Interview: O'Connor discusses Jazz's offseason, future part II
Part two of a transcript of an interview with Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor conducted Wednesday at the team's practice facility.
On Fesenko's future with the team:It's his decision. Because he's got a contract a qualifying offer which he has yet to accept. When he makes that decision if he makes the decision to accept it then he's back on the team. And I think the franchise has had patience with big players, and especially with him. He's going into his fourth year, and this could be a productive year for him. He also knows that if he signs the qualifying offer he can be an unrestricted free agent [in 2011-12], and how does this play out for him? But you always take risks, and you always have more patience with big players than you do with little players.On the addition of Raja Bell and what he can bring to the team if he stays healthy:Well, you know, one of the things that's interesting if he stays healthy he missed a lot of last year, but he missed it with a wrist [injury] and surgery on the wrist. It's not like he's got a history of injuries. He wasn't injured when he was here. He wasn't injured in Phoenix. So, his history tells you that he hasn't been. He hasn't logged a lot of minutes in the NBA, comparable to a starter. ... He's 33. He's going to be 34, but he's 33. I mean, I look at him as being, really, a productive player. If you look at him even during the beginning of last year when he was playing with Charlotte, I just think what you're saying is accurate. We expect him to be really a big piece of our team.On Miles' improvement and where his game is at:He should be [a key component] and we're expecting him to be. If you look at him and you remember; if you go back and remember this: He was really headed for a pretty good season last year, and then tore a ligament in his thumb, I think it was, is what it was. And he had to have the surgery. In training camp and before that, we were really like, 'Oh, OK. He's turned a corner. Let's keep the corner turned and let's step on the gas in the straightaway.' But he hurt himself, and it was very difficult for him to get back into rhythm until the end of the season.
Brian T. Smith