The Utah Jazz traded or released a handful of players before the start of the 2013-14 season. The move was made to help develop young, upcoming players by giving them more minutes.
The Jazz stumbled out to a 1-14 record, but have since won nearly half their games and have improved to a 12-26 mark.
The young players have looked good so far, but did the Jazz make a mistake letting so many veterans go? This is a look around the league at 10 former Jazzmen and how they are performing on their new teams (players' statistical averages are through games of Jan. 9).
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Jefferson spent three years in Utah before the Jazz let him become a free agent last summer. He signed with the Bobcats shortly thereafter and has turned the once laughing-stock franchise of the league into a playoff contender. Jefferson is averaging a double-double at 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.
The Jazz chose not to re-sign Jefferson after the 2012-13 season, but there are no hard feelings from the fans in his departure. In his return to Utah in December, he received an ovation from the crowd. ESPN wrote, “Jefferson has been on an absolute roll over the past 10 games. Jefferson is undoubtedly among the best big men in the game.”
Millsap was drafted by the Jazz and spent seven years in Utah before being let go to free agency last summer. He signed with the Hawks and teamed up with Al Horford to create one of the best frontcourts in the league. Horford went down for the remainder of the season in late December, and Millsap is now the centerpiece of the team. He is averaging over 17 points and eight rebounds per game while leading the Hawks to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Millsap wasn’t re-signed by the Jazz to give the young players more minutes. The Hawks signed him at $9.5 million per year, and CBS Sports called it one of the free agency steals of 2013.
Williams was drafted by Utah and spent 5 1/2 years with the Jazz before being traded to the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) in the 2010-11 season. Williams’ career has taken a nose-dive since joining the Nets. He has been plagued with injuries and his stats have significantly decreased. He is averaging nearly 14 points and seven assists per game, his lowest averages since his rookie year.
The Nets surrounded Williams with aging talent this offseason in bringing in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry to team up with Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche. What was supposed to be a super team has failed miserably. Injuries have hurt the Nets, and they sit at a 15-21 record in the Eastern Conference.
Williams was drafted by the Jazz, played one season with Utah and spent nine years elsewhere before returning for the 2012-13 season. He spent half the year with a hand injury and wasn’t re-signed in the offseason. He signed a two-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers and averages 9.4 points and five assists per game as the back-up point guard.
Williams has been a spark plug for the Blazers this year, helping them to a 27-9 record, third-best in the stacked Western Conference. He backs up former Weber State guard Damian Lillard. Williams plan on opting out of his contract and re-signing with the Blazers at the end of the season, according to Comcast Sportsnet.
Boozer spent six seasons in Utah before being traded to the Bulls for a trade exception following the 2009-10 season. He has spent four seasons with the Bulls and is averaging 14.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season. Boozer is helping the Bulls to the fifth-best record in the East, despite their 16-18 record.
Boozer has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. He left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans by missing significant time with the Jazz, and many questioned if his injuries were legitimate. The Bulls are considering using their amnesty clause on Boozer, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.
Foye spent the 2012-13 season with the Jazz before being traded to the Denver Nuggets in a three-team trade. In his lone season with the Jazz, Foye netted 178 3-pointers, the most in a season in team history. Foye starts at shooting guard for the Nuggets and averages 9.6 points and 2.3 assists per game.
Foye has kept up his 3-point shooting in Denver. He has made 55 threes nearly halfway through the season. He recently made a season-high seven 3-pointers against the Boston Celtics.
Korver was a fan favorite in his three seasons for the Jazz. He left for the Chicago Bulls via free agency following the 2009-10 season, and was later traded to the Hawks.
Korver has found a home in Atlanta. He is averaging 12 points and four rebounds per game for the Hawks as the starting shooting guard. He is shooting nearly 50 percent from the three this season, third-best mark in the NBA. He recently set an NBA record by making a 3-pointer in 90 straight games. His current streak is at 105 games.
‘‘He just amazes us every day,’’ said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Kirilenko was drafted by the Jazz and spent 10 seasons in Utah before signing with CSKA Moscow, a Russian team, following 2010-11 season. He currently plays for the Nets and averaging 6.7 points and three rebounds per game.
Kirilenko was sidelined with injuries for much of his time in Utah, and has missed nearly the entire season with the Nets. His most successful stint came in Russia, where he was named MVP, defensive MVP and first-team of the Euroleague.
The Nets, Kirilenko’s current team, has failed to live up to expectations. The Nets have a 15-21 record despite exceeding the salary cap by more than $40 million.
Carroll spent two seasons in Utah before leaving to the Hawks in free agency following the 2012-13 season. He is averaging 9.2 points and 5.6 rebounds this season.
Carroll was known for his hustle plays in Utah. He earned the name “Junkyard Dog” for his commitment to making a play every possession with the Jazz. He has brought that same energy to the Hawks.
“Every game, Carroll gives 100 percent on the defensive end and takes the challenge upon himself to guard some of the best talent in the league,” said Andrew Shaw of Rant Sports. “One thing you can never question when Carroll takes the floor is his hustle.”
Miles was drafted by the Jazz and spent seven seasons in Utah before signing with the Cavaliers following the 2011-12 season. He is averaging 10 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Cavs this season as the back-up shooting guard role.
Miles recently set the Cavs’ record for most 3-pointers made in a game. He went 10-of-14 and scored a season-high 34 points against the 76ers on Jan. 7. He narrowly missed tying the NBA record of 12.
Miles was also the recipient of one of the most famous quotes in Jazz history during his stay in Utah:
“If he's going to be on the floor in the NBA, he's got to be able to step up and get after it,” former Utah Jazz oach Jerry Sloan said of Miles. “We can't put diapers on him one night, and a jock strap the next night. It's just the way it is."