Utah Jazz: Deron Williams admits he is not happy that Jazz have lost key players to free agency
LEHI — While addressing media at his annual charity golf tournament Saturday, Deron Williams admitted to being somewhat "frustrated."
And the All-Star point guard wasn't referring to a shanked drive or missed putt.
Rather, Williams was sharing his feelings in the aftermath of the Utah Jazz losing their leading scorer, top rebounder and best 3-point shooter to the Chicago Bulls in a two-day span.
"It was tough to see Booz (Carlos Boozer) and Kyle (Korver) go," Williams said. "But they made business decisions and you have to live with them."
And learn to live without them on the court and locker room, too.
That's the hard part for Williams.
"Any time you lose two guys like that you're going to be frustrated," said Williams while hosting his Point of Hope foundation's event at Thanksgiving Point to benefit Shriners Hospitals.
"But ... it's a business, and that's the way it went."
Williams sent texts to both Boozer and Korver after finding out they were Chicago-bound and said he's "happy for both of those guys."
Asked about how busy this past week had been for the Jazz during the free-agency frenzy, Williams joked, "Well, it hasn't been a really busy week for us. It's been a real busy week for some of our former teammates."
On a personal level, bidding farewell to Korver was especially difficult for the Jazz star. Williams and the 3-point specialist became pretty tight friends off the court since the shooting guard was traded to the Jazz 2 1/2 years ago.
"Yeah, it was tough," Williams admitted. "But I had a feeling after the season was over we'd have a tough time re-signing (Korver) and Wes (Matthews)."
The Jazz are still working on re-signing Matthews, who's signed a $34 million offer sheet with Portland, but Williams believes Utah will still field a decent team next season.
Williams has no idea, though, just how good the still-under-construction 2010-11 squad will end up being.
For now, the summer vacationer said he's "just being patient" as general manager Kevin O'Connor works on filling in the missing holes and resolves the understaffed roster situation.
Williams does believe the Jazz are still in need of "some depth in the frontcourt," especially because they're not sure how or when Mehmet Okur's surgically repaired Achilles heel will heal.
But he likes Utah's nucleus.
"We still have a solid team, you know," Williams said. "Are we going to compete for a championship? That's tough to say.
"We do have a good team," he added. "We have some guys that I think can step up. I think Paul (Millsap) can come in and contribute. I think it's a good opportunity for him to show people what he can really do given the opportunity, given the minutes."
Then again, Williams smiled while talking about joining his old Team USA buddies in South Beach.
"I just found out," he joked, "Miami is trying to acquire me right now."
As for his other real team — the U.S. men's national squad — Williams still isn't 100 percent committed to whether he's going to play in the FIBA World Championships later this summer in Turkey.
Asked if he's leaning toward not playing, Williams responded: "You could say that." His final decision will be made in the "next day or so," in order to give USA Basketball enough notice before the mini-camp later this week in Las Vegas.
"Health," Williams said, is a big concern.
Being fresh for the NBA season — one in which he might carry an even bigger load in light of the Jazz losing Boozer and Korver — is another biggie.
"It's just a long commitment this summer," Williams said. "Right when you're getting back from that you've got to jump right into the season and it's tough.
"Especially," he added, "with the guys we lost — I'm going to have to do a lot more this season."
In the meantime, Williams hopes the Jazz can "just improve the team" during the offseason. One of the moves he would like to see happen is reacquiring former Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer, whom the Jazz traded mid-season to Memphis but have reportedly expressed interest in bringing back if possible.
"Yeah, I've heard. It'd be great," Williams said. "Ronnie was great for us for three years."
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