded to Grizzlies for a future first round pick. During the playoff, he matched up with Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant and proved himself to be capable of defending the top scorers in the league.

Matthews was supposed to be Jazzman again, when he obtained the status of restricted FA. Jazz front knew that he’s good and Jazz fans were talking about re-signing him at around $3 million per year, UNTIL THE TRAILBALZERS OFFERED HIM $35MILLION 5 YEAR DEAL.

Of course, Jazz didn’t match the deal and now he’s in the Trailblazers. He led scoring with 21 points in the first pre-season game against the Jazz. Do we miss him now?

Nate McMillan, the head-coach of Portland made some compliments on Matthews. McMillan said Matthews makes good combination in the backcourts with any of the other guards like Brandon Roy, Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez.

In my opinion, he’s a good player and can be a starter or a key sixth-man in any team in the league. I wish him well because he’s a former Jazz player who devoted himself to the team. However, $35 million / 5 year deal is not very reasonable contract. He played four years in college, which suggest his skills are already near the peak. He doesn’t have potential to be a dominating player. He’s slightly undersized player as well, which induces problems when defending players like Kevin Durant or Hedo Turkoglu. The Jazz wouldn’t have matche the deal even if it was $25 Million/5 year. We’re going to be able to see if Portland payed its $35 for what it’s worth and that’s another reason that I’m waiting for the 2010-2011 season so bad.

Categories: Utah Jazz

Re-signing Andrei Kirilenko?

October 6, 2010 4 comments

Saltlake City Tribune reported Andrei Kirilenko hopes to re-sign with the Jazz. He’s been playing for Utah since the 2001-2002 season.
The Jazz has been good about keeping their franchise players. Mark Eaton and John Stockton were drafted by Utah and never left the team throughout their career. Karl Malone also played for Utah all the season he played except the last one he played in the Lakers.
Based on the Jazz’s team style, the team will consider re-signing him seriously, or at least they would pretend they’re working on it. Andrei was definitely the Jazz’s franchise player and used to be the man before Deron Williams joined the team in 2005. He can block shots with his extremely long arms, which provide the Jazz strong paint-zone defense; He know how to pass the ball in Jerry Sloan’s motion offense; He’s a nice fast break finisher.
But the issue left to discuss is here; Is this 29-year-old forward would be healthy enough to contribute to the Jazz for next 3 or 4 years? Kirilenko played only 58 games last season, which suggests he missed 24 games. That’s almost 1/3 of the entire season. What was worse is that most of the games he missed were at the end of the season and the playoff days that the Jazz needed him so bad.
In my opinion, the Jazz should sign him only when the contract is moderate enough to embrace the possibility of loosing him due to injury. It’s cool to keep the franchise player from wearing another team’s uniform. I just hope AK would be willing to sign with the Jazz even if the contract might not be the best one in terms of financial benefit. The Jazz already paid him far more than he deserves.

Categories: Utah Jazz

Carlos Boozer Injured and Reflection on Jazz’s Decision

October 6, 2010 2 comments

carlos boozer

ESPN Chicago reported Monday Carlos Boozer will be sidelined for the next eight weeks. Boozer was sign-and-traded from Utah Jazz to Chicago Bulls in July with a five-year contract worth about $75 million.

Jazz players including Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap said they felt sorry about him and defended him in an interview with Saltlake City Tribune saying that it was just unfortunate accident rather than Boozer’s fault.

Even though Boozer has been talking about moving to the big market teams, he used to say that he prefers to stay in the Jazz as long as he can get a decent and reasonable contract. Kevin O’Connor, Utah Jazz General Manager, allegedly made it the team’s off-season priority to sign Boozer. However Utah didn’t sign him and then the Bulls took him with the contract that is below the expectation that the Jazz was supposed to offer.

Throughout eight years of his career in NBA, he missed 146 games that are a little more than 22% of the total games he could have played if he was healthy. His injury-prone career was one of the reason that Jazz decided not to sign him during summer, and the Bulls are now figuring that out.

Jazz could obtain multimillion dollars trade exception in the the sign-and-trade for Boozer, and consumed it to trade Al Jefferson from Minnesota Timberwolves. The premise to compliment O’Connor would be to see Al Jefferson being healthy throughout the season. However, so far, the winner is the Utah Jazz.

Categories: Utah Jazz

[open topic assginment]Utah Jazz’s Open Scrimmage & Changes for Upcoming Season

October 3, 2010 1 comment

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Utah Jazz had its open scrimmage Satursday in Energy Solution Arena. The team had a chance to introduce the new court design as well as new players such as Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, Raja Bell, Earl Watson to the Jazz fans.

During the open scrimmage, CJ Miles spained his left wrist and is going to be re-evaluated for Monday’s practice.

The 2010-2011 season will be a big season for the Jazz since the Jazz picked up its rookie at 9th pick, which was first time for the team to use such a high-level pick since 2004 Draft when they picked Deron Williams, 2009-2011 All-Star guard with its third pick overall.

Jazz picked Gordon Hayward, the 20-year-old hero of Butler University that nearly overthrew Duke in the last NCAA final. He’s such a versitile player that is expected to fill in the small forward position and eventually replace Andrei Kirilenko as his contract expires by the end of this upcoming season.

Another big addition to the team is definately Al Jefferson who was traded from Minnesota Timberwolves in July. He can play both power forward and center position, which is great in the sense that Memet Okur, the starting center of the last seson, is expected to be absent for the first a couple of month as he recovers from the Achilles’ tendon surgery he had in May.

Upcoming season will be a very interesting since the Jazz’s roster has been changed in huge scale changing 40 percent of its starting members(Al Jefferson, Raja Bell) and adding up two of key bench players(Gordon Hayward, Earl Watson)
The Jazz fans will be pleased if they go higher than they did in last season, which was the second round. After this season Jazz will have a lot more salary cap space as Andrei Kirilenko and Memet Okur’s big contracts expire, enabling it to use potentially $27 million, which suggest the team is supposed to get better as time goes.

The Los Angeles Lakers has defeated the Utah Jazz for the last three seasons in the playoff. But this season, the Jazzmans will say they’re ready to win. Deon Williams said in his interview with Saltlake City Tribune that he officially hates the Lakers. This season will the Jazz fans time to see how likely they’re going to be able to beat the L.A., according to Deron Williams.

Categories: Utah Jazz