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Jazz opt-out decisions going down to the wire

By Tom Kirkland, KSL Sports Director  |  Posted Jun 29th, 2009 @ 11:03pm



 

SALT LAKE CITY -- One of the Utah Jazz big three opt-out possibilities was settled Monday when Kyle Korver announced he is coming back for the 2009-10 season, but what about Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur? It looks like both decisions will go right down to Tuesday's deadline.

While the Jazz may be pursuing Memo, Boozer is in a different category. "[He's] one who would be considered a marquee player, but I do have concerns about Carlos Boozer's defense, and I have some concerns about his ability to lead the team," Jazz owner Greg Miller told KSL Sports in May.

Boozer's situation is getting more intriguing. He has said repeatedly he would opt-out. Reports say the Pistons have the most money to offer, but Boozer may not get the raise he's looking for.

There's also been a league-wide assumption Boozer would not return to the Jazz, but if it comes down to just one year's salary -- the close-to-$13 million the Jazz would owe him -- may be too hard for him to walk away from.

"It would be incredibly awkward. And you know what? The other flip side of that is except for the things that he said at locker cleanout, there's been no indications that he's been happy in Utah for an overwhelming majority of the five years that he's been here," said Tim Buckley, Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News.

We're also waiting on Memo's decision. Reports say that while both sides have tried to work out an extension, Okur figures to opt-out but has said he wants to re-sign with the Jazz.

"Memo's got uber leverage in this situation; he's got more leverage than Carlos does. He's got the leverage of Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos are the only centers they have right now on the roster," said Ross Siler, Jazz writer for the Salt Lake Tribune.

And don't forget the Jazz prize-restricted free-agent-to-be. The Jazz will reportedly make a big offer to Paul Millsap. As soon as Tuesday night's free agent hunting season starts at 10:00, Millie can shop himself around. But the Jazz have the right to match any offer he gets.

E-mail: tkirkland@ksl.com