Utah Jazz: Team still working on contract with Kyrylo Fesenko
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Kyrylo Fesenko doesn't need to brush up on his Spanish skills anytime soon.
Though an Internet report surfaced Tuesday on elcorreo.com claiming a professional club in Spain is interested in the Ukrainian, the center will not be playing for Caja Laboral in the near future.
In fact, Fesenko's camp is still quite optimistic the restricted free agent will return to where he's been the past three years.
"Everybody's working toward the same common goal, and that's for Fesenko to be back in Utah," the big man's agent, Stu Lash, said Tuesday.
Lash preferred not to discuss negotiation details, but he said he's spoken with Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor about Fesenko. O'Connor replied with a "no comment" when asked about the progress of the contract situation.
Neither side — the Jazz or Fesenko — are pressed to make an immediate decision while the three-year Jazz backup plays for his Ukrainian squad in a FIBA qualifying tournament.
The Jazz tendered a qualifying offer to Fesenko earlier this summer to retain first rights of refusal should another NBA team sign him to an offer sheet. To this point, however, Fesenko has received some interest from other teams but no offer.
If Fesenko ends up playing out the terms of the qualifying offer he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2010-11 season.
It's believed Fesenko is seeking a multi-year deal with the Jazz. O'Connor declined to comment on whether or not the Fesenko camp had presented its wishes to the Jazz.
O'Connor recently confirmed that looking at re-signing Fesenko was next on the Utah's offseason to-do list in the aftermath of the Jazz trading for Al Jefferson, signing Raja Bell and losing Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews in free agency.
Utah currently only has nine players with guaranteed contracts on its roster — four shy of the NBA's 13-player minimum.
Once Fesenko finishes playing with Ukraine, he is expected to return to the U.S. in hopes of playing in the NBA during the 2010-11 season.
Utah's qualifying offer is good through Oct. 1, which is right around when the Jazz's fall training camp will begin.
Will Fesenko be among the players there?
"Don't know," O'Connor said. "Depends on his situation."
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