Utah Jazz: Wesley Matthews, Kyrylo Fesenko at Jazz crossroads

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  • snakenamedjoe
    May 15, 2010 10:56 a.m.

    I can't help but laugh at anyone who says we need Fez. Did I miss something? Does one of our good players need a kidney from him or something? He is an oaf. He's a huge liability on offense, and his defense is barely passable. People like him because he's tall, and 'you can't teach height', but folks, this guy is not the next Mark Eaton. He is not even the next Greg Ostertag. Carmelo Anthony kept repeating his name in that interview as a joke. He thought it was funny that the Jazz were playing this doofus that wouldn't even be able to get into a pickup game at the park.

    Everyone (Deron Wiliams) sees that the Jazz need to make adjustments, but no one (Deron Williams) is willing to part with any of our players.

    Williams talks about how the Jazz need to change, but every player he's asked about he hopes they'll be back next year. The Jazz aren't quite good enough to win, but they're good enough that everyone is afraid to give up any of the pieces and make a change.

  • Rick
    May 14, 2010 3:19 p.m.

    Wes is a diamond in the ruff...an NBA player that loves to play defense !!! You rarely get a player willing to lay it all on the line using up most of his energy on the d-end....I've never seen a player in 40 years get his body into position so many times to take a charge & he kept doing it to melo & kobe...more calls should have gone his way (CHARGES), but this is the NBA & david stern instructs the refs to treat rookies like a piece of meat...The double standard in this league since M.J.'s days is ridiculous...God for bid a ref EVER calls a foul on Kobe & allows kobe to go off on him without giving kobe a technical...Wes is a MUST sign who will be a star for many years..Even if his offensive skills don't improve greatly, he's a monster on defense...Utah shouldn't rush into the F.A. market if the right player isn't available..Living here in N.Y. I saw many Big East games & Greg Monroe can do it ALL..He just needs to get tuffer & play with an edge.

  • grouchyoldman
    May 14, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    Great year and future for Wesley Matthews. However, I believe that he should do as D-Will did in the off season. Go spend the summer with one of the greatest 2/3 men ever in the NBA and learn, study and learn. May I suggest Hornacek. There are worse things you could do with your off season.

  • scalman
    May 13, 2010 6:05 p.m.

    The Utah Jazz are a lot closer than many apparently think to competing with the Lakers. They have to concentrate on keeping only those players who can play decent defense. That means keeping Fes and Matthews and Miles (jury still out) and letting Boozer and Korver go. That means drafting either Derrick Favors or Donatas Motiejunas this year, even though Donatas is not yet the defensive force that he hopefully will prove to be. Since the Jazz will have to be lucky to get Favors, I think Donatas is their best bet for a superior power forward. In just two years, he and Milsap, along with Fesenko and KIrilenko/MIles, will form an awesome front line. If Kirilenko retires by then, the Jazz might be able to woo Ante Tomic from Europe to help fill his shoes. One other plus...Donatas (from Lithuania) actually speaks pretty good English already.

  • Bugoff
    May 12, 2010 11:23 p.m.

    I think Fes will be here. Sloan actually likes him as long as he keep the team rules and is on time and somewhat serious.

    What might cause Fes to go elsewhere is a really good offer that the Jazz will find painful to match.

    Mathews can get up to 5.5 Mill from another team (Hoopsworld). I am not sure if that rule also applies to Fes but I think that is the ceiling that another team can offer.

    Many teams would not offer nearly that much but he just had a decent series against LA and DEN. He had bad nights and good nights but he has shown potential.

    He ranks 97th and Koufos ranks 99th out of 120 listed NBA Cs (that includes a lot of PFs) in WS40 score.

    They both have a long way to go but they are not the worst Cs in the NBA and both will get a lot better with playing time.

  • toddfromsantaana
    May 12, 2010 10:28 p.m.

    I want Fes to stay, but I predict knowing Miller, Sloan.,"his sloanaholics", O connor

    fes will be in another Jersey next year

    By the way the Jazz "are not serious" about winning titles

  • startreatment
    May 12, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    Fesenko is a surprisingly good passer for a big man. And, as Captain L pointed out, his shooting form is not that bad. If he could develop a decent foul shot and a decent 10-12 foot jump shot (which appears to be possible based on his current shooting form), he would be a real load for other teams to contend with on offense--and we have all seen his potential on defense.

    Furthermore, if the Jazz could sign him to a 3-4 year contract at between $1.5 and $3 mil. per year, that would be a good deal by NBA standards, even for a back-up center.

    Finally, I have noticed tremendous improvement in his "floor sense" within the past three years. When he first came to the Jazz he always seemed to be out-of-position to get a rebound, to run the offense, or to block or alter a shot. Each year he has shown marked improvement in that aspect of his game. With increased playing time, he finally seems to be getting a better overall feel for the game--even though he still seems to be out of position for rebounds on occasion.

  • Captain L
    May 12, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    Re Bugoff 7:39 : Very good.

  • Bugoff
    May 12, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    Fes will not become D Howard. He may never be as good as Shaq or YAO. The Jazz do not need him to be.

    They need him to knock down cutters, rebound, muscle C/PFs, block shots, take up space and get a garbage baskets.

    He can do that. In time he will get some inside moves and get more points.

    Fes gave more hard fouls in the few minutes he played than the rest of the Jazz team in the whole playoffs. That alone made a big difference.

    I still see Lawson running away from him. After he hit the floor once he would circle thru the paint. I remember the look on Melo's face as he rubbed his head.

    I remember the look on Kobe's face as he took his fouls shots after attacking the rim and hiting Fes instead. Ask Gasol, Bynum and Odom (disappeared) how they like playing against Fes. Ask Nene (disappeared) and Kmart (disappeared).

    Don't tell me Fes does not change the game.

    He is very raw. He does not know how to switch well. He is not going to score a lot.

    UT loses to DEN without Fes.

  • Captain L
    May 12, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    I can't believe that people can't see that Fes has tons of potential. He is exactly what you would want to pick up in the draft. He is 7'1", 300 lbs, agile, & athletic. He may not shoot that well now but his form isn't bad and all he needs is PT and confidence. Malone didn't shoot 50% from the FT line his first year. Fes will be at least decent as a shooter, watch and see.
    I like to look for young players with potential to root for and watch to see them develop. CJ is one that has a lot more potential still to develop but at least he is starting to show some of his abilities. Fes is another player with tons of potential, he is coordinated, especially for a big man, he runs the floor very well, his problem on offense is he rushes and hurries things. When he learns to slow down and take his time and concentrate he will be fine on offense.

    Re grj : I agree with Chuck, the Jazz need Fes, he could be really good if given the chance and the right coaching.

  • Chuck Nunn
    May 12, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    A clown hiding behind his initials wants to call someone else insane. What's insane is failing to see this kid's potential. Fesenko will be a good NBA player given the time. Utah might as well be the team to benefit.

  • Bugoff
    May 12, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    If Fes is so bad why is his plus minus the highest of the Jazz players? Why did the Jazz consistently play better with him in and worse with him out?

    What is insane is failing to admit there have been serious problems at C/PF for years with the Jazz.

    I can easily see Fes and the word championship in the same sentence. What if he played for OKC or backed up YAO? For that matter is he worse than Mbenga? LAs back up.

    He beat up Melo, Lawson, Kobe and Gasol. He is worth 2 mill just for muscle. He rebounded against the big LA front line. Who else does that? Boozer, Millsap and a few other elite rebounders.

    When he gets to the point of putting up 10-12 points with 10 rebounds in 25 minutes he will be better than most NBA Cs. He will do that by Christmas of next year with the playing time.

    Insane? Wait and see.

  • JK
    May 12, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    How is fez obvious...the only obvious is that they should let him walk....what a waste of space....

    anyone that thinks the Jazz will win or even progress with this guy at center is insane....

    to bugoff.....don't ever use Championship and Fesenko in the same paragraph...they're not a fit...

  • Bugoff
    May 12, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    Fes and Mathews are obvious. Fes will develop rapidly if he gets 20-35 minutes a night. Look at Roy Williams and the Lopez twins.

    A good defensive C (FA) who can put up 10-12 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes is usually worth about 10 Mill a year.

    At 2 mill a year Fes is worth it just to warm the bench as an insurance player. Collins is starting for PHO. He only plays a few minutes. Fes is better. Bigs who can plug the lane, rebound and slam are worth more than people realize.

    People knock Koufos but if you give him 25 minutes of playing time he will become much better fast. He used to be a good outside shooter. That has totally disappeared under Sloan. He is not likely to get blocked out from the basket. He needs inside moves but he can shoot from the outside if he has time to set. Much like Okur.

    It is a brave new adventure. It will be interesting. At least DWill is openly calling for more talent.

  • Chuck Nunn
    May 12, 2010 2:39 p.m.

    The match on Fesenko is a no-brainer. The match on Matthews is a BIG no-brainer.

  • Batman
    May 12, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    Fes doesn't look all the good to me. I still highly doubt he turns into a consistent player, but it may be worth giving him a couple more if he isn't too expensive. I wouldn't pay him more than 1 million per season, 2 max. Let him go if it is more than that.

    May 12, 2010 12:30 p.m.

    Are you kidding me about Fes?? Be patient with 7' 1" guys? How long did we wait with overpaid Ostertag?? Honestly, if we are talking money here the Jazz overpay for the production they are getting. Yes, we love our players, yes they are loyal and all want to stay here, yes we have decent season every year, but is that what we want??? Or do we actually want a championship? Probably can't afford it, but Amare Stoudemire would probably be the answer to a lot of problems.

  • Samwise
    May 12, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    I would say out of the Free agents (restricted and unrestricted, so including Boozer), Matthews should be the highest priority for the Jazz to resign.

    It would be nice to keep Boozer, but he will be expensive. And Milsap is good enough to start, if they also have a tall center. Thus, Matthews would be worth more for the Jazz per dollar paid then Boozer would.

    Fes could work for that tall center role, especially if he decides to work out as much as it sounds like Matthews will in the off season. That could make Fes quite important to keep, especially if it becomes obvious Boozer is going to leave.

    I also hope the Jazz are able to keep Korver, but sadly I might put him as the lowest priority out of the free agents, unless the Jazz can get another 7 foot+ center somehow (Kofous will not be good enough for this role, so they would need a new one if Fes leaves).

  • Bugoff
    May 12, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    Startreatment has some very well thought out comments. They are workable. Outlaw/Morrow are nice ideas.

    It is easier and cheaper to move AK to PF and get help at SF.

    The big questions are how fast Fes/Koufos develop offense and how much Fes/Mathews cost?

    The Jazz can afford and need to pay some Lux tax if they are serious about winning a champ. However, they have to spend it very wisely.

  • SoCal
    May 12, 2010 11:52 a.m.

    Matthews...... PLEASE......Take AK, Miles and Milsap with you when you become a gym rat. Anyone who works that hard to become better should take his team mates along with him.
    I am all on the Matthews band wagon.

  • startreatment
    May 12, 2010 11:29 a.m.

    What I'd do:

    Although I like Boozer, Jazz must let him go, or risk being $20 mil. over luxury cap.

    Kirilenko and Millsap can adequately handle PF position. Re-sign Matthews, Gaines (better backup than Price) and Fesenko (centers take time to develop--only way Jazz will get a decent center is draft a "project" and develop him; Fesenko could be as good as Bynum, if he develops foul shooting and jump shot within 15 feet). Fesenko and Koufos must "man" the center position until Okur recovers (which will hasten their development).

    Sign Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow as free agents--both should be reasonably priced, are long, can shoot 3's and play defense.

    1st pick: Long, athletic big man with potential, such as--Derrick Favors, Hassan Whiteside, Kevin Seraphin (leave him in France for 1-2 years to develop and save salary), Ekpe Udoh, Daniel Orton. 2nd pick: big guard/small forward, such as Quincy Poindexter/Lance Stephenson.

    2010/2011 Line-up:

    Okur Fesenko Koufos
    Kirilenko Millsap 1stpickrookie
    Miles Outlaw
    Morrow Matthews 2ndpickrookie(?)
    Williams Gaines Price

    2010/2011 Salary $72-75 mil.; 2011/2012--under luxury tax with Kirilenko extension of $7-9 mil.

  • Utah Man
    May 12, 2010 10:56 a.m.

    I love Wes Matthews. His performance speaks for itself, however, I think he should be getting a three year deal in the range of $9-$10 million in total. I still would like to see the Jazz bring Fes back but dump Koufos. Please draft Greg Monroe or Wesley Johnson.

    May 12, 2010 10:40 a.m.

    I think KOC and Sloan have already figured it out, Sloan wouldn't play him if they didn't plan on keep him, he could use KK. He might be the key to complement a trade in order to bring a big player down here, we can sign him and trade him. But I really would like to have Fes in the Jazz uniform, he will be better than Collins and has a lot of room for development, he is young and he will get better with more playing time.

  • Ak Fan
    May 12, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    Right on ED. Jazz tried to keep in secret but exposed. Fes will be better player with right coaching. Matt ? hmmm will see. He reached his potential I guess won't be any better.

  • ed
    May 12, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    The last game of the season probably doubled Fes' value. Maybe we should have kept that hidden.

  • Bugoff
    May 12, 2010 9:10 a.m.

    HOU would jump on Fes as injury insurance for YAO. There are a lot of teams who would want him as a back up like Gortat. They would stash him until needed and help him develop.

    OKC would love to have him they need someone to back up Krstic. LA and DEN would love to have him just so he does not foul them hard. Bynum is injury prone. What is a couple of extra mill to LA?

    Everyone knows Fes will get better with playing time. Teams who play zone love him. Teams with simple offenses know they can plug him in at back up. Good teams can give him garbage time and develop him for a cheap couple of years. Then what do you have? At worst a cheap back up C.

    Collins is still playing for PHO. Fes is better than Collins.

    May 12, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    Wes Matthews is the man... Give him a fat salary and keep him in Utah, He is an outstanding player and deserves a lot of money after the great season he had... You gotta love how he stated that he had to go get the food for the team hahahahaha... He is one guy I would love to meet and talk with for an hour or so...

  • RealityCheck
    May 12, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    Keep Mattews, lose Fes. I like the guy, but we're trying to run a business here.

  • Doug10
    May 12, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Fes played himself into and right out of a big contract. When going against Denver he was okay until they figured out how to play him. After that he was unable to be effective against Denver and never was a concern for the Lakers who have a really smart coach.

    Would another team want him? Perhaps but only if they were short of players to send to the D league, or they needed someone to teach their team how to shoot free throws.

    Matthews is a keeper and I think that betweens Sloan and KOC they figured that out. Now the only thing they have to argue about is the price.

    Speaking of Price is there a team that needs a back up pg that can't shoot, doesn't like to pass but can really jump high and excel at ineffectiveness?

  • jefff
    May 12, 2010 7:10 a.m.

    I'd keep all the two guys. They know the system,they're good guys, and the've plenty of space to improve. Wes is, right now, an NBA player, but you can find a lot of effective 2/3 in the league. I set the limit on a 4 yest/10 millions contract.
    Fes is still a project but big guys are harder to evaluate before 3/4 years in the pros, and he's really big... 2 years 3/4 millions

  • grj
    May 12, 2010 6:11 a.m.

    Don't get me wrong - I like the guy - but did you just say the Jazz need Fesenko???

  • Chuck Nunn
    May 12, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    Fesenko ought to be an easy match, although Dan Fegan is going to be selling the heck out of him. I'd rest easier if he just signed for the qualifying offer from Utah. But the Jazz need him, and although he'd eventually take on with whoever signed him, he's a better fit here.

  • Bugoff
    May 11, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    The Jazz are probably going to do what they did with Millsap. If they can not get Mathews and Fes for cheap (agents), they will have them get an offer and match it. If the price is to high then they will let them walk.

    They have more value to the Jazz than other teams. They know the system and play better in that system.

    Some teams may want to jack up the price just to shaft the Jazz. The Jazz have to have a C and Fes is it especially if Booz goes.

    The Jazz only have the MLE for buying FAs. They have to keep most of their current players or replace them with old worn out VETs for the minimum.

    Wes would not start for another playoff team (better next year). The Jazz do not rely on the SG like most teams.

    Fes is a real wild card. Some teams want him just because he fouls hard. LA/DEN may want him so he can't foul them. He hurts people. He takes up space. He is a good insurance player/project for some teams. The Jazz may have to pay him 2-3 mill.