13 July 2010

Al Jefferson to the Jazz

The Utah Jazz have finalized the terms of their expected trade with Minnesota to acquire big man Al Jefferson.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Jazz have agreed to send two future first-round picks to the Wolves in exchange for Jefferson. The deal is expected to be announced later Tuesday.

Sources told ESPN.com on Monday night that the Jazz and Timberwolves were on the verge of completing a trade that would slot Jefferson's contract into the $14 million trade exception that Utah created earlier this week in its sign-and-trade deal sending Carlos Boozer to the Chicago Bulls.

Excellent news for Jazz fans everywhere. I admit I was worried that Kevin O'Connor and company would stand pat after losing Boozer and Korver, partly in order to save money and partly because there just weren't any great big men free agents available.

But just when I thought the Jazz management couldn't possibly be any dumber, they go do and do something like this and totally redeem themselves.

Jefferson is an excellent replacement for Boozer, and an upgrade in many ways. For starters, he averaged close to 20 and 10 in Minnesota, where he was expected to earn every one of those 20 points on his own in the low block. I expect his scoring to go up at least 6 or 8 points per game this year, just because now he'll have Deron Williams feeding him great passes for easy buckets a few times a game.

In addition, while Jefferson is not exactly a defensive specialist, he blocked 1.3 shot attempts per game last year, and is both taller(6" 10") and has a longer wingspan (7' 2") than Boozer. I am also willing to bet his vertical is higher than Boozer's, as well, which isn't really that difficult considering Carlos can jump about 2 inches off the floor.

He is only 25 (Boozer is 29) and his contract expires in 3 years.

Add in the fact that Jefferson is coming from a perennial loser in Minnesota to a playoff team in the Jazz, and he may find a bit more hop in his step come November.

I like this signing. It may be the biggest trade in the history of the franchise, when all is said and done.

And just like that, I'm excited for the 2010-2011 Jazz season.

Well done, Mr. O'Connor.


Josh said...

if he turns out to be a bust I give up on rooting for my my hometown team and jump on the Heat bandwagon because Deron's gone if Jefferson isn't the answer

Matty Gibb said...

So you like the idea of teams trading away franchise power forwards for essentially nothing in return...

Steve-O said...

Farewell Kosta.

Brandon said...

Ha! I honestly hadn't seen the parallels until your comment.

Jazz give up a couple first-round draft picks.
Lakers give up a couple first-round draft picks.

Jazz get rid of Kosta Koufus in the trade.
Lakers get rid of Kwame Brown in the trade.

The difference I can see is that the Jazz did a sign-and-trade with Chicago to get the trade exception that allowed them to land Jefferson.

In short, they gave up Boozer to get Al, unlike the Laker situation where the Lakers were able to get Pau because of Kwame's big ol' salary, which Memphis had to take on.

So the Jazz gave Minnesota salary relief in addition to everything else. Memphis just got screwed.

Matty Gibb said...

I liked both deals.