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Al Jefferson introduced in Charlotte, sheds light on post-season conversations with Utah Jazz

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 1:40 p.m. MDT

Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson smiles as he answers a question during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Jefferson, a free agent, signed with the Bobcats today.  (Chuck Burton, Associated Press) Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson smiles as he answers a question during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Jefferson, a free agent, signed with the Bobcats today. (Chuck Burton, Associated Press)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When the 2012-13 Utah Jazz campaign ended, uncertainty about Al Jefferson's future with the Jazz abounded.

At his introductory press conference with the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday, Jefferson shed some light on conversations that took place between the Jazz and Jefferson as the 6-foot-10 center made his way east.

"Me and Utah came to an understanding as far as they wanted to go with their young bigs," Jefferson said. "It makes a lot of sense. I think both of them are going to be superstars one day. I couldn't be mad at them for that."

Now a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jefferson said he's thrilled to be in North Carolina, regardless of their market size and recent struggles.

The leading scorer of the 2012-13 Jazz said he was blown away after meeting with team officials last week and "couldn't sleep a wink" in anticipation of signing with Charlotte. The move became official Wednesday as the Bobcats introduced their newest free agent acquisition at a press conference.

Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson smiles as he answers a question during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Jefferson, a free agent, signed with the Bobcats today.  (Chuck Burton, Associated Press) Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson smiles as he answers a question during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Jefferson, a free agent, signed with the Bobcats today. (Chuck Burton, Associated Press)

Jefferson said he is thrilled to sign with the Bobcats because "they're a team that respects my game and wanted me to be a part of their family."


Listen to audio from Jefferson's introductory press conference


Furthermore, he said he saw a resemblance of Utah Jazz big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter in Charlotte's frontcourt.

"The rookie they drafted this year and the big guy they drafted a couple years ago, you know, kind of reminded me of Derrick Favors and 'Big Turkey,' (Kanter) guys I used to work with in Utah. To hear what they had to say and after looking at their roster, it was just a no brainer."

Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins says Jefferson gives the team the low-post presence it needed.

Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson, center, holds up his jersey with Rod Higgins, right, president of basketball operations,  and Rich Cho, left, general manager, during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Jefferson, a free agent, signed with the Bobcats today.  (Chuck Burton, Associated Press) Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson, center, holds up his jersey with Rod Higgins, right, president of basketball operations, and Rich Cho, left, general manager, during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Jefferson, a free agent, signed with the Bobcats today. (Chuck Burton, Associated Press)

The Bobcats also announced they have signed first-round draft pick Cody Zeller and waived forward Tyrus Thomas, designating him their amnesty player.

Jefferson is one of many free agent signings to become official on Wednesday. Who else is off the market? Check out the Deseret News NBA free agency tracker.

Associated Press writer Steve Reed contributed to this report.

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