Okur trade means adjustments for Jazz
The Jazz's decision to trade Memo Okur to New Jersey loosened a semi-logjam at center and power forward, but it also removed Utah's most experienced big man from an equation that now features Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
Favors is 20 years old. Kanter is 19.
"We got younger," said coach Tyrone Corbin. "We have young guys who can play, but they don't have experience. So it's going to put pressure on us. We have to get up to speed quickly because we have games coming.
"We have a lot of games coming up where your guys not only have to worry about on-the-court stuff but off-the-court things -- getting their body right, getting their rest and getting ready to play the next night."
Trading Okur also means the Jazz are without one of their best and most consistent three-point shooters.
Just three seasons ago, Okur made 44.6 percent of his three-pointers. He shoots 37.7 percent from the three-point line line in his career.
"He gave us shooting from the perimeter, from a big guy," Corbin said. "He could shoot deep and spread the floor. ... We don't have another big guy that can step out as far as he can and can shoot it. So it will be an adjustment for us."
Asked about Okur's ability to stretch a defense, general manager Kevin O'Connor said, "That's obviously something we're going to lose. But something we gain, hopefully, is a little athleticism and [minutes] for guys who play close to the basket."
Kevin O'Connor, on why the Jazz traded Okur three days before Christmas:
"This was a miserable decision. Especially the time of the year. ... He's got to move his family. It's Christmas time. It would have been easier to do it a couple of days from now. But what happened from a systems point of view was, in order for [New Jersey] to sign [free agent] DeShawn Stevenson, they had to do this deal first. It had to be sequential. ...
"From a personal point of view and from everybody in the organization .. Memo has always been somebody who played hurt. He cared about his teammates. But in this league, obviously, anybody can get traded and we felt for the long-term health of the Jazz it would be a good move."
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