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News » Utah Jazz Roster Report 2009-04-30

Utah Jazz Roster Report 2009-04-30

Utah Jazz Roster Report 2009-04-30
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Deron Williams overcame the most significant injury of his career, a sprained left ankle that cost him 13 games in the season's first month, to lead the Jazz with 19.4 points and 10.7 assists. That included a run of five consecutive games in which Williams averaged 30 points and shot better than 50 percent, the first guard to do so since Michael Jordan. For the third consecutive season, Williams was passed over for the All-Star team, yet he continued to establish himself as one of the NBA's premier young players and as the Jazz's franchise cornerstone.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: Through five seasons with the Jazz, Carlos Boozer has played in only 67.3 percent of the team's games. He once again suffered a long-term injury when he went down with a strained left quadriceps tendon in November and ultimately required knee surgery in January. Boozer missed 44 games and more than three months in all, though his absence did create an opportunity for Paul Millsap to start. But the Jazz went only 16-15 (15-11 in the regular season) after Boozer returned Feb. 23, with his inconsistent play throwing off the team's rhythm. Boozer also angered Jazz fans with his comments in December that he would opt out of his contract after the season and planned to receive a raise. Boozer made the comments even as he was out of the lineup injured.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: The Jazz could be in for their most eventful off-season since 2004, with as many as nine players who could become free agents. Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver could all opt out of their contracts before June 30. Should all three not opt out, the Jazz would face luxury-tax concerns, with more than $71 million committed to nine players for 2009-10. The Jazz's top priority will be re-signing restricted free agent Paul Millsap, who will be in line for a significant raise from the NBA-minimum $797,581 he made this season. The Jazz also could re-sign Ronnie Brewer to a contract extension, much as they did last summer with Deron Williams, beginning July 1. Jarron Collins, Brevin Knight, Ronnie Price and Morris Almond all will be unrestricted free agents. Collins plans on playing basketball somewhere next season, even if his eight-season run in Utah is over. The Jazz also have to decide by June 15 about exercising an $870,000 option to bring back 22-year-old center Kyrylo Fesenko for next season. Fesenko has played only 30 games in two years.


--G Ronnie Price sparked the Jazz in the fourth quarter as they got to within six points of the Lakers in the last four minutes. Price had eight points, five assists, three offensive rebounds and a steal in 14 minutes. It was his most extensive action since Feb. 5.

--C Mehmet Okur had eight points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes in his second start since returning from a strained right hamstring. Okur went only 2-for-9 from the field and was 2-for-12 in the two games he played in this series.

--G Ronnie Brewer bounced back from his Game 4 struggles in trying to slow Kobe Bryant to finish with 10 points and six rebounds in 35 minutes. Brewer even stripped Bryant of his dribble as the Jazz closed within six points in the fourth quarter.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009


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