The Jazz needed to make a move after losing Boozer (five years, $75 million) and Kyle Korver (three years, $15 million) to the Bulls, two defections that will make this season more challenging for Williams.
The Jazz orchestrated a sign-and-trade deal with the Bulls for Boozer in exchange for roughly $14 million in value in this trade exception, allowing them to swing a deal just like the one they agreed to with Minnesota. Jefferson has three years and $42 million left on his contract, but the exception allows the Jazz to take on his salary without exceeding the cap.
The Jazz will also send Minnesota the conditional first-round pick it got from Memphis in the Ronnie Brewer trade, plus another future first-rounder.
For all of his skill on offense, Jefferson has been a liability on defense, and his game is tailor-made for the half-court style that Jerry Sloan likes in Utah.
While the Wolves did not get any current players back for arguably their best player, Kahn called the financial flexibility they earned “enormous” and said the team isn’t done making moves yet. They are in talks with Milwaukee free agent Luke Ridnour, but Kahn hinted that bigger things still may be in the works.
“We’re only about halfway through this exercise,” he said.