DRAFT PICKS: Round 1: #20 Round 2: #50
|23. Kosta Koufos||25. Morris Almond||14. Ronnie Brewer||3. Deron Williams|
|* Draft rights traded|
Jerry Sloan worked his magic for the 21st straight year in Utah, plugging players in and out of the lineup whenever another one of his stars was relegated to the injury list. The 68-year-old Sloan finished sixth in Coach of the Year voting but it's unlikely the five coaches voted ahead of him could have taken the 2008-09 Jazz to the Playoffs as Sloan did.
Utah ranked 19th in the league in rebounds and 21st in blocks per game as injuries ravaged a frontline of Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko, a unit already suspect when it came to getting stops down low.
It seems as if half of Utah's roster could be gone next season, especially if Korver, Okur and Boozer decide to opt out of their contracts and find work elsewhere. After stating his desire to test the market back in February, Boozer changed his tune after the Jazz exited from the postseason, saying "I do want to stay [in Utah]. I think we have a lot of great pieces in place and a very talented team."
That might have been too little too late. The Jazz could look to trade Boozer and re-sign Millsap at a cheaper rate. Keeping Boozer, in his seventh year out of Duke, would mean eclipsing the luxury tax threshold, scheduled to be in the $68-69 million range next year. The Jazz haven't had a consistent force in the middle since, gulp, Greg Ostertag. Even after striking out on centers in the Draft in recent years, general manager Kevin O'Connor says Utah will continue to look for bigs come June.