Utah Jazz notebook: Wesley Matthews, Kyrylo Fesenko get qualifying offers

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  • Chuck Nunn
    June 30, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    Uncle Rico, you're living too much in '82. Winglish, Fesenko was on the bench when the Lakers took control of every game early. And I don't know how all of you cats know what happens in Jazz practice when they're closed to EVERYONE. Must be clairvoyant, I reckon. Fesenko will be back, and he's just going to continue to improve.

  • toddfromsantaana
    June 29, 2010 11:20 p.m.

    I am not ready to give up on Fez or KK

  • Captain L
    June 29, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    Re Bugoff: I agree that the Jazz need to quit worrying about signing Boozer(it would be stupid, IMO)and worry about who they could find to fill his spot for alot cheaper. Financially it would cripple the Jazz for years.
    If they will worry about developing Fes and KK they will have the two bigs they need.

  • Bugoff
    June 29, 2010 9:38 p.m.

    I am less worried about paying Mathews than I am signing and keeping Boozer.

    If the Jazz give Boozer a 6 year contract starting at 12 mill (sounds reasonable) with 11% raises each year then Boozer is costing 20 mill in his last year when he is 34+. That sound really dumb to me.

  • Winglish
    June 29, 2010 7:56 p.m.

    Fesenko was lost on the floor several times during crunch time against both Denver and LA. I watched and heard from the sideline as he threw his arms in the air mid-play and queried D-Will with "What do I do?"
    Let's be really honest. We all know Fesenko has the body to play center in the NBA. He's huge! But come on, this guy has completed three years in the league and still doesn't know the offense. Give me a break. Until Fesenko learns to take his preparation seriously he'll never be anything but unfulfilled potential.
    Koufos plays too soft. He's afraid to mix it up. He's like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. If Koufos finds some courage he'll be a good player.

  • Bugoff
    June 29, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    Most NBA coaches do not consider Mathews to be "starter quality". Utah does not use the SG much. Brewer started for years and he is a back up on a non playoff team. How much is Brewer going to get in FA?

    We cut Mathews slack since he is a rookie. He plays hard. He did really well for a rookie. However, most teams would not start him at SG. Utah is one of the few teams who would start him and that is mainly because Sloan does not use the SG like a normal team would.

    It will be interesting to see if Hayward can beat out CJ as a rookie.

    Even if the Jazz offer Boozer a 6 year contract starting at 12 mill a year, it will be a disaster with 11% raises each year. That is 20 mill a year for Boozer when he is 34.

    The Jazz are idiots if they fall for that. Let some cap team have him and get something back in a sign and trade.

  • NYJazzFan
    June 29, 2010 5:18 p.m.

    Jazz need to let Boozer walk because they have to keep Okur due to the injury. Had Okur not been injured they could have traded him and kept Boozer. The Jazz will sign Mathews and Fes (hopefully Sloan will give him more pt). They need to sign a veteran big.. One idea that might work but will never happen - Utah sign and trade Boozer for Curry. Curry is giant and has talent and can be motivated by Sloan. If not he is off the books next year anyway. But what will Jazz do? go the safe route.. 55 wins exit 2nd round playoffs - terrible draft pick btw.. bye bye Korver..

  • Uncle Rico
    June 29, 2010 5:10 p.m.

    "After the way he ( Fasenko) played in the playoffs"?!!

    Fes got lit up by the lakers, they made him look like a complete fool.


  • toddfromsantaana
    June 29, 2010 5:06 p.m.

    Blauch, you make good points. Being we have so little money to work with for one I do not want to pay Matthews 3 or 4 million yet... He has one decent year in this league. Reading inside rumors and searching sites and all NBA news I can find, The Jazz are not likely (as expected) to sign anybody, making (as usual) my prediction true.

    The 2010-2011 Jazz will be close to the same exact roster as 2009-2010, 2008-2009, 2007-2008 etc, etc.

    2 suitors seem to be in the front running for Korver:

    Minnesota and the Spurs in particular if they can get rid of Jefferson.

    Being Bosh seems to be "unassuming" low key quiet guy who is professional and does not make a lot of racket-I do not assume he would not come here to play with DWIL. Likely Sloan and his "sloanaholics" would accept him and he would be low maintenance to coach.

    He could replace Boozer and give us 2 more inches which would be great.

    The other option is Joe Johnson who gives you a proven scorer at#2 strengthening us at that position with Millie replacing Boozer, Plus gain overall

  • mulrich
    June 29, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    Matthews is still in his second year. If we burn the majority of our mid-level exception on him we're dumb. If we had drafted him with our first round pick instead of Maynor he'd be paid $1.4M this upcoming season. If we gave Matthews our full mid-level exception he'd be paid more than any other second year player.

    In a few years if Matthews has progressed and is still productive he'd be worth the full MLE. Right now he is a great young prospect, but not worth much more than an above average second year player.

  • Bugoff
    June 29, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    The Jazz really should not pay Mathews more than 4 mill and probably less. They can get very good if not better SGs for that kind of money.

    There seems to be a debate on how much Boozer is worth. There are a lot of teams with cap space. Those same teams seem worried about his injury history.

    If he can only get 12-13 mill by moving the Jazz will probably keep him and juggle something else. I feel it is time to move beyond Boozer for a lot of reasons but if he gets cheap enough (10-12 mill)he gets more tempting.

    Lee is a logical replacement for Stoudamire at PHO. Bosh is going to follow James. I think CLE and CHI are the most likely. I suspect Stoudamire goes to MIA.

    The idea that Fes can only get an offer from the Jazz is not very accurate. He is young and raw but he is better than about 10 other Cs who played last year who are old and worn out. It sounds like his agent will be reasonable and that he wants to stay.

    I think you will see steady progress from Fes.

  • blauch
    June 29, 2010 12:54 p.m.


    AK contract is not destroying this franchise. The Jazz made it to the second round of the playoffs. They are one of the top 10 franchises in the League.
    Is AK Over Paid - Yes

    Let say we take AK contract off the books right now.
    Would the Jazz be any more inclined to pay Boozer 6 years at max. No. I am not predicting if the Jazz resign or don't resign Boozer. I am just saying that the Jazz will give him an offer based on what they think he is worth.

    Does AK salary stop us from getting another Free Agent?

    The Jazz are sitting at 38 million without AK contract (assuming Matthews and Fes return). That
    give them enough for one max player.
    If the Jazz resign Boozer they would use up all the cap space.

    Would it be nice to offer Bosh max money, but I suspect that Bosh will be going to a team that gets James. Since Boozer is considered the 5 or 6 best free agent and since the top 3 (Bosh, Wade, James) want to pay together

    Any free agent (Stoudemire, Lee, Johnson,) would cost us Boozer and AK

  • toddfromsantaana
    June 29, 2010 11:36 a.m.

    Houdini is right as usual......The 3 guys Williams, Milsap and Matthews do all go out 150 percent of the time, although at times I say Paul get a little discouraged last year in some games.

    If you had 9 more with heart to match talent we would be unstoppable in this league...The Jazz will not find a taker or trade Kirilenko and that is destroying this franchise.

    Between "Joisey", "Nellie the Buffoon"

    you could trade him...

    but you need an actual General Manager to do that

  • salsmanruss
    June 29, 2010 11:31 a.m.

    Start Fez and Milsap; let Boozer go; bring Okur off the bench as a power forward/center sub for experience and offense off the bench. Then go for either veteran outside shooting that does not fizzle down the stretch or in the playoffs (i.e., Korver), and or an athletic big who can swat shots. Scoring not a priority, we have that. David Lee may also be a cheaper option than Booz (and Boozer, if you read this, I am actually a fan of yours, but business means shedding some favs to make room for an all around team with cap money situations).

  • Batman
    June 29, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Fez = bad.

    Time for the Jazz to realize that and move on. Seriously, he is just a tall bad player, and a head case at that.

  • johntakarl
    June 29, 2010 10:10 a.m.

    You fans are ridiculous. Please learn about the way things work in the NBA and matching rules, qualifying offers, etc, BEFORE YOU VOICE AN OPINION. Please!!

  • Captain L
    June 29, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    Re Houdini : At it again aren't you.

  • The Final Word
    June 29, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    "Matthews was offered less than a million...that is ridiculous"

    Oh really? From whose perspective is that ridiculous?

    Should the Jazz have voided D-Wills contract year 2 because he was worth more money than his rookie contract was paying him?

    Matthews is now under Jazz contract since he received a qualifying offer.

    With any luck hopefully other teams will look at the history/reputation of the Jazz for matching on restricted FA deals (ie. Millsap) and not bother offering Matthews a deal only to have the Jazz drag it out a week and then match. Dumb.

    Then if that happens the Jazz negotiate a reasonable salary, without having to burn up and waste all or part of our mid-level exception, and sign Matthews to a fair deal.

    Then the Jazz would have remaining options/money to potentially work some other deals further improving the team.

    You must be an obama supporter with that "fair" mentality. Should we just send all the players a note and ask them what they are worth on their contracts?

    This is an example of why I am glad professionals run this team and not fans.

    What a joke.

  • The Great Houdini
    June 29, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Just think ..if everyone had the same heart and drive that Millsap,Williams and Matthews have,I know... dream on

  • Jazz Source
    June 29, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    re: Tagzz

    Educate yourself. Please.

    The Jazz are very smart in what they have done historically/with these two contracts. Here is why.

    The Jazz make qualifying offers to these guys and now have the right to match any offer. What has been the history of the Jazz matching restricted free agent offers? Most recently Millsap?

    They match. Teams know that.

    So, Jazz have publicly made it known they intend to match at least on Matthews. So if a team makes an offer they essentially know they will either have to dramatically overpay for him in which case they will overpay for a player OR the Jazz will match the offer.

    So what team likes those options? Why would a team want to offer Matthews a competitive deal only to have their offer money tied up in a offer letter (while the rest of the league is signing other available players) only to have the Jazz delay then ultimately match and them lose out entirely on other available players?

    This move ASSURES the Jazz of being in the drivers seat. They either get Matthews cheaper because of their history of matching or at "market" value.

    Potential upside. Limited downside.


  • The Great Houdini
    June 29, 2010 8:56 a.m.

    Todd and Big Tuna,I hope you`re right but I think some good playoff teams are gonna go after Matthews,this kids a player.As for Fes,if he really worked hard all the time including practice I would tend to think he is gonna be a good solid player.He reminds me a bit of Mel "can I get another double cheeseburger" Turpin,,talent but no comittment...can you say "CJ Miles"

  • Confused
    June 29, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    This was a qualifying offer set by the NBA's Collective bargaining Agreement. This is a formality to be able to match ANY offer by another team.
    Now this is different then the actual negotiating a new contract (which they look like it will be around 6 mil/yr) process. This part the Jazz can offer as much as they feel they can afford.

  • Fred704
    June 29, 2010 8:14 a.m.

    I guess not many people call a second rounder a bust.

    June 29, 2010 8:12 a.m.

    Mathews was offered less than a million... That is ridiculous... He deserves way more than that... Kick Fes to the curb, Kick Koufos to the curb, keep Boozer, and get a big man... You can get rid of AK and Jerry Sloan if you want as well but don't let Mathews and Boozer fly under the radar and go somewhere else!!

  • ezwood
    June 29, 2010 7:39 a.m.

    Fez is a bust, periord. With his size he should be able to do something, at least defensivley. He comes into the season out of shape, after palying for Russia. This tells me he doesn't play hard. Only free agency could salvage this upcoming season. And G Hayward? Come on, another upsatnding white boy to sit at the end of the bench!

  • Draft dumbie
    June 29, 2010 7:20 a.m.

    Centers have always taken time to develop, except for the few who are immediately allstars (and even those type of players still get better as they get more experienced--such as Hakeem Olojawan). That was true even when players used to go to four years of college before coming to the NBA. Both Fesenko and Koufos came to the Jazz at age 19, so you would expect them to have even a longer learning curve. And, if you look at the salaries of even some of the mediocre backup centers, such as Nazr Mohammed or Dasagna Diop, they are earning about $6 mil per year. Even Jarron Collins, who was a total stiff at center, was being paid $2 mil per year. Therefore, it would be great if the Jazz could lock in Fesenko at $1.5 mil to $2 mil for several more years--in the next few years he should be well worth that type of money, even as a backup. Fesenko showed some good flashes of talent in the playoffs--now he just has to get used to playing more minutes, so he can be productive on a more regular basis.

  • Bugoff
    June 29, 2010 7:03 a.m.

    Okur had an inside game when he chose to play it. However, he preferred his outside game. Also partly out of deference to Boozer, he moved outside. Okur could have had more points and rebounds but deferred to Boozer.

    The Okur 3s were spectacular and in some situations very helpful. In some situations going outside was the right strategy. However, the Jazz would have won more games over all if Okur consistently played a stronger inside game. That would have reduced Boozer's stats.

    Boozer distorts the offense to some degree and that tends to cost games. Even though he demands a double team, teams tend to pack the paint to stop him inside.

    Once the paint is packed and Boozer is stopped inside the Sloan flex (as now constituted) dies. The Jazz turn into an ad hoc jump shooting team.

    The team has to have more balance with more outside shooting capability. It also needs another inside attack option than Boozer or the PF position. The Jazz are too dependent on the PF attack.

    If the C and SF can also attack effectively inside AND if the wings can shoot the Jazz become lethal.

    More talent is needed.

  • yojimbo
    June 29, 2010 1:21 a.m.

    $1 Mil for Fes is absolutely worth it man and probably up to $2 IMO

  • Uteology
    June 29, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    "After the way he played in the playoffs and the commitment that's been made to him at this point, it's safe to say (the qualifying offer) was expected," Fesenko's agent, Stu Lash.


    I expect that comment from his mother but Stu come on did you really say that with a straight face.

    Fez was given the OPPORTUNITY to prove him self and all he did was be awed by the stars in LA (see ESPN).

    Personally I think Kufos has is a better shooter and has better hands. Unless we're only happy playing for a division title I say start him for 40+ games to see he's a bust or not. Okur can come off the bench as a 3 point specialist since he has no inside game anyways.

  • SportzFan
    June 28, 2010 11:35 p.m.


    The Jazz are relieved to have the approval of a former coach of a league in LA where players who used to play in Europe play. They are especially relieved you are willing to give a one-year window to Fes, who you spent the whole season propping up as the center of the present and future.

  • toddfromsantaana
    June 28, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    Houdini, I am willing to give fes one more year and then the excuses will be gone. I criticize a lot but these 2 moves are cool, I have no problem with it

  • Large Tuna
    June 28, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    Matthews definitely deserves a raise and a long-term contract, but I don't think they'll get bit nearly as hard as they did when the Blazers went after Milsap. At least I hope not!

  • The Great Houdini
    June 28, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    Hope it doesn`t turn into a Millsap situation where we are held hostage,Matthews deserves a nice raise,but Fes???? honestly what has he done to earn it? hang out with his Russian buds,smokin and joking and not putting much into his game...