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News » Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2008-05-27

Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2008-05-27

Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2008-05-27
--The Jazz watched as San Antonio eliminated them in last year's playoffs and went on to win their fourth championship in nine years. They could be in for the same fate after falling to the Lakers in the conference semifinals.

"I thought we played the most talented team in the NBA in the Lakers," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said, "with the deepest team."

"They're definitely going to be around with the group they've got," Deron Williams added. "When they added Pau (Gasol) this year, they just became a contender right away. Kobe's Kobe. They have a great group over there, they've got young guys, they've got a lot of energy off the bench and they're a great team."

--The biggest off-season story for the Jazz will come in trying to sign Williams to a long-term extension. Williams could sign a five-year extension worth upwards of $80 million that could keep him in Utah through the 2013-14 season.

"That's the plan," Williams said. "I definitely love it here. I think we have a great team, a great coaching staff and have a chance to win. That's the thing that's most important to me."

But Williams also could opt to follow the lead of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and opt for a shorter three-year extension that would give him flexibility if the Jazz fell from contender status, as well as another shot at free agency in 2011-12.

Williams made his case to be a maximum-contract player this season, which means the Jazz would have to get creative to keep the core of their team together while staying under the luxury tax threshold.

The Jazz already have one maximum contract player in Andrei Kirilenko and a payroll of $62.5 million for next season, not counting their first-round draft pick. Williams' extension would not kick in until the 2009-10 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You would like to take that giant step, but this is who we are and you kind of have to do it in stages." -- Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, on his team's youth and development.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 27, 2008


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