While there were clearly more than a couple suitors for Al Jefferson, Utah moved to the front of the line fairly quickly over the last 48 hours. Obviously obtaining financial flexibility with Utah's TPE was a big asset, as well as the protected first-round picks that the Timberwolves hopefully will someday get. However, in doing this deal with Utah, they may have been positioning themselves for another move.
In making the deal with Utah, they pushed the Jazz over the salary cap by close to 2 million. What this means for Utah is that they would be unable to match the Wesley Matthews signing by Portland. Portland signed Utah's SG, a RFA, to a 5-year, $34 million deal. With Utah being unable to match this deal, this basically means that Matthews is all but on the Blazers.
This also means that with Matthews on the Blazers, Rudy Fernandez, a long-time target of the Wolves, is now available through trade. The Timberwolves, I'm assuming, will jump at the opportunity to obtain Fernandez, who is still under a pretty cap-friendly deal.
So, by making this deal with the Jazz, they ensured that the Matthews deal couldn't be matched by the Jazz, and subsequently ensured that Fernandez would be on the trade market.
Had the Wolves dealt with another team, the Jazz could have kept Matthews, and the Trailblazers would have still needed Fernandez.
Am I giving Kahn too much credit? Maybe. But maybe this was all part of his plan in doing the deal with the Jazz.