Kirilenko still with Jazz as Utah kicks off camp with Media Day

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SALT LAKE CITY — They look different than the last time they were seen publicly in Utah — one has more hair, the other has less girth — but Andrei Kirilenko and Kyrylo Fesenko both attended Utah Jazz's media day this afternoon.

Fesenko, one of only three 300-pounders in the NBA last season, signed his qualifying offer with Utah this morning in time to don his No. 44 jersey for pictures and interviews. The 7-foot-1 center also showed up weighing in at a svelte 285 pounds, about 25 pounds lighter than a year ago.

As far as Kirilenko's unsettled situation is concerned, it remains to be seen just how long he'll be sporting Jazz colors along with 16 other training camp attendees.

The Russian small forward, who's played for the Jazz for the past nine seasons, acknowledged hearing rumors about his possible trade to Denver as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal. All he knows for now is that he is still on Utah's squad — right where he wants to be. He plans on showing up Tuesday for the first day of camp.

"Look, for last the 10 years there's so many rumors around me (saying) I can end up on any team in NBA, but I'm still a Jazz man," said Kirilenko, who was showing off a new skater-looking hairdo.

"Hopefully," Kirilenko added, "I'm going to stay the same way."

Before addressing the trade rumors, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor remarked that Kirilenko looks to be in good physical condition.

As for the publicized four-team deal, O'Connor admitted conversations were held "with a lot of teams" but emphasized the team is "not looking to trade" Kirilenko and his expiring $17.8 million contract.

O'Connor said the blockbuster trade "got ahead of itself" in the media, adding that "if you were going to make that trade it would have been done Friday or Saturday at the latest."

Asked if that meant the Jazz are no longer involved in those trade talks — a reported deal that would send Kirilenko to Denver and bring Boris Diaw and Quinton Ross to Utah — O'Connor had a short response.

"I wouldn't say anything like that," O'Connor said. "I would have no comment on that."

O'Connor also quickly backed off his short statement he made that Kirilenko "will be" with the team on Day 1 of the season.

"Can I guarantee that he's going to be here? No," O'Connor said.

But the same uncertainty goes for the rest of the players, he added.

Kirilenko wants to stay in Salt Lake City where his children are being raised and his family has "roots."

Point guard Deron Williams dismissed that trade talk would be a distraction for Kirilenko or the team.

"It's not the first time he's been involved in trade talks so I don't think it's a big deal," Williams said. "He's my teammate right now, that's where I stand. He's our teammate until he gets traded."



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Jody Genessy


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