Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has agreed in principle to a deal with free-agent forward/guard Josh Howard, pending the outcome of a successful physical. It is a one-year deal.
A 2007 All-Star, Howard holds career averages of 15.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 453 games (381 starts) over eight professional seasons in Dallas and Washington, including career highs of 19.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists during the 2007-08 season.
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?
9 million a year is waaaaaay to much for AK. He'd be a good fit in Sacramento anyway since they have a ton of guys that can score but refuse to pass.
You can't really go wrong with a 1 year deal for Howard though. He's not what they really need, but he's still a pretty good player. If they just got some average players on the perimeter they'd be good. It's so frustrating that they're stuck with Okur and Harris's salaries. I guess they could Amnesty Okur, but they might and well use him in a trade since he only has 1 year left.
Sure you can. If he sucks he's taking up cap space and a roster spot that could have been used elsewhere.
It's not a big deal for 1 year like it is for 3+ years.
They don't need an athletic, veteran, former all-star swingman that rebounds, plays D, and has a nice mid range game? I'd say they really do need him. Hopefully, he's got something left.
They need a guy who can make an impact without taking away anything from the bigs. Howard is alright for that, but it'd be much better if they got someone who could pass and shoot. I guess Hayward fits that to a certain extent, but one other guy would be nice.