Eurobasket 2013: Utah Jazz Expressing Interest in Alexis Ajinca

By Cody Williams
Ajinca Kanter Jazz
Jerome Miron – USA Today Sports Images

The Utah Jazz aren’t full-on tanking in the 2013-2014 NBA season, but they are undoubtedly heading in a new direction. They chose to let both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap walk in free agency this summer and to focus their efforts on a younger core built around the services of players like Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

As the Jazz move forward, though, they also want to make sure they have depth on their roster, something they still need to address in their frontcourt. As of right now, rookie Rudy Gobert, who is completely unproven at this point, is the only center on their roster behind Kanter. That is apparently something that they are trying to change.

According to Basket USA (with a little help from Google Translate), the Jazz have shown interest in Alexis Ajinca, who was selected in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. Ajinca spent three seasons in the NBA, playing in only 71 games and averaging just 3.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 7.8 minutes per game on just 42 percent shooting.

The 7’2” center has looked solid at Eurobasket 2013 recently, though, while playing for France. Through seven games he has averaged 10.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in only 19.1 minutes per game while shooting a solid 57.4 percent from the floor and a solid 13-17 from the charity stripe.

Considering that Utah likely isn’t going to be in contention to make the postseason this year, the 25-year-old Ajinca would be a solid addition. He’s not going to be a superstar or even a fantastic role player, but he will give the Jazz a serviceable backup to Kanter if Gobert experiences growing pains as he enters the league. This all depends on if the Jazz can sign Ajinca, of course, but the fit definitely seems to be there.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

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