Boozer's plans good for Millsap

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:19 am
Boozer's plans good for Millsap

By Chris Sheridan

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It is time to stop guessing whether Carlos Boozer will opt out of the final season of his contract with the Utah Jazz.

For the first time, Boozer said unequivocally Wednesday night that he will indeed opt out of his contract at the end of the season, foregoing a guaranteed $12.66 million to become an unrestricted free agent.
"I'm opting out. No matter what, I'm going to get a raise regardless," Boozer told ESPN.com. "I am going to opt out, I don't see why I wouldn't, I think it's a very good business decision for me and my family, but I'd also like to see what happens with the Jazz and stay here."

Boozer's statement can only come as welcome news to teammate Paul Millsap, who posted his 13th consecutive double-double in place of Boozer on Wednesday night as Utah came back from an early 22-point deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets 103-92.

Millsap was the catalyst in a huge fourth-quarter surge for the Jazz as they outscored the Nets 40-23 in the period, Millsap contributing half of his 18 points and half of his 12 rebounds over the final 12 minutes.

With Boozer sidelined the past 15 games by a knee injury (he sounded as though he had a setback Wednesday, experiencing pain after a workout, and planned to have an MRI Thursday) Millsap has unquestionably established himself as the NBA player providing the most bang for the buck.

In a locker room where Andrei Kirilenko is making $15.1 million, Boozer $11.6, Mehmet Okur $8.5 million and Deron Williams $5.07 million -- with a max extension kicking in next season -- Millsap is the lowest-paid player on the team with a salary of $797,581, a result of his signing a three-year deal when he was a rookie, with the third year at the team's option.

Millsap will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, with Utah holding the rights to match any offer. But a big question mark is whether there will be any money to pay Millsap and still keep the Jazz beneath the luxury-tax threshold, which owner Larry Miller has vowed publicly he will never exceed.

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor told ESPN.com that Miller hasn't been quite so absolute regarding the luxury tax in internal conversations, but the issue could become moot if the Jazz allow Boozer to leave as a free agent, which would allow them to pay Millsap something resembling his fair market value.

Possibly complicating matters to a certain degree is the fact that Millsap reiterated his commitment to being represented by his uncle, Brendrick Simmons, who received a briefing from players' union officials Wednesday on the different scenarios Millsap may face this summer.

Paramount among the concerns of Millsap's camp is whether any team with significant cap space will be willing to tender an offer sheet to Millsap, with the expectation around the league being that Utah will match anything that is not egregiously unreasonable -- especially if the Jazz are far enough under the tax threshold to pay Millsap his fair market value.

Some would argue that Millsap is a $5-6 million player, while others would argue that any player brawnish and brutish enough to accumulate such an impressive streak of double-figure statistical totals is probably worth closer to $10 million annually than $5 million.

Utah will have even more flexibility with Millsap and others if Okur exercises an early termination contract and walks away from the final season of his contract, forsaking $9 million, although Okur and his agent both told ESPN.com that they will wait until the end of the season to assess the NBA landscape and see how many teams have significant cap space to make a play for a player of Okur's caliber. Currently, Atlanta, Memphis, Portland, Miami, Detroit and Oklahoma City are among the teams positioned to have the most cap flecibility.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has been uncharacteristically effusive in his praise for Millsap during Boozer's absence, and O'Connor told ESPN.com on Wednesday: "We intend to keep Paul Millsap. I don't know how much more succinct I can be."

Upon hearing that remark, Millsap replied: "Bit of a relief, knowing your team wants you. I would love to be here, great system, playing with one of the best point guards in the league, it can't get no better."

When he hears of Boozer's plans to opt out, it may get even better. That'll mean the money will be there to pay Millsap and keep Miller under the luxury tax, although it would come at the cost of letting Boozer -- their leading scorer and rebounder -- walk away with Utah getting nothing in return.

Nothing, that is, except for the chance to have the financial flexibility to lock up a rebounding machine who has shown over the past 13 games -- especially in Boston on Monday night when Millsap scored 32 points as Kevin Garnett, according to one Jazz player, kept calling over to teammate Kendrick Perkins: "You take him, Perk."

But if what Boozer was saying Wednesday night comes to fruition, or of the Jazz can find a taker for Kirilenko in a trade -- there's going to be nobody taking Millsap. The Jazz will keep him.
Wish List

*New Owner and Management =D>
*Trade Monta
*Trade Maggette =D>
*Tank the season, get the top pick and draft Harrison Barnes
to be continued...
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:28 am
Boozer is a c*ck smoker.............I dont want that Jazz scum, non shot blocking big man.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:46 pm
The team just isn't right for Boozer. It would take getting rid of Maggette and another high salary player for expirers RIGHT NOW so those expirers are gone this coming offseason AND getting rid of Nelson and getting a coach that uses bigmen
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:14 pm
Not surprised. This is the same guy that said he was going to return to Cleveland, but instead bolted for Utah. And I heard Cleveland actually offered him a bigger deal than Utah did.

There were rumors of him going to Miami this upcoming off season. He said "he's also interested in what Utah's plans are," but just like he bolted from the Cavs to the Jazz... he could do the very same by bolting from the Jazz to the Heat or another team interested.

Good for him, though, I must say. He obviously sees something in Millsap, especially since he's played extremely well in his absence via injury, so he's willing to give Paul a chance. You never know...
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:10 am
xbay wrote:I heard Cleveland actually offered him a bigger deal than Utah did.


That's not true. It was the same situation we had with Arenas. They didn't have Bird rights over him and couldn't match the Jazz offer.

But I agree with the rest of your post. What he did to the Cavs, he can repeat with Utah.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:54 pm
TMC wrote:
xbay wrote:I heard Cleveland actually offered him a bigger deal than Utah did.


That's not true. It was the same situation we had with Arenas. They didn't have Bird rights over him and couldn't match the Jazz offer.

But I agree with the rest of your post. What he did to the Cavs, he can repeat with Utah.


I see.

But I do remember him saying some sort that he'd gladly return to Cleveland.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:02 pm
xbay wrote:
TMC wrote:
xbay wrote:I heard Cleveland actually offered him a bigger deal than Utah did.


That's not true. It was the same situation we had with Arenas. They didn't have Bird rights over him and couldn't match the Jazz offer.

But I agree with the rest of your post. What he did to the Cavs, he can repeat with Utah.


I see.

But I do remember him saying some sort that he'd gladly return to Cleveland.


Yeah, he had a verbal agreement with the Cavs to come back for their MLE. Of course, he later decided that his word wasn't as valuable as what Utah was offering him.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:06 pm
TMC wrote:
xbay wrote:
TMC wrote:
xbay wrote:I heard Cleveland actually offered him a bigger deal than Utah did.


That's not true. It was the same situation we had with Arenas. They didn't have Bird rights over him and couldn't match the Jazz offer.

But I agree with the rest of your post. What he did to the Cavs, he can repeat with Utah.


I see.

But I do remember him saying some sort that he'd gladly return to Cleveland.


Yeah, he had a verbal agreement with the Cavs to come back for their MLE. Of course, he later decided that his word wasn't as valuable as what Utah was offering him.


Didnt Cleveland terminate his deal because as a 2nd round pick he was making nothing, so they could re-sign him @ the MLE...this was the only way the Cavs could give him a raise. Boozer should have still been under contract for league minimum when he spurned the Cavs for the Jazz.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:34 pm
"Always" Next wrote:Didnt Cleveland terminate his deal because as a 2nd round pick he was making nothing, so they could re-sign him @ the MLE...this was the only way the Cavs could give him a raise. Boozer should have still been under contract for league minimum when he spurned the Cavs for the Jazz.


Sort of. They didn't terminate the deal, they just didn't pick his optional third year. The trick here is that you have to decide on those options before the season gets under way (or during its first few weeks) and the Cavs had no clue about the kind of season Boozer was gonna have.

They thought they could get him on a long term deal for the MLE, he played much better than expected and Utah got him with a much bigger contract, one they couldn't go over the cap to match.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:40 am
Was this before or after the Gilbert Arenas rule?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:51 am
xbay wrote:Was this before or after the Gilbert Arenas rule?


Next season, if I'm not wrong. Problem is, Cleveland had a chance to keep their rights over him, but lost it by not taking their team option on a third season. They would have been able to match the Jazz offer if not, but trusted Boozer's word... and he bolted for Utah.


It wasn't the same situation we had with Arenas, because we didn't have that team option for a third year. St. Jean didn't think it would be worth it to add that to a second round rookie contract. :banghead:

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