Taking Al Jefferson May Mean Utah Concedes Wesley Matthews To Portland

July 13th, 2010 by Nick Poust Leave a reply »
Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Al Jefferson and the remaining three years and $42 million left on his contract are headed to the Utah Jazz in exchange for picks, center Kosta Koufos, and salary-cap relief. Taking on his contract puts the Jazz into the luxury tax, which hinders their ability to match the Portland Trail Blazers five-year, $34 million offer to 23-year old shooting guard Wesley Matthews .

Utah needs Matthews, but can’t afford him at that price; especially since they need to keep center Kyrylo Fesenko, which puts them even deeper into luxury tax. They lost shooting guard Kyle Korver to the Chicago Bulls earlier this offseason, so losing two shooters depletes them drastically. Korver was a spot-up shooter, and a very good one at that. He was particularly valuable from beyond the arc, helping spread the floor adequately. Matthews contrasted Korver well as a scrappy defender with a versatile offensive game.

I like what Matthews brings to the table. I don’t like the money thrown at him. He showed a lot in his first season. Jerry Sloan moved him into the starter’s role late in the season, which says a lot about his impact. He ...

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