Veteran center Mehmet Okur was traded to the New Jersey Nets today for a future second-round draft pick and a trade exception, according to a team press release. In yet another deal involving the Utah Jazz and the New Jersey Nets, the long-time Jazz-man was essentially cleared off the Utah Jazz payroll as they continue to rebuild for the future.
The future draft pick may help, but not having to pay Okur nearly $11 million this year is really all the Jazz's front office was after. They could use the trade exception this year for another fresh face to add to a future-focused squad.
This is a great deal for the Jazz, as Okur just added to the frontcourt log jam on a team loaded with young talent. Utah’s front office must smell change in the air because it has moved two key players from the once-successful Jazz team, Okur and all-star point guard Deron Williams, in the last two years to an also-rebuilding Nets squad. This is a strange signing for the Nets, though if healthy Okur can contribute with his shooting capabilities and playoff experience as a one-time NBA champion (Pistons, 2004).
The fresh-faced roster of Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter is the core of Utah's future, and it looks like the Jazz personnel understand that patience is a virtue. Hopefully their fans feel the same way. Surely, this is great news for Jazz fans, as the future looks bright in Salt Lake City.