Utah Jazz: Kyle Korver joining Carlos Boozer in Chicago
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz will no longer have to deal with all of those Ashton Kutcher comparison comments.
They might not have to make as many pink jerseys in the future, either – certainly not ones with No. 26 on them.
Fan favorite Kyle Korver, known for his sharpshooting skills and for being Mr. Demi Moore's doppelganger, has agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with the Chicago Bulls.
The Jazz remain at risk of potentially losing their other shooting guard who played his way into Jazz fans' hearts. The contract situation of Wesley Matthews, who earned a starting position as an undrafted rookie last season, is still in limbo after he met with Portland on Thursday night.
As for Korver, the 29-year-old shooting guard will have some familiar company in the Windy City, seeing as his old Jazz teammate Carlos Boozer just inked his own five-year deal in the $75 million-$80 million range with Chicago.
In fact, Boozer encouraged Bulls management to give a serious look at filling their outside-shooting needs with Korver, who has averaged 9.9 points and 41 percent shooting from 3-point range in his seven-year NBA career. The sharpshooter hit an NBA record 53.6 percent of his treys last year despite missing nearly a third of the season due to knee surgery.
"Kyle can shoot the heck out of the ball," Boozer told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 100 in Chicago on Thursday. "He's 6-7, 6-8 with real size and can shoot the ball. In practice he doesn't miss many shots, and then in games when he's on, he's as good as anybody."
Amid the news that Matthews, a restricted free agent, and his agent were in Portland on Thursday to meet with the Trail Blazers, Jerry Sloan is making it known just how much he hopes not to lose him.
"I think he knows we would love to have him back," Sloan said after Utah finished play Friday at the Orlando Pro Summer League in Maitland, Fla.
"He was tremendous for us last year, and certainly it would be a tremendous loss to our team," the Jazz coach added. "We wish him well with whatever he's doing."
If Matthews signs an offer sheet with Portland or any other NBA team, the Jazz would have a week from the time they receive the paperwork to decide whether or not they plan to match.
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor suggested Friday that flirting between the Trail Blazers and the Matthews camp won't prompt Utah to act hastily in preparing an offer of its own.
But it won't stop the Jazz and Matthews' side from staying in touch, either.
"We'll continue to talk," said O'Connor, who spoke with Matthews' Virginia-based agent, Lance Young, earlier this week in Florida.
O'Connor indicated he does not begrudge the undrafted Matthews trying to secure an offer from another team, and suggested instead it's simply part of the free-agency process.
"He's doing what he's supposed to be doing," the Jazz GM said.
Young indicated Friday there was no news on the Matthews-Portland front.
The Jazz remain seriously interested in the possibility of bringing back former starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer, an unrestricted free agent. Memphis hasn't ruled out re-signing Brewer, either, and it's believed Cleveland now has interest as well.
Korver told the Deseret News last week that about 10 teams approached his camp, including the Jazz.
Korver, who was an unrestricted free agent, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on his pending departure to the Bulls.
On Korver's personal Facebook page, which was deluged with well-wishes and comments by fans after the news broke, the altruistic athlete wrote on Friday about his foundation participating in a Wasatch Wheelchair Rally today at Liberty Park to help earn money for needy Utah families. He did not, however, post a message about joining Chicago.
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