This was supposed to happen in the summer of 2009. Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer, and Kyle Korver all had player options and could have headed elsewhere. Boozer was the most likely to go as he was going to get his regardless. As it was though, all of them opted back in when the free-agent money dried up and none of them were going to get more than what they were making at the time. The economy would be better the next summer and more teams would have cap space. So it was an all in.
Well, the summer of 2010 came and a huge chunk of the core left for greener (dollar bills y'all) pastures. The first to sign was Carlos Boozer. He got his near max deal from the Bulls. It was a five-year deal worth about $75-80M. It was reported that Boozer wanted a sixth year in order to stay with the Jazz. When Utah wouldn't commit to that, Boozer signed with Chicago. Technically, he signed with the Jazz who then traded him and a protected second-round pick to the Bulls for a traded player exception.
Shortly following Boozer's signing, it was announced that Korver would join him in the Windy City. The Jazz surprised a lot of people by drafting a wing player in Gordon Hayward. The essentially ended Korver's stint in Utah. It was a bit of a blow to the fans and to the players. He was a fan favorite and had just broken the all-time NBA mark for three-point shooting in a season. In addition to his play on the court, he was even better off it with his charities and work in the community. You also count discount the impact that it had on Deron Williams, who was one of his closest friends on the team.
With Memo having been locked up with a three-year extension after returning to the team, the only other free agent the Jazz had to worry about was Wesley Matthews. He was a restricted free agent but didn't fall under the normal rookie scale because he was undrafted. As a result, teams could offer him a lot more in free agency, up to the full mid-level exception.
As a result, Portland was able to swoop in and offer a front-loaded contract with a signing bonus that would have pushed the Jazz far into the luxury tax this season.
This is where things turn into a he-said, they-said situation. Matthews and his agent stated that the Jazz never made him a fair offer. Kevin O'Connor denied that vehemently and said that the Jazz weren't given an opportunity by his agent to negotiate at all. As Siler stated, we're likely never going to really find out what happened there. Either way you look at it, his offer from the Blazers cost too much and the Jazz let him go.
The free agents weren't the only ones who wouldn't be with the team last summer. Over the course of the year, the Jazz made two trades to dump players and contracts. The first came when they traded Matt Harpring and his expiring contract to Oklahoma City for cap relief. The Thunder weren't going to do the Jazz any favors though. The salary dump came with a price and that was recently drafted rookie Eric Maynor.
The second trade came when the Jazz shipped Ronnie Brewer, another close friend of Deron's, to Memphis for a second-round draft pick. This move coincidentally caused the rise of Wesley Matthews to the starting 2 spot and increased his value. And in order to establish the eastern conference version of the Jazz, Brewer also ended up signing with the Bulls after being released by the Grizzlies.
They also had to bring on players Othyus Jeffers and Sundiata Gaines as a result of those trades. They signed them to 10-day contracts and then for the season. They were let go though before the end of training camp this season.
So from the 15 players that were with the Jazz last season, exactly 7 carried over when this season got underway.
One player that is no longer with the team, but hasn't been mentioned, is Kosta Koufos. We'll hit on that later.
You have to go back to the 2004 season to have more turnover. There were only 6 that carried over from Stockton and Malone's final season together.