Quantcast

Former Jazzman Al Jefferson scouted, persuaded by PG Kemba Walker to join Bobcats

Published: Saturday, Aug. 29 2015 12:25 a.m. MDT

Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson (25) shoots over Charlotte Bobcats' Bismack Biyombo (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The Jazz won 112-102. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (Associated Press) Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson (25) shoots over Charlotte Bobcats' Bismack Biyombo (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The Jazz won 112-102. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (Associated Press)

Big Al is headed to Charlotte after seven seasons with the Jazz and, by looks of it, one man in particular swayed his decision.

Kemba Walker, the Bobcats' starting point guard and go-to scorer, scouted Al Jefferson this offseason, according to the Charlotte Observer. Walker envisioned Jefferson capably filling Charlotte's low-post needs, and with trust in their second-year point guard, the Bobcats encouraged Walker to reach out the Utah Jazz free agent.

With the go-ahead from his team, Walker met with Jefferson in New York to hopefully persuade the big man to consider Charlotte. Apparently it worked, that or the three-year, $41 million contract was too good to pass up.

Jefferson was one of the first free agents to officially commit and sign with another team on the NBA official signing day. The Bobcats even called him at 12:01 a.m. on July 10 to gauge his interest.

Utah Jazz's Tyrone Corbin, left, talks with Al Jefferson, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (Associated Press) Utah Jazz's Tyrone Corbin, left, talks with Al Jefferson, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (Associated Press)

Many NBA experts predicted at the close of last season that Jefferson would leave Utah. Interest was also shown by Dallas and New Orleans. However, Jefferson only took the time to visit Charlotte.

Whitney O'Bannon is a new media sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow on Twitter at @whitney_oban.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company