He'll be their best player if he returns to his all-star level.
Howard's signing, pending a physical, "probably does" bring an end to the Kirilenko era in Utah, his agent Marc Fleisher admitted.
"Andrei will always treasure his time with the Jazz," Fleisher told the Deseret News.
The Russian forward, who's currently playing with CSKA Moscow, spent the past 10 seasons in the Beehive State. Though he's called Salt Lake City his second home, Kirilenko's asking price also put him out of Utah's price range. The oft-injured-but-versatile Kirilenko, reportedly interested in Sacramento and New Jersey, is seeking about $9 million for three years, according to Sports Illustrated.
9 million for 3 years would be a bargain. Think it's 9 million a year. Maybe he would have taken 7 or 8 from Utah though? Love to have him and Howard.
Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles have been battling for the small-forward starting job during camp. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin has been positive about their play, even though he calls them "natural" shooting guards. Jeremy Evans is also likely to see limited time in the 3 spot this season.
Howard, Hayward and Miles could also see playing time as shooting guards along with veteran Raja Bell and rookie Alec Burks .
O'Connor believes Howard gives the Jazz more athleticism and firepower from their wings, which was a point of emphasis during the recently opened player-movement period.
And he said Jazz ownership, specifically Gail Miller and Greg Miller, were on board with this move.
"We think he can help us and they said, 'Go ahead,'" O'Connor said. "They want us to remain as competitive as we possibly can."
Than why carry Jefferson, Okur, Harris, Raja and CJ while giving up AK?