NBA, sports, Utah Jazz

Blazers Go After Millsap

DNEWS JAZZ 76 ERS BKN NBA

The Jazz need to keep this guy.

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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.

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11 thoughts on “Blazers Go After Millsap

  1. Dear VoreBlog,

    Although I do not keep up with this blog as much as I understand that I should, I have noticed that the New York Knickbockers have not been mentioned. I would read this blog more if they were.

  2. Seriously? You’re a Knicks fan?

    We have addressed the Knicks in this space when it comes to the clinical insanity of Stephon Marbury, but you’re right, sir — we have otherwise neglected our Knickerbockers readership. Allow me to atone with these thoughts:

    1) Another NBA friend and I were discussing Isiah Thomas last night and he reminded me that the Knicks are still paying Thomas 12 mil over the next two years. That’s like mailing Bernie Madoff a check for overdue legal fees.

    2) I have absolutely no opinion about New York’s first round draft pick Jordan Hill. I know the Knicks wanted Stephen Curry, so I’m guessing fans aren’t thrilled with this choice.

    3) My friend Scott hates the Knicks so much that he and his family — decent people all — do not refer to Pat Riley by his given Christian name, but instead call him “Rat Piley.”

    4) My favorite Knickerbocker of all time? Charles Oakley.

  3. Milsap or a player like him is needed for team depth and balance. While Outlaw can fill in if it is for 10 minutes behind Aldridge, if LMA gets hurt (and he has before) or is just in early foul trouble, there was no other PFs available with Fyre gone.

    Start Przybilla and Oden together if LMA is out and give up the offense plus in a domino effect there is no reserve at center and only Outlaw at PF.
    Start Outlaw, if they do not trade him for a PG, and they give up way too much size. Troutlaw can not guard sharks like Gasol or Timmy.

    Every other position they can fill from the existing bench or slide someone over and have a good rotation. They can make due with Blake and their bevy of SFs…besides Batum and outlaw they have Webster coming back at SF, but they need a good reserve PF.

    Millsap, if they get him, fits that bill besides being the added toughness they needed with the second unit and a player that they can reduce LMA’s minutes a little to save wear and tear and fill in when Nate plays smallball and uses LMA at center.

    There is also the factor of LMAs extension. If there is even a small chance of losing him, Millsap would be there and that is a good negotiation point.

  4. Amazeballs! (thank you Perez Hilton for this word) I like the name Boozer. If I’d married him, I woulda been Ellen Beers-Boozer.

  5. Boozer is on Chicago radio RIGHT NOW saying that he thinks he will be traded “very soon,” and that the Jazz has informed him he is not in their plans. Now he’s talking up Derrick Rose. “If [a trade to the Bulls] happens, I’ll be very happy.”

    If John Paxson possessed a scrotum, this deal would fly through (though the Blazers offer to Millsap complicates things, since they are one of only a couple teams far enough under the luxury tax threshold to facilitate things.) As it is, I’m not holding my breath. Boozer to Knicks, perchance? See what I did there? Huh?

    Also, how is it possible that you are “Bandwagon Blazers fan”?! They’re in the SAME FLIPPIN’ DIVISION. I just don’t get that. I’m mad. I want answers.

    Finally, no discussion of Shaq to Cavs? Rich Jefferson to Spurs? Air Cancer to Orlando? The rumor of AI going to the Clips? The weird tête à tête between Wade and Rat Piley (which, like the 2010 Free Agent Bonanza and poor actors fretting about the stage, are full of sound and fury, while signifying nothing)?

    I look back on this half-hearted NBA post with a sense of ambivalence.

  6. Scott —

    Yes, the general NBA comments were more of an afterthought to the Millsap conversation. I was pretty tired last night, but that’s no excuse. You have — appropriately — called me out. I was hoping you, and the general Voreblog NBA readership (whose expertise eclipses mine in many regards), might fill in the gaps.

    Nonetheless, allow me to redress some of these wrongs here.

    My loyalty lies, first and foremost, with the Jazz. I hope this point has been made clear to you well before today. I see my affection for the Trailblazers as an innocent indulgence, one whose whimsy would be pulverated in a second if it ever impinged on my love for the Jazz. If Utah plays Portland, I find no pleasure in Utah losing. If Utah is behind Portland in the standings, I stab my little Nate McMillan voodoo doll with extremely sharp pins. But so long as Portland is kind of minding its own business and not interfering with Utah superiority in the Northwest Division, I’m the biggest bandwagon Blazers fan possible.

    Does this make you less angry?

    Regarding the Shaq to Cleveland trade, I have nothing to add to Michael Link’s earlier comment: “Ever since I moved to Ohio, I have been trying to figure out exactly how far behind the rest of world Ohio is. With Cleveland trading for Shaq, I have been able to narrow it down to able 6-8 years.”

    I loathe the Spurs front office for making such quality second tier upgrades like the Jefferson acquisition. That said, the door is closed for San Antonio as we know them. Time for them to go 41-41 and then miraculously win the #1 draft pick again, thus securing their soulless presence as a title contender for the next decade.

    Nobody should want AI at this point. He doesn’t know that he’s sixth man/bench material these days. It’d be perfect if the Clippers sign him.

    Air Cancer to Orlando? Terrible. For humanity.

  7. This is all I know about the Utah Jazz:

    “All the Christmas characters are enraged that their show is being cut short and they begin brawling with the Utah Jazz as they try to warm up for a basketball game.” and kick their miserable assets.

    I tried to find a clip but failed… sorry. (context is my website).

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