“The dog ate my opt-out clause.”
Two Jazz posts in two days! And it’s June!
Contrary to what he said in December and what most everyone was expecting, Carlos Boozer will return to Utah next year. He joins Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver in exercising the last year on his contract to stay in Salt Lake.
What to make of this?
1. Boozer wants to get paid. Given that he played just 38 games last season and that Utah started tanking as soon as he returned to the line-up, Boozer was not getting a better offer from Detroit (or anyone else) this summer.
2. Boozer really wants to get paid in 2010. I can’t believe that Boozer wants to stay in Utah, especially after the bridges he burned last season. So I’m guessing he’ll come to play this season in the hopes of landing a sweet deal as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
3. This might actually be the dream scenario for Utah. A motivated Boozer looking to get paid + a consistent starting line-up + scrappy Eric Maynor = 2010 NBA Champs? A man can dream.
Locking up Boozer long-term would have been a bad terrible move. He’s reached the ceiling on his potential. He might be an All-Star again, but he’ll never be the dominant, go-to guy who could take a team to the Finals. Maybe he wouldn’t need to be with Deron Williams around. Regardless, Boozer’s not suiting up in a Jazz uniform beyond the upcoming season.
While I don’t expect anyone picking Utah to win it all next year, I like the way the pieces are fitting together. The question mark is Paul Millsap, who would’ve really had a chance to shine with Boozer skipping town. The two don’t play well together. Millsap is the keeper of the two, and the guy I’d prefer as a teammate. I can’t imagine he’s happy today. Keeping him next year would mean paying the luxury tax, but word is the Jazz would be willing to pay it. It should.