10 former Jazz players around the league (10 items)

By , Deseret News

Jan. 10, 2014

The Utah Jazz traded or released a handful of players before the start of the 2013-14 season. The move was made to help develop young, upcoming players by giving them more minutes.

The Jazz stumbled out to a 1-14 record, but have since won nearly half their games and have improved to a 12-26 mark.

The young players have looked good so far, but did the Jazz make a mistake letting so many veterans go? This is a look around the league at 10 former Jazzmen and how they are performing on their new teams (players' statistical averages are through games of Jan. 9).

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1 of 10. Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats

Jefferson spent three years in Utah before the Jazz let him become a free agent last summer. He signed with the Bobcats shortly thereafter and has turned the once laughing-stock franchise of the league into a playoff contender. Jefferson is averaging a double-double at 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.

The Jazz chose not to re-sign Jefferson after the 2012-13 season, but there are no hard feelings from the fans in his departure. In his return to Utah in December, he received an ovation from the crowd. ESPN wrote, “Jefferson has been on an absolute roll over the past 10 games. Jefferson is undoubtedly among the best big men in the game.”

2 of 10. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks

Millsap was drafted by the Jazz and spent seven years in Utah before being let go to free agency last summer. He signed with the Hawks and teamed up with Al Horford to create one of the best frontcourts in the league. Horford went down for the remainder of the season in late December, and Millsap is now the centerpiece of the team. He is averaging over 17 points and eight rebounds per game while leading the Hawks to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Millsap wasn’t re-signed by the Jazz to give the young players more minutes. The Hawks signed him at $9.5 million per year, and CBS Sports called it one of the free agency steals of 2013.

3 of 10. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets

Williams was drafted by Utah and spent 5 1/2 years with the Jazz before being traded to the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) in the 2010-11 season. Williams’ career has taken a nose-dive since joining the Nets. He has been plagued with injuries and his stats have significantly decreased. He is averaging nearly 14 points and seven assists per game, his lowest averages since his rookie year.

The Nets surrounded Williams with aging talent this offseason in bringing in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry to team up with Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche. What was supposed to be a super team has failed miserably. Injuries have hurt the Nets, and they sit at a 15-21 record in the Eastern Conference.

4 of 10. Mo Williams, Portland Trail Blazers

Williams was drafted by the Jazz, played one season with Utah and spent nine years elsewhere before returning for the 2012-13 season. He spent half the year with a hand injury and wasn’t re-signed in the offseason. He signed a two-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers and averages 9.4 points and five assists per game as the back-up point guard.

Williams has been a spark plug for the Blazers this year, helping them to a 27-9 record, third-best in the stacked Western Conference. He backs up former Weber State guard Damian Lillard. Williams plan on opting out of his contract and re-signing with the Blazers at the end of the season, according to Comcast Sportsnet.

5 of 10. Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

Boozer spent six seasons in Utah before being traded to the Bulls for a trade exception following the 2009-10 season. He has spent four seasons with the Bulls and is averaging 14.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season. Boozer is helping the Bulls to the fifth-best record in the East, despite their 16-18 record.

Boozer has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. He left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans by missing significant time with the Jazz, and many questioned if his injuries were legitimate. The Bulls are considering using their amnesty clause on Boozer, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.
1. Dustin
Idaho Falls, ID,
Jan. 12, 2014

I miss DeMarre Carrol most of all.

I think Wes Matthews should have been on this list. He sure was a great pickup for us, and I wish we would have kept him.