NBA Breaking News: Utah Jazz Trade Mehmet Okur to the New Jersey Nets

Matt JonesAnalyst IDecember 22, 2011

DENVER - OCTOBER 28:  Mehmet Okur #13 of the Utah Jazz heads down court against the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at Pepsi Center on October 28, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Jazz 114-105.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz took their first step towards alleviating a crowded front court by trading longtime center Mehmet Okur to the New Jersey Nets.

According to a report on, the Jazz will send Okur to the Nets, and in return they will receive a future second-round pick and a trade exception that should be worth the $10 million in salary that he has left on his contract. 

This trade frees up space and time for the Jazz to develop second-year player Derrick Favors and rookie Enes Kanter, and shows that the team are more inclined to keep Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. 

Okur, who is making a comeback from an injury, joined the team as a free agent just before the 2004-2005 season and quickly became a fan favorite. His ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting was an asset to the team and he quickly earned the nickname, "Money," for consistently hitting late-game shots that helped the team win.

Okur missed most of last season with his injury but has been working hard to return to the game. He will be missed by Jazz fans who appreciated him not only for his play on the court but also for his positive attitude, strong work ethic and being one of the good guys of the league. 

The trade makes sense for the New Jersey Nets, who found themselves scrambling for frontcourt help after receiving news that big man Brook Lopez will have foot surgery and will miss four to six weeks of the season. 

The trade exception will free the Jazz up to sign another player with the salary money that was previously owed to Okur. 

It is possible that the Jazz could sign longtime Jazz free agent Andrei Kirilenko, who has not yet signed to play in the NBA.

Okur was an NBA All-Star in 2007 and leaves the Jazz in ninth place all-time in scoring, and in fourth place in three-point shooting.