Through the 1980s, 1990s and the early part of the new century, the Utah Jazz had a reputation as the most consistent team in the NBA. Their coach, Jerry Sloan, stayed courtside for more than 20 years and won more than 1,000 games. The biggest stars of the franchise, John Stockton and Karl Malone, displayed a loyalty to the Jazz organization unheard of on any modern NBA team not named the San Antonio Spurs.
And then, mired in mediocrity and laden with locker-room strife, the Jazz's world was flipped upside down. It began with Mehmet Okur tearing his Achilles tendon in a playoff game. It escalated with the departure of Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. It climaxed with Sloan's sudden retirement and the trade that sent NBA All-Star Deron Williams packing.
Look at the Jazz roster from 2009 and 2010. Most of the names on the list should be familiar if you’re a Jazz fan. The fact that only one of these 15 men still play for the Jazz is a testament to the massive organizational shift that has happened within the Utah Jazz over the last three seasons.
Here are 10 players that made a measurable impact during their time in Utah, but have since left the organization, either by choice or by trade.
Fesenko led an interesting career while with the Jazz. The 7-foot Ukrainian always had something funny to say, whether in a win or a loss. His most influential time with the Jazz came during a 2010 playoff series with the Denver Nuggets after starting center Mehmet Okur ruptured his Achilles tendon and ended his season. Fesenko started and had a huge impact.
Fesenko's Jazz contract ended after an injury-plagued 2011 season. Despite his physical inside presence and occasionally dominant post play, Fesenko never really could get it together. He averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game with the Jazz, and when the lockout came, the Jazz didn't pick up his option.
Fesenko eventually was signed in March of 2012 to the Pacers, but played only three games. He was picked up this year by the Bulls and played four minutes of a single preseason game, but was cut from their roster before preseason began.
Kosta Koufos was a one-and-done prospect out of Ohio State that never really panned out for the Jazz under Jerry Sloan. He consistently rode the bench and was shuffled intermittently between the Jazz and its then-D-league club, the Utah Flash.
Koufos played two seasons with Utah, and then was traded to Minnesota along with two future draft picks as part of the deal that brought Al Jefferson to the Jazz. Since then, he's been moved to the Nuggets, where his performance has been extremely well received. Koufos is averaging 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game.
Ronnie Price was unique in that he played professional basketball in the same state he played his college ball. A graduate of what was then Utah Valley State College, Price spent two years in Sacramento before making his way to Utah.
Once in Utah, Price showed some promise backing up Deron Williams. His NBA success prompted UVU to enshrine him in its sports Hall of Fame. After Williams left, however, it wasn't long before Price was on the way out. Price, one of the nicest players on the Utah roster, went to Phoenix to back up Steve Nash.
Price now backs up Damian Lillard in Portland, another point guard who played his college ball in the Beehive State. So far this year, Price has played in 15 games, averaging 14.9 minutes, 2.7 points and 1.9 assists per game.
A Dallas native, Miles was set to play college basketball at the University of Texas. But when the Jazz drafted him in the second round of the 2005 draft and guaranteed his contract, Miles headed to Salt Lake City.
He was an inconsistent player in his early time with the Jazz, bouncing between the D-League and the parent club several times. He signed an offer sheet with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, but the Jazz matched it, also rewarding Miles by making him a starter.
That position was short-lived, however, as Wesley Matthews and Raja Bell beat Miles out for playing time. He shifted to a sixth-man role, where he alternated between stellar and disappointing play.
After seven seasons with the Jazz, Miles signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers before the 2012 season. He is scoring 10.4 points in 19.8 minutes per game with the Cavs.
The Jazz selected Brewer with the 14th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft — the second lottery pick in as many years for the Jazz.
Brewer's strange shooting motion, the result of a childhood accident, made him an inaccurate outside shooter, but he still posted excellent field-goal percentages due to his propensity for dunking and scoring close to the basket. In 2008, his best season in Utah, Brewer tallied 13.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 32 minutes per game.
Halfway through the 2010 season, Brewer was suddenly traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in a cost-saving move. Jazz teammate Deron Williams was displeased with the trade, laying the groundwork for his own departure.
Brewer now plays for the New York Knicks, where he is averaging 5.9 points in 22 minutes per game.
Korver came to the Jazz in a December 2007 trade from Philadelphia. The Jazz jettisoned disgruntled guard Gordan Giricek and got Korver, a 3-point specialist, in return. It proved to be a coup for the Jazz.
While Korver never averaged more than 10 points per game in Utah, he was a valuable asset to the Jazz offense. The threat of his outside shooting spread the floor and allowed Carlos Boozer to operate inside effectively. Korver also set an NBA record for 3-point percentage in 2009.
Aside from his long-range success (and his appeal with certain female sections of the Jazz fan base), Korver did not do much else as a Jazzman, and he was not re-signed in 2010. He joined the Chicago Bulls (along with Boozer and Brewer) and was subsequently traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
When Okur joined the Jazz in 2004, he was already an NBA champion as part of the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons couldn't afford to keep him, though, and Utah offered the big Turk a six-year, $50 million contract.
Okur started 404 games in seven years with the Jazz and provided scoring, rebounding, and outside shooting. His willingness to play outside the post gave Carlos Boozer more room and caused mismatches for opposing defenses.
Injuries caught up with Okur in 2010, and in 2011 he was traded to New Jersey for salary cap space and a second-round draft pick. He has since retired from basketball but remains a fan favorite in Utah.
AK-47 had a long and tumultuous career with the Jazz. The team selected him with the 24th pick of the 1999 draft, when Kirilenko was just 18 years old. He didn't join the Jazz until 2001, but he quickly earned a key role in John Stockton and Karl Malone's final seasons together.
After Stockton's retirement and Malone's departure, Kirilenko blossomed, averaging 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.8 blocks per game in 2003-04. His versatility led the Jazz, who were predicted to finish at the bottom of the league, to a winning record. It also earned Kirilenko a huge new contract, which would later make things difficult for Utah.
The Jazz also signed Boozer and Okur as free agents, leaving Kirilenko at the small forward position. This change, combined with several injuries, led to a drop in minutes and production by 2006. AK-47 never quite reached his earlier numbers.
After spending the lockout-shortened 2011 season in Russia with his old team CSKA Moscow, Kirilenko signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he has returned to his versatile ways. He's averaging 13.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.7 blocks per game in 2012.
Boozer's time in Utah was fraught with controversy. His previous team, Cleveland, let him out of his rookie contract early, allegedly assuming they would negotiate a new deal. But Boozer signed with the Jazz instead.
Due to injuries, Boozer only played in 84 games over his first two seasons. When he was on the floor, he performed well — just not often enough for Jazz fans' liking. By 2006, however, Boozer was consistently posting 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Jazz made the Western Conference Finals in 2007, and Boozer was a large factor in that success.
In 2008, Boozer again sat out most of the season with injuries, and his on-court production dropped even when he was healthy. By the time his contract was up in 2010, Jazz fans had had enough.
Boozer agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Chicago Bulls, which allowed the Jazz the cap space to subsequently trade for Al Jefferson. While his role is slightly reduced, Boozer is still an effective scorer and rebounder in Chicago.
The Jazz traded up in the 2005 draft to snag the former Illinois star, and after an inconsistent rookie season, D-Will earned the starting job in 2006. He averaged 16.2 points and 9.3 assists per game, leading the Jazz to the Western Conference Finals.
Firmly in place as the leader of the team and the future of the franchise, Williams garnered several All-Star appearances and a spot on the 2008 Olympic team that won the gold medal. But the Jazz couldn't get over the playoff hump, losing in the early rounds each year.
Williams' frustration grew as the Jazz parted ways with Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, and by 2011, things came to a head. After a reported argument with Williams, longtime Jazz coach Jerry Sloan abruptly retired in February 2011. Just two weeks later, Williams was traded to New Jersey in exchange for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two draft picks.
Williams has now become the face of the new-look Nets in Brooklyn after signing a new contract with them in 2012. He's still playing at an All-Star level, averaging 21 points and 8.7 assists per game while leading Brooklyn to a 13-10 record.