2009-10 NBA Season Preview: Utah Jazz



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




Utah Jazz (Last Year: 48-34)

Depth Chart:

C: Mehmet Okur/Kosta Koufus/Kyrylo Fesenko

PF: Carlos Boozer/Paul Millsap

SF: Andrei Kirelinko/C.J. Miles /Matt Harpring

SG: Ronnie Brewer/ Kyle Korver/Wesley Matthews

PG: Deron Williams/Ronnie Price/Eric Maynor

Head Coach: Jerry Sloan (22nd year)

2009-2010 Team Salary: $84.6 million

Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $61.0 million



Off-Season Grade: Passed

The Jazz were faced with a very interesting offseason. It was good news when Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver all exercised the final years on their contracts with Okur even being signed to an extension. Boozer's decision came with some controversy though.

Faced with possibly losing restricted free agent Paul Millsap who filled in admirably for the injured Boozer last season, the Jazz decided to pony up the cash to match the Blazers 4-year, $32 million offer sheet. Making this commitment to Millsap all but ensured that Boozer would be traded and not return to Utah. However, the Jazz decided not to deal Boozer and instead have him return for the final year of his contract and form a very solid 1-2 combo at power forward with Millsap.

The Jazz may have also found a great sleeper in undrafted rookie free agent Wesley Matthews who adds some depth to the wing.



2009-2010 Outlook:

Utah seems to sort of be in a holding pattern. Deron Williams has emerged into one of the top points guards in the league, but the Jazz haven't been able to surround him with enough talent to challenge the best in the West. A healthy Boozer will certainly help, but won't be the boost to catch the likes of the Spurs or Lakers. The Jazz have dealt with a few nagging injuries during the preseason that could cause them to get off to a slow start to the season.

It will also be interesting to see what happens with Boozer. Since they committed a long-term deal to Millsap, I can't possibly imagine them trying to re-sign Boozer to a big contract. So it would make sense for Utah to try to deal him and get something in return than likely lose him to free agency in the offseason. I would be very surprised if he's still wearing a Jazz jersey after the trade deadline.



Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Boozer enters the free agent market after this season, assuming he isn't traded during the year, as is sharpshooter Kyle Korver. Even with Matt Harpring's contract coming off the books, the Jazz will still be above the expected salary cap and won't have much flexibility in the offseason.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 10th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




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Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Boozer enters the free agent market after this season, assuming he isn't traded during the year, as is sharpshooter Kyle Korver. Even with Matt Harpring's contract coming off the books, the Jazz will still be above the expected salary cap and won't have much flexibility in the offseason.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 10th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com








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