The Jazz need to keep this guy.
Once again, I (Ben) have been tardy addressing significant offseason developments with the Utah Jazz. Specifically: Portland signing Paul Millsap to an offer sheet. Utah has until this Friday to match. It should.
Millsap may not put up Carlos Boozer numbers, but there’s a future for Millsap in Utah, and there won’t be for Boozer after this season (if not sooner). More importantly, Millsap is a team player. He’s a hard worker. He’s only 24. He’s a Jerry Sloan kind of guy. Utah has always gone after “character” guys and valued team chemistry as much as individual talent. (This has not always been a virtue in the win column.) Millsap is firmly in this mold.
The question is: Is he worth paying the luxury tax? Because after Boozer and Mehmet Okur unexpectedly re-upped, the Jazz will certainly exceed the salary cap if it wants to keep Millsap. The other option is trading Boozer, which seems to be the route Utah wants to go, assuming it can swing a three- or four-way deal with teams who have cap room.
If it’s willing to pay, Utah should keep everyone together. If not, jettison Boozer, get something in return and lock down Millsap.
Being the bandwagon Blazers fan that I am, I wouldn’t be entirely unhappy to see Millsap land in the Rose City. But would he really be happy backing up LaMarcus Aldridge? And does Portland need another power forward when it has Steve Blake as its starting point guard?
In other NBA offseason news, Nike confiscated tapes of LeBron James getting dunked on by Xavier guard Jordan Crawford — yet another example of how ridiculously overmanaged the commercial image of NBA superstars is. Remember the Jordan commercial where he talked about all the game-winners he’d missed? Even as an MJ-hater, I loved that spot. Why can’t our heroes have blemishes?
Quick takes on other offseason moves:
Ron Artest to L.A. I’m sick and tired of hearing the Artest-is-reformed-and-is-the-missing-piece storyline, which we got last summer with Houston and will be subjected to ad infinitum this season. He’s a talent upgrade from Trevor Ariza. But he’s also nuttier than squirrel turds. One more reason for me to hate the Lakers.
Magic match Dallas’s offer for Marcin Gortat. Really? $34 mil over five years? For a guy who averaged 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season? Doesn’t anyone remember Todd McCullough? If I shave my head and take a dump on the court every night for 24-28 minutes, will Orlando pay me $34 mil too?
Shawn Marion to Dallas. Like it. Marion needs a point guard like Jason Kidd to flourish, and I think he’ll fit right in. It doesn’t put Dallas at the top in the West but at least the Mavs stay relevant.