Utah Jazz notebook: Re-signing Kyrylo Fesenko is next item of business


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  • Kakashi
    July 20, 2010 6:21 a.m.

    i agree with rvalens2...fes just needs to be a Mark eaton or Tree Rollins type...blocking shots...playing solid D...intimidating opposing players...making them think that he'd go for the block each time...crashing boards...probably good if Bill Laimbeer was his coach...he'll teach fes to be mean...the other Cs would fear him...wingmen and guards would think thrice when driving in the lane...i think that would be awesome...

  • byronbca
    July 16, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    There are 2 types of players the Jazz should be willing to overpay for: all stars or potential all stars and big shot blocking centers.

    The Jazz need a guy that can be a presence in the middle defensively. Fes is a perfect compliment to Okur and Jefferson and the Jazz need him back. Fes is too big and has too much potential for the Jazz to let him walk.

  • rvalens2
    July 16, 2010 12:24 a.m.

    Many years ago the University of Utah had a center by the name of Chris Winans.

    For 3 1/2 basketball seasons Chris was a lot like Fesenko ... mild mannered, joking ... no real fire in him.

    Then one day he took a real hard foul. The opposing player nearly took his head off. That did it! Winans got angry and started using his 6'10" body the way he should have all along.

    The rest of his senior season Chris was terrific.

    Maybe that's what it's going to take for Fesenko to find the NBA center in himself.

    What will happen the first time an opposing player slaps him in the face? Will he stand there with a shocked dumbfounded look on his face or will he fight back?

    My bets on the latter.

    Fes just needs someone to light that fire under him. Whether it's an incident or a coach ... just as long as it happens.

    Fes doesn't need to become Sabonis. I'd settle for Mark Eaton. If the Jazz would have had Mark at center during their two runs to the NBA finals, they would have ended up with two championships.

  • rvalens2
    July 16, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    Fesenko needs a personal basketball coach/trainer.

    Two people come to mind:

    Karl Malone

    He understood what it took to compete in the NBA. During the "off season" his training regimen was legendary. He always came to veterans camp in prime condition.

    If anyone could show the NBA ropes to Fesenko it's Malone. The only question is would he be willing to?

    The other:

    Rick Majerus

    Majerus is one of the best X's and O's guys in basketball. He's also great at teaching big men how to play the center position.

    I always marveled at how he could take an uncoordinated doofus and within a season turn him into a reasonably decent defender.

    Majerus was foul mouthed and tough as nails on his players but he got the best out them, even when he couldn't get the best out of himself.

    If it cost the Jazz $100,000 for 2 weeks training with either, the money would be worth it.

    It would also do Fesenko a world of good if he could work on his foul shooting with Hornacek.

    Please Jazz, after Fes is signed get him a coach!

  • Viva Los Jazz
    July 15, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    Fesenko had a decent year last year proving he was much better defensively than Koufos. I hope we can work out a deal with him for a couple million per year before some team out there offers him a rediculous contract like Matthews. We are in need of a defensive minded center, the only one we have is Milsap who is really a power forward.

  • scalman
    July 15, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    Fesenko no skills, can't pass, reminds you of Ostertag, what have some of you been drinking?
    If you had been watching him this past year, you have seen someone who has a sense defensively of where he should be, loves to bang, loves to dunk, can pass quickly out of the low post, and can make the quick bounce pass to another player in the low post. He needs to improve all areas of his shooting, and hopefully Hornacek is still working with him or will be after Fes signs, but he is a presence, is young, and is athletic. He may never be a great scorer, but he doesn't have to be. He just needs to be an outstanding defensive center, and I think he is on his way to being just that. The last few games of last years playoffs gave him a big slice of humble pie...bet you guys are gonna like him this year.

  • Jazz-Nation
    July 15, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    Big Fez is more athletic then he lets on to believe. He does need to work on his touch at the stripe, but practice makes perfect. He is a young Shaq! he just needs to FOCUS!! He could do some damage in the post and with the time he had playing in the post season for Memo really helped his game. Don't be surprised if Fez has a break out year! It starts with tough defense and being able to finish on the glass and offensive side of the boards. Seriously, if Fez can stay in the game with out fouling out, he will be tough for our competition to deal with. Bring your "A" game Jazz Big men and we will contend for a Championship this year! GO JAZZ!!

  • shaybo
    July 15, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    I'm sure your one who wanted to sign Mathews and put them 10 million into the luxury tax.

  • Johnson72
    July 15, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    Oh I am sure the Jazz will highly over pay him, They always do with no-name players with no skills!

  • shaybo
    July 15, 2010 7:22 p.m.

    Dwillfan you must have a lot more knowledge of KFez's potential than the Jazz do as they sure seem anxious to keep him. All he needs is playing time which he hasn't had so far and a little maturity, your expectations for a 20 year old with very little game experience seema little high to me.

  • Bill L
    July 15, 2010 6:11 p.m.

    I believe the qualifying offer was over 1 Million. I don't see how the Jazz can go any higher. This may well be Fes's last NBA contract if he doesn't improve this year....improve quite a bit.

  • dwillfan
    July 15, 2010 5:48 p.m.

    no!! do not resign him!! he's a ukrainian ostertag. i'd rather have ronnie price play center over this goofball.

  • I Will Be Till I Die
    July 15, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    Fuzzbrain: I'm with you - I don't worry much at all about Fes perfecting his offensive game - the Jazz have plenty of firepower. Plus, he'll get 6-8-10 ppg just on tip ins and cleaning up garbage around the rim. What we really need is for him to improve his D and more importantly, as has been stated above, make it consistent.

    (PS to shaybo: Fes is Ukrainian, not Russian.)

  • moodyblue77
    July 15, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    For years now, the Bulls have been committed to not making the playoffs or losing in the first round. To call them the Jazz is a compliment. I'm pleased to know that having the fifth or sixth best record in the league and advancing beyond the first round of playoffs is mediocrity.

    I thought it had something to do with being average, something like our comments on these message boards.

  • BillM75
    July 15, 2010 2:39 p.m.

    Sabonis was a phenomenal, HOF-level player in his prime in the USSR. A bigger, more athletic Kevin Love. Yeah, I wish Fes was like him too. :)

  • shaybo
    July 15, 2010 2:36 p.m.

    He will get a lot better with some playing time, I think Sloan is ready to start doing that as long as he doesn't come to camp with blond hair or something.

    As soon as the Jazz sign him they need to send Hornacek to Russia to give him extensive free throw training.

  • oldmanbball
    July 15, 2010 2:36 p.m.

    Looks like they will try to sign Fes but after that the team will be mostly what you see now. Due to luxary tax we really can't go after anyone else that would make a difference. I'm excited to see how the team plays together.

  • Fuzzbrain
    July 15, 2010 2:22 p.m.

    I wish Fez was like a young Sabonis, but Sabonis could shoot 3's, was a fantastic passer & had all kinds of nifty shots around the rim. I used to hate that guy because he would always beat us. Now it's Gasol beating up on the Jazz. There's always one great foreign player the Jazz just can't slow down. Fesenko needs to realize that he could really impact the league if he became a great defensive player. I'm betting he'll just be a trash time fan favorite his whole career.

  • trikist
    July 15, 2010 1:39 p.m.

    Ostertag was a streak defender. Streak shooters are tolerated in the NBA but not streak defenders. Sometimes Ostertag would move his feet, swat shots away and dominate the middle. Other times he admitted himself that he did not know what happened to him. (Remember "kidnapped by space aliens".) I loved Ostertag but...

    Fesenko certainly has the big kid in him. He also has uneven spells like Ostertag. It would be nice to see how much better he can get. I too liked his effort against Denver. Of course, the Jazz need to resign him.

  • Donald
    July 15, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    Everybody is asking why the Jazz did not lock up Matthew for less money before Portland get to him. You need to go back and read what his agent told Utah and other teams. Matthew side set the minimum bid at maximum he can get (5 -6 mil). So, stop mentioning this again :).

  • toddfromsantaana
    July 15, 2010 1:16 p.m.

    JK Fesenko has the skill set it is up to him, I am not asking he turns into Wilt or Kareem

    I feel the Jazz should hire someone like Thurl Bailey to help develop and work with the big men up front. He had a lethal little hook.

  • shaybo
    July 15, 2010 1:06 p.m.

    If any of you critics out there think we would have beat Denver without Fez you were not watching the series. He altered shots and totally changed Denver's inside game when he was in there. Everyone is judging him because he looked bad against Gasol and company, I have a news flash for you so did Kevin Garnet. To say he has no intensity and is another Ostertag, is so far off it's not funny, he hustles every minute he's on the floor and actually can be seen boxing out which is unusual for the Jazz bigs. Get real JK he has had no chance under Sloan to develop and get confident, his development is only hope Jazz will a chance against Lakers come playoff time.

  • Cougs4Life
    July 15, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    That was funny...Korver said the "Chicago Jazz." I didn't know that the Bulls were newly committed to being a mediocre team year in and year out?

  • JazzyMan
    July 15, 2010 12:30 p.m.

    I'm excited about the Jazz and this upcoming season also,but lets not get carried away.I have seen someone compare Fess to Sabonis and another poster on another story claim Jefferson is better than Gasol. No way is Jefferson better than Gasol.Maybe he is close to Gasol when just strictly regarding his offensive post play,but as an all around player,I don't think he's as good as Gasol,and I'd doubt many of the experts would think so either.

  • Anonymous Infinity
    July 15, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    As they say...you can't coach height, so signing Fesenko is paramount. He does obviously have deficiencies in his skills....as in no outside shot or free throw proficiency. Someone needs to work with him to overcome these obsticles to make him a more valuable asset in the Jazz arsenal. Our other Russian friend Kirilenko needs to get his act together as well. All these physical problems plaguing him in recent years are appalling. Get in shape. Why can't these two guys work together, get a conditioning coach, and get with it! What is the Jazz conditioning coach doing with guys who apparently have no motivation to work out? If Fes is resigned I want to see some improvement. His early years have largely produced little progress. Does this mean he is not an NBA player? This year will, if he stays tell us. The CBA is obviously a joke to showcase and improve players capable of contributing to NBA teams.

  • Batman
    July 15, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    Fes is still not good so Jazz should pay him the min of what he can make. Sounds like no-one else wants him so not sure why the Jazz do. Hopefully, he can at least play defense at some point in his career. Hope he proves me wrong, but that's how I see it.

  • Alterego
    July 15, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    I wanted Matthews re-signed too but in reality, even if Matthews had been re-signed, CJ would have been the starting SG just like he was last year before his injury.

    Under Sloan, starters don't lose their spot to injury.

  • JK
    July 15, 2010 11:28 a.m.

    fez is great...teams are throwing offers at him....

    d leaguer for life...as is gaines

  • JK
    July 15, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    zero skill and still gets beat down low...hope todd's prayer isn't answered...with fez and gaines actually in the Jazz rotation we will never compete with the Lakers and OKC...

  • jefff
    July 15, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    how much money is left? with raja i think we're over the luxury tax threshold.

  • Iowa Jazz Fan 2
    July 15, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    Fes should be shooting 300 free throws a day this summer. Maybe 500. Teams have already started playing "Hack-a-Fess", knowing how inept he is from the foul line. If he can raise his free throw percentage to 65% or better, that should stop.

  • Old Timer
    July 15, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    I love the new additions to this years team, I hope that they go after 1 more outside shooter just to open up the middle and have as a reserve in case anyone of those we have gets hurt or has foul trouble on given nights, why not try for Morrison on the cheap? One or two of our young-uns from the D-League can go to Provo w/Evans this year.

  • Observation-ist
    July 15, 2010 8:53 a.m.

    As currently constituted, Fes is just a reincarnation of Ostertag ... talent w/o intensity. I'm not sure how you instill intensity into a gentle bucket of laughs but that's Jerrys task. My condolences coach. I know you don't relish this as your job but you've got AJ and Fes that all need defensive intensity training and AK who need mental toughness.

    The Jazz really need to hire an assitance coach to focus on teaching intensity, toughness, etc. Jerry's the perfect candidate but he's head coach. Perhaps AJ and Fes can 'battle' it out for playing time and we'll see the winner'warrior get the bulk of the minutes.

    Fes needs an incentive-laden contract that pays him well if he balances blocked shots w/o fouls. Most players don't accept incentive-laden contracts because they don't control playing time. I don't have that answer but that's why KOC is the GM and not me.

    If Fes can learn how to laugh and giggle outside the lines and morph into an intense defender and rebounder on the court, I'll be one happy camper

  • LKA
    July 15, 2010 8:49 a.m.

    Pay Fess at or around the Qualifying offer. There is a better chance than not we have seen the best of him. I would still like to see Brewer signed for about the same as Bell. Drop Jeffers and sign Auggie.

  • aussiejazzfan
    July 15, 2010 8:18 a.m.

    did someone just compare Fesenko to the legend that was Sabonis?? Sabonis was a dominant big man when he came to the NBA, he could have been one of the best ever if he came over at a young age. Fesenko has his good bits but comparing him to Bynum, let alone Sabonis, is laughable!!

  • RealityCheck
    July 15, 2010 7:53 a.m.

    If you re-sign Fesenko, please do it for the league minimum. This dude is in the NBA because he is a big body...he has very few skills and cannot draw rim on a free throw. DON'T OVERPAY! We have overpaid way too many times in our franchise history (Ostertag, Derek Fisher, and Kirilinko are the obvious ones)

  • Draft dumbie
    July 15, 2010 7:49 a.m.

    Despite the recent great moves by the Jazz front office in adding Jefferson and Bell to the Jazz roster, I still think most fans are still scratching their heads, wondering why the Jazz did not get Wesley Matthews locked up into a favorable rookie contract in the $1-2 mil. range for 2-3 years, before trading Ronnie Brewer and giving Matthews a starting spot, so he could showcase his skills to the rest of the league as a potential free agent.

    Before the Jazz traded Brewer, and with CJ and Korver coming back from injuries, Matthew's future was still very tentative, and he certainly would have happily signed a small guaranteed contract extension for 2-3 years, especially with the bias teams have against giving undrafted free agents any kind of chance (compared to the chance that a team gives its drafted players).

    Hopefully the Jazz can learn from that mistake, and not make the same kind of mistake in the future, if they have the good fortune to find another "diamond in the rough" player.

  • Bugoff
    July 15, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    They need to ink Fes before POR decides they want to over pay for a bench C. I also agree with rvalens2 they need to stop playing head games with Fes and give him an inexpensive multi year contract with team options.

    If he can learn 1/2 of Jefferson's post moves he will be very good.

    If they can't get Fes back then Tolliver or Amundson would be okay.

    However, Fes has a defensive presence the Jazz need and they can bring Tomic in to play PF next year. Amundson is more of a PF.

    Jefferson is not fast. The Sloan flex will be modified to run more thru the C than in the past. As Fes develops moves he would be ideal to back up Jefferson. 2 beasts in the low post with Okur and Tomic as an alternate Euro game approach at C.

    That gives the Jazz versatility in their approach to various teams at both C and PF.

    The big problem is getting Jefferson and Okur to play D.

    With enough outside shooting the Beast at C approach is going to be better than Boozer.

    Millers are to be commended for lux tax.

  • Draft dumbie
    July 15, 2010 7:40 a.m.

    As I understand it, the Jazz still have two trade exceptions--a $6.5 mil trade exception from the Matt Harpring trade last year, and a $2.7 mil trade exception from the Ronnie Brewer trade last year. I would expect that the Jazz will add a league-minimum player (perhaps not guaranteed) in the fall to fill the 13th roster spot, but they may still use one of their trade exceptions to add another player before the trade deadline (if other teams are trying to dump salary, and are willing to give up talented players), perhaps in conjunction with dumping Kirilenko's salary, if he gets injured or is not playing well. I am looking forward to another exciting season, with the acquisition of Jefferson and Bell.

  • Draft dumbie
    July 15, 2010 7:32 a.m.

    I see the Jazz re-signing Fesenko, keeping Gaines and Evans (both at the league minimum, and perhaps not guaranteed), but not keeping Jeffers. That would leave the Jazz with 12 players--with one more roster spot to fill. In addition, the Jazz are not likely to sign another veteran free agent at this time, but will probably fill their last roster spot with someone that comes to fall Jazz camp as a potential rookie or young player trying to get back into the league or make the league for the first time (such as Wesley Matthews)--to whom they can pay the league minimum. Therefore, the Jazz should be able to get some young players with good potential into Jazz camp, because they know there is at least one roster spot available--that should make it much more interesting.

  • Draft dumbie
    July 15, 2010 7:02 a.m.

    I have always liked Fesenko from day one, because of his keen sense of humor, size, athleticism and potential. Most centers take time to develop, and sometimes teams give up on them too soon. If I remember right, even the Houston Rockets almost gave up on Hakeem Olajawan about three or four years before they won two NBA titles--and he was a once-in-a-generation-type center.

    If the Jazz can sign him cheap ($2-3 mil), they should sign him for as long as he will sign for--hopefully 5 years. I heard someone compare him to a young Arvidis Sabonis, and I think that is about right, except that Fesenko's shooting is not anywhere near the shooting ability of Sabonis. Fesenko needs to work very hard on his shooting, although he does seem to have a pretty good natural touch, which gives the Jazz something to work with. If he can develop a 10-15 foot jump shot, the Jazz will basically have a player similar in size, ability and athleticism to LA's Andrew Bynum. I am surprised more teams have not shown interest in Fesenko, but I am glad.

  • rvalens2
    July 15, 2010 1:48 a.m.

    Please Jazz ... when you re-sign Fesenko add an extra year to the contract at the team's option.

    If he develops at all (over the course of the contract) you'll be glad you did.

    If he turns into a TURKEY, you can let him go or maybe eat him.

  • toddfromsantaana
    July 15, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    Good news they want to try and keep Fes, pray they will. I see a tremendous future for the kid if he would focus and work on his game.

    O Connor will take credit but Sloan calls the shots

    Maybe Sloan would make a good GM
    What I know is

    we are better tonight than how we ended