Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz

Jefferson to the Jazz (via NBA.com)

Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Utah Jazz has acquired Al Jefferson from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for two first round picks and the trade exception from Boozer’s move to Chicago.

My first impression here is positive, but cautious.

I think this is a matter of how well Jefferson buys into Sloan’s program. The big knock on Jefferson has been that he’s not a great defensive player, but it’s probably important to point out that he’s never played for a respectable defensive team (see below).

He’s long been considered a guy who operates well in the paint, has developed some solid footwork and is a nice scoring threat within about 10 feet. Sloan has repeatedly thrown double teams at Jefferson whenever the Jazz have played him.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is a guy who many consider was just plain robbed of a chance to be an All Star in 08-09. He never got the votes or the attention because well, he was playing for a Timberwolves team on its way to a 24-58 season.

Side note: Jefferson played for the Celtics from 2004-2007, and the Timberwolves from 2007 – 2010. Those teams combined for 163-329.

He tore an ACL in Feb. 2009, ending that particular season with the Wolves. His numbers did see a slight drop off last year when he returned, but it’s difficult to tell if this was a result of the injury or the fact that he was playing for a squad who wound up 15-67 for the season.

The good news is that Jefferson is still only 25 years old. He may still be hungry enough to work hard in Sloan’s system. If he does, this could be a great pick up for the Jazz, a more ‘power-forward-y’ power forward to replace Boozer, and Jefferson’s first opportunity to play for a contender.

Yeah, that’s right folks, regardless of losing Boozer and Korver (and probably Matthews), I still say the Jazz can be a contender.

If you’re not overly familiar with Jefferson’s career, I took the liberty of writing up a little run down for you:

Boston Celtics 2004-2005
45-37, 100.4 points allowed a game (22nd of 30)
Jefferson – 6.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG from 14.8 minutes a game

Boston Celtics 2005-2006
33-49, 99.5 points allowed (20th)
Jefferson – 7.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG from 18.0 minutes a game

Boston Celtics 2006-2007
24-58, 99.2 points allowed (18th)
Jefferson – 16.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG from 33.6 minutes a game

At this point, Jefferson is moved to Minnesota as part of the monster trade to send KG to Boston.

Minnesota Timberwolves 2007-2008
22-60, 102.4 points allowed  (21st)
Jefferson – 21.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG from 35.6 minutes a game

Minnesota Timberwolves 2008-2009
24-58, 102.7 points allowed  (22nd)
Jefferson – 23.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG from 36.7 minutes a game

Minnesota Timberwolves 2009-2010
15-67, 107.8 points allowed  (29th)
Jefferson – 17.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG from 32.4 minutes a game

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~ by djepperson on July 13, 2010.

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