Blog Entry

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

Posted on: July 12, 2009 8:54 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2009 10:43 pm
LAS VEGAS -- With their four-year, $32 million offer sheet for restricted free agent Paul Millsap, the Trail Blazers have woven a web that has ensnared bonus money, luxury-tax considerations, and the future of Carlos Boozer. Based on conversations with NBA front office sources, here's an attempt at untangling it:

Utah is currently about $3 million over the luxury tax. If they match the offer sheet for Millsap, they'd be close to $12 million over. A person familiar with Utah's situation said the team has accepted the fact that it is going to be a tax-paying team, but nobody expects the Jazz to venture that far into the land of the taxpayers. So something has to give.

In order to keep Millsap and get under the tax threshold of $69.9 million, Utah would have to trade Boozer (due to make $12.7 million next season) and take virtually no salary back. The only way to do that is to recruit a third team that is under the cap -- one that is willing to take on salary for the price of draft picks and cash.

At this point in the free-agent period, only two teams remain under the cap: Oklahoma City, which is getting plenty of calls from teams looking to recruit them as a trade partner, and Portland. The Blazers aren't interested in Boozer; they already have a starting power forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, and covet Millsap for his willingness to be a role player and contribute in ways that vary from the traditional post-up forward. Oklahoma City is the key.

UPDATE: The Thunder currently are about $11.5 million under the cap, but aren't eager to use that space by becoming a dumping ground for contracts shed in a Boozer deal, according to sources. Despite its acquisition of Zach Randolph, Memphis surprisingly has several million dollars in wiggle room -- and will get $5.2 million more on Friday, when their Dallas-assisted buyout of Jerry Stackhouse hits their books.

One interesting aspect of this tale is the fact that Utah is in better financial shape to match Millsap's signing bonus than was originally assumed. The maximum signing bonus that can be included in an offer sheet is 17.5 percent of the total contract -- in this case, $5.6 million. Many NBA teams would have trouble writing a check that big without borrowing the money, but Utah, according to NBA front office sources, isn't one of them. The team's only debt is a small amount owed on its arena, so paying Millsap a signing bonus would be "a non-event for them," according to one of the sources.

The signing bonus is prorated for the life of the deal for cap purposes to preserve the structure of year-to-year raises prescribed by the CBA. But Utah must front that money to Millsap in order to meet the exact requirements of matching the Portland offer.

UPDATE: If the Jazz decide to venture deep into tax territory by matching the Millsap offer, they would have a few months to find the best deal for Boozer. They wouldn't be locked into a tax level until the February trade deadline, when they might get better offers from teams eager to clear 2010-11 cap space by acquiring Boozer's expiring contract. But their leverage also might diminish because teams would know they were desperate to shed tax money. 

From the Blazers' standpoint, it's not clear what their options would be if Utah matched the offer sheet. Portland has between $7.7 million and $9 million in cap space, which was preserved when Hedo Turkoglu backed out of his verbal agreement and signed with the Raptors. If the Blazers don't use that money this season, it won't be available next summer because they will have to use it to sign Brandon Roy and Aldridge to extensions.

Confused? Hopefully less so than before you started reading.


Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2009 8:56 am

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

The problem with a guy like maggette is that he plays no defense, as a laker fan an watchin pretty much all there games i thought Brewer played kobe the best out of anyone! Hopefully for the jazz he learns to shoot a jumper!

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2009 6:46 am

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

Totally agree with you about Brewer, they need a SG more than anything. 

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2009 3:18 am

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)


Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 2:38 am

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

go after roy? yeah good luck see we plan on paying our stars the right money

Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2009 2:06 am

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

If a miracle happens and the rockets get Boozer, then that would be better to play him at center alongside Luis Scola. On the other hand, the combination of Carl Landry and Scola or Chuck hayes (who is 6'6) and Scola would be mediocre compared to Boozer at the 5 with Luis Scola at the 4.

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2009 1:10 am

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

Boozer is severely overrated. When his shots aren't falling, he's a liability because he doesn't provide great passing for a PF nor does he have the defensive mindset to play good defense. He's an average defender who isn't exceptionally long or athletic for a PF. Utah should try to retain him because he's still the best 4 they have and is WORLDS better than Paul Millsap. He may be overpaid, but he's still only 27 and actually has the potential to improve his defense if he shows a willingness to put some diligent work in. In the end though, he'll never be a great shot-blocker because that is more of an instinctive skill (think Shawn Marion during his prime) than a learned skill like free-throw shooting or dribbling.
This will be one of the most interesting dilemmas to follow as this offseason continues to unfurl.

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: July 12, 2009 11:42 pm

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

I totally agree that Millsap is a nice 6th man, but he is not worth the luxury tax and he is not a starting power forward.  He is 6 foot 7 inches; a way undersized power forward that will get roof by anyone taller than him.  Boozer is 10xs better than Millsap when he plays.  I know the Jazz will lose Boozer next year, but that will leave some serious cap space to go after some good players next year, like Brandon Roy.

As far as letting Morris Almond and the other crappy D-league players save the Jazz is a fantasy.  There is a reason why they don't play, because they are not good players.

If anyone noticed last year, the huge problem the Jazz have is the team doesn't have anyone that can create their-own shot besides D-Will i.e. a solid shooting guard.  Brewer is a good back-up player, but he also is not a starting shooting guard.  It was laughable during the playoffs last year when Kobe would not even guard Brewer because he can't hit a jumper to save his life, and he can't create his own shot off the dribble.  If the Jazz had a solid shooting guard (one that can decently shoot outside shots and also dribble penetrate) the series would have been a lot different against the Lakers.   The swingman doesn't have to be a super-star either, and there are plenty of them out there like Correy Maggette.  

Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2009 10:56 pm

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma (UPDATE)

why would the Rockets want boozer we already have enough power forwards.....Unless he plays Center but he's not a good defensive player and does not block shots.

Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2009 10:51 pm

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma

dear total idiot,

why dont the jazz just bring up all the utah flash players.
almond, fez, and koufos will win games for us.

and id love to see any statistics that back up your statement
"the jazz played 10x better with millsap last season"

after the 39th game of the season millsap had ZERO games
with 20 points and 7 games with 10 rebounds.

that makes the final 43 games of the season.

thats 0/43 20 point games. consecutively.
thats 7/43 10 rebound games.

if thats ten times better than boozer, than maybe im the total
idiot and all of us do live in your little fantasy world.

millsap is a great 6th man in this league.  and thats all he will ever be.
boozer is a proven all star.

millsap couldnt score on your grandma.  and if you havent noticed,
jerry sloans system depends on a PF that can score.

Since: Jun 21, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2009 9:25 pm

The Boozer-Millsap dilemma

I am really hoping the Utah Jazz can dish out Boozer and keep Milsap.. I think Boozer is a very over-rated player. Yeah, he can put up 20/10 some nights, but he just isn't the presence that people make him out to be.. All he does is shoot his shots, and play OK defense.

He is certainly NOT one of the best PFs and he acts like he is the top PF in the league. I'm sure he is regretting ever leaving the Cavs, and will regret leaving the Jazz when he does.

The Jazz played 10x better with Milsap last season. The Jazz also need to start getting their young guys into games. Morris Almond, and others should be signed and played more. Getting rid of Boozer will clear up Cap space to sign Milsap, and maybe another young player on her way out. I want to see

C - Okur
PF - Milsap
SF - Kirilenko
SG - Brewer
PG - D.Williams

Bring back Mo. Almond, bring in Fesenko and Kufos more!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or