The Jazz Junkies

Utah Jazz News Now

Boozer clarifies opting out comments. He and Millsap BOTH staying?

December 19th, 2008 by Jay

The Salt Lake Tribune has posted 2 articles in regards to Carlos boozer’s strangely-timed comments about his contract situation (links listed at the bottom).  Boozer apparently was just having casual conversation with an ESPN reporter, and I’m sure we are all aware of the media’s ways of getting words out of players’ mouths and even being able to put their own spin on them.

I’m sure everybody, even the Jazz were aware that Boozer would opt out at the end of this season – it was just the timing and the context that shed some doubt on Boozer’s commitment to the Jazz and his desire to remain with the organization.   Anyways, his comments have made me feel a little better, because it sounds like he would prefer to stay with the Jazz, and maybe even keep some other pieces (Millsap) around to contend for a Championship.

Does this mean he will stay even if he doesn’t get the maximum-value contract the Jazz could offer him of about six years $130 million (as opposed to the 5-year $100 million offer other teams could make)?  That will remain to be seen.  It seems at least possible, and either scenario of him leaving or staying for less money wouldn’t surprise me.  He may just want to be assured a longer term contract worth a little bit more money, as opposed to the most money he can milk out of an organization.  Only time will tell.

But another VERY reassuring piece of news reported by ESPN from Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor is that the Jazz plan to re-sign Paul Millsap regardless of what happens with Boozer.  And Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Millsap said he would have no problem playing behind Boozer if he re-signed with the Jazz. “Playing behind him made me better so far,” Millsap said. “I’m not a selfish guy. I would love to play with him.”  Can I just say I love Millsap?

From what The Jazz are saying, and what Boozer is saying, and what Millsap is saying, it sounds to me like the Jazz will try their best to re-sign them both, and that Boozer and Millsap would be just fine with that.  Will it happen?  Like I said, only time will tell.  But here’s to some optimism, and keeping this talented young Jazz team together, and an NBA championship! Or several…

On a side note, I have noticed a ton of Boozer trashing lately by many Jazz fans in forums and comments.  I agree that his comments were stupid, and his desire and commitment can seem suspect, with this injury taking longer than we all thought.  But has anyone else had a bone bruise and bruised kneecap / strained tendon?  Sometimes freak injuries occur and can take longer than originally thought.  I also

am suspicious of the length of the injury, but I also know that there’s no denying the Jazz are a lot better with a healthy Boozer in the line-up.  Yes, he disappeared in the playoffs last year, but I don’t see that happening again, and if it does, we have a much more experience and confident Paul Millsap to pick up the slack.  But most of the time Boozer is money.  And frustrations with him aside, we should all cheer for the best possible Jazz team & results – which includes Boozer playing.  Here are the article links.  Check ’em out!

1) Sloan is considering ?shaking up starters

2) Boozer clarifies contract comments

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008 at 2:07 am and is filed under Player News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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