Utah Jazz trade Brewer to Memphis for future first-round pick

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Read KSL's Take here SALT LAKE CITY -— Carlos Boozer is staying in Utah for the rest of the season, but the Jazz have traded starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a future first-round pick. The deal with Memphis was made shortly before Thursday's 1 p.m. NBA trade deadline, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor revealed.

The transaction relieves the Jazz of the remainder of Brewer's $2.7 million contract this season and the accompanying luxury-tax fees in exchange for the Grizzlies' 2011 protected first-round pick.

It also leaves the Jazz roster with only 12 players, so the organization will need to pick up a 13th player within two weeks — possibly through a NBA Development League call-up a la Sundiata Gaines.

Brewer became more expendable this year due to the fact the Jazz have a plethora of wing players, including rookie Wesley Matthews, C.J. Miles, Kyle Korver and Andrei Kirilenko.

"The biggest thing, we felt was that we had a lot of players very similar," O'Connor said. "Each of them did a lot of things well."

Now, he added, the remaining players will get more playing time and the Jazz will be able to acquire a "future asset."

O'Connor said that was the main factor behind the trade — not necessarily finances.

"It didn't play it at all. It really didn't," O'Connor said of the payroll relief. "I mean, did we save money? Yes. Are we cognizant of that? Absolutely."

Brewer, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, has started all 53 Jazz games this season. His scoring has dipped four points per game from last year to 9.5 points, the lowest since his rookie year, on a career-worst 49.5- percent shooting.

National media outlets reported that the Jazz were engaged with Miami and Washington for a possible Boozer deal, but nothing concrete ever materialized. As such, Boozer will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

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