Utah Jazz management has some tough decisions to make on Free agents
Downside: Since playing all 82 games as a rookie in 2001-02 — and only missing six games in the next two seasons — Kirilenko has been sidelined 133 times (out of 574 games: 23.2 percent) due to various ailments. It's hard to ignore all of those injuries.
Prognosis: O'Connor has repeatedly stated the Jazz want Kirilenko back, and vice-versa. The forward has also said he wants to be in the right scenario, meaning money isn't his top priority. It's likely the Jazz won't be the only suitors this offseason. How high other teams bring his price tag up might end or extend his decade-long stay in Utah.
Upside: Miles' overall game has come a long way since being drafted out of Dallas' Skyline High in 2005. His productivity on both ends surged at times this past season as his role and confidence increased. He even averaged a career-best 3.3 rebounds.
Miles is the only Jazz player who might be taken off of the free-agency table. The Jazz own a team option on him for 2011-12, and they could even work out a long-term extension.
"I felt like I played well enough this year as far as getting picked up," Miles said. "It's not my decision."
If it were up to him, he'd like to stay in Utah.
"This is where I want to be," he added.
But do the Jazz want him back?
O'Connor answered with his trademark "no comment" when asked, but you have to wonder if the Jazz GM gave something away when he specifically mentioned Miles with Al Jefferson, Devin Harris, Paul Millsap and the three rookies as part of the future makeup of the squad during his locker cleanout interview. Or was that merely a slip of the tongue?
Downside: Consistency issues — both from a shooting standpoint, to doing well away from the ball and his defensive effort — have plagued Miles his entire career. His shooting has steadily declined every year since 2007-08, with his field-goal percentage falling from 47.9 percent to 40.7 percent and his 3-point accuracy going from 39.0 percent to 32.2 percent.
Prognosis: It's likely Miles' relatively inexpensive $3.7 million price tag will entice Jazz to take their option on him, especially considering he's only 24. His inconsistency might prevent them from working out an extension.
Upside: With a 7-foot-1, 300-pound frame, the Ukrainian can be a huge presence when he gets playing time. He isn't afraid to mix it up with opponents, and his defensive contributions can be immense.
The 24-year-old Fesenko called the last four seasons in Utah "a crazy ride." And he doesn't want to find a new ride, either, as he made clear by declaring, "I'm a Jazzman."
O'Connor said the Jazz definitely won't rule bringing him back out.
"I think his progress was slower than we wanted it to be, but I think there was progress," O'Connor said. "Again, you can't teach height."
Downside: While it is true you can't teach somebody to be taller, the question is: Can they actually teach this Ukrainian height to take basketball more seriously? Despite Mehmet Okur's absence and a clear need for a backup big man, Fes' playing time was near nonexistent at times.
Prognosis: The Jazz do have four years invested in Fes, and he could become a beast when/if he learns to focus on hoops and not goofing off. O'Connor said Fesenko "showed flashes" late in the season, including against the Lakers, so it wouldn't be a big shock if they do take another big gamble on him — or somebody else likely will.
Position: Point guard
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