His contract option for next season picked up on Friday, Kyrylo Fesenko's representation now anticipates nothing but improvement for the 7-foot-1 Ukrainian center.

"His development is right on pace," Fesenko's Denver-based rep, Stu Lash, said after the Jazz exercised their right to retain Fesenko for a third NBA year at $870,000.

"It may be a little behind, because he hasn't played as much as he could have," Lash added. "But that's just because he's been on a good team with good players ahead of him."

Fesenko — a second-round draft choice in 2007 — appeared in just 30 games in his first two seasons with the Jazz, including 21 this past season.

Lash said the Jazz's decision was "kind of what I expected to happen," partly because "they've put two years in him and done a great job with him."

But at $870,000 for the 22-year-old, he suggested the Jazz — whose next focus is the June 25 NBA Draft — are getting a steal.

"Fes could potentially right now be a junior or senior in college," Lash said, "and he'd be a lottery pick in this draft."

Lash dismissed issues surrounding the happy-go-lucky Fesenko's maturity level.

"He's made tremendous strides, on and off the court, from year one to two," the rep said, "so there's no reason to think that growth is not going to continue."

Lash also dismissed concerns about Fesenko's conditioning, noting that during the past season his weight dropped from 300 pounds to the 285-to-295 range.

"I don't know big guys," he said, "that don't have issues with conditioning."

OSTERTAG SKATING, BAKING: Speaking of big guys with conditioning issues, ex-Jazz center Greg Ostertag is enjoying pursuing some favorite passions.

And not just golf.

One is ice hockey. The other involves baking and icing cakes.

According to the Arizona Republic, the 7-foot-2 Ostertag — who now makes his home in suburban Phoenix — "on most Wednesday nights … can be found in the Ice Den in Scottsdale, playing forward in a no-checking, men's hockey league."

He had a hat trick in a recent game, and he said he plays to win.

As for the baking, according to the Republic, "While watching his son play (basketball) in a recent summer-league game, Ostertag shuffles through his cell phone to display a slide show of his cakes — a Cardinals-Steelers Super Bowl cake, a wedding cake, his daughter Shelby's swim cake."

"Just learning how to make the icing, color the icing, the shapes, how to draw, that's the hard part," he told the newspaper. "I just get an idea in my head and go from there."

As for the NBA, 36-year-old Ostertag again suggested what he has previously — that he wants back in.

"It's just a matter of getting back into shape," he told the Republic. "I can still play.

"I can put in 10 or 15 minutes a game, get some rebounds and block some shots.

"Young teams aren't going to pick me up. A veteran team looking for somebody to give them 10-15 minutes, go in there and bang with other guys, that would be the team."

8 comments on this story

Ostertag's 6-foot-5, 15-year-old son Cody told the Phoenix paper: "I'm actually looking forward to being a little bit better than he was."

FAMILY TIES: Kirk Korver — youngest brother of Jazz backup shooting guard Kyle Korver — signed a letter of intent last month with the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The 6-8, 225-pound big man will be the fourth Korver brother to play college basketball. He's following in the footsteps of Kyle (Creighton), Klayton (Drake) and Kaleb (currently at Creighton).

E-MAIL: tbuckley@desnews.com