July 17, 2009 –
If I had any doubt about Jazz ownership’s commitment to building a title contender rather than saving a buck, those fears have been put to rest. By matching Portland’s “toxic” offer sheet to Paul Millsap, Greg Miller convinced me that he wants to win.
I’m thrilled that Millsap will remain a Jazzman. While I always believed the Jazz would be true to their word and match any reasonable offer he received, there was enough subjectivity in the term “reasonable” to leave them an out had they chosen to go the financially conservative route. Instead, they will pay Paul a boatload of money upfront and then have him locked to an extremely reasonable contract for the next four years.
(I promise not to use the word “reasonable” for the remainder of this post.)
Now things get interesting. This move obviously makes Boozer’s imminent departure appear to be more of a foregone conclusion than it already was. The question is does it hurt Utah’s leverage now that other teams know the Jazz are deep in luxury tax territory and may therefore be much more motivated to trade Boozer for some salary relief?
I don’t believe the Jazz will deal Boozer for nothing more than cap relief, and I sincerely hope I’m not proven wrong. It just wouldn’t be reason… uh… I mean, "sensible" to do so.