Utah Jazz Off-Season Being Compared To Boozer, Okur Signings

Jul 5, 2019, 1:44 PM | Updated: 2:27 pm
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn, Doug Pensinger, Harry How and Joe Robbins/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn, Doug Pensinger, Harry How and Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn, Doug Pensinger, Harry How and Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have significantly upgraded their roster since free agency began on July 1. With their acquisitions, this off-season has been compared to the 2004-05 off-season.

They began being aggressive in June when they acquired veteran point guard Mike Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen and two first round draft picks.

The free agent signings of Bojan Bogdanovic, Ed Davis, Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay has had Jazz fans and media comparing this off-season to the 2004-05 off-season that changed the franchise after both John Stockton and Karl Malone retired.

Boozer, Okur Signings

After the 2003-04 season when the Jazz finished with a 42-40 record, Utah’s best players were Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring. Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor picked up two key young players to compliment Kirilenko rather than doing a total rebuild after two legends retired.

Utah signed young center Mehmet Okur, who just finished his second NBA season with a championship with the Detroit Pistons. The second round draft pick averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during his two seasons in Detroit.

Okur’s first season in a Jazz uniform, he recorded 12.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, mainly coming off the bench. He went on to play seven seasons with the Jazz and was named an NBA All-Star in 2007. Okur averaged 15.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 38 percent from downtown through his tenure in Utah.

He played one season with the New Jersey Nets before retiring after the 2011-12 season.

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

O’Connor also signed Carlos Boozer after playing two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a second round pick in 2002 and had two great seasons in Cleveland, posting 12.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. As a starter, Boozer averaged 17.8 points and 9 rebounds during his first season in Utah.

He finished his six-year stint in Utah with a 19.3 points and 10.5 rebounds average. Boozer was named an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 and won a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and a bronze medal in the 2004 games in Athens.

Boozer went on to play for the Chicago Bulls for four seasons and the Los Angeles Lakers for one season before retiring from the NBA after the 2014-15 season.

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

In the 2005 NBA Draft, Utah had the third overall pick and selected point guard Deron Williams.

The Jazz made the playoffs four straight seasons after Williams’ rookie season, including one  trip to the Western Conference Finals.

Jazz Adding Pieces To Compliment Franchise Cornerstones

Okur and Boozer were young players who turned out to be gems for the organization when they played in Utah. The Jazz front office this off-season has been aggressive in free agency to find really good players to compliment Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, which included a stretch four scorer, a veteran two-way point guard and added depth to their bench.

Bogdanovic had his best season of his career during the 2018-19 campaign with the Indiana Pacers, averaging 18 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2 assists per game, all were career-highs. He has played five seasons in the NBA.

Conley averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game to go with his 6.4 assists per game in 12 NBA seasons.

Green spent the 2018-19 season with the Washington Wizards, where he averaged 12.3 points, 4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 47 percent from the field, including 34 percent from the three-point line. He just finished his 11th NBA season.

Mudiay had the best season of his career during the 2018-19 campaign, where he averaged 14.8 points to go with his 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He shot 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from downtown in his fourth season in the league.

Through his nine NBA seasons, Davis has averaged 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds. Last season in Brooklyn, he posted 5.8 points, a career-high 8.6 rebounds and shot 61 percent from the field in 18 minutes per game. He appeared in 81 games last season.

On paper, this off-season looks better than 2004, but we can judge that after four or five years and where the Jazz will go.

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