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Jazz in Boise: Carlos Boozer



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Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is letting his Olympians, Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko take it easy in Boise since all three had a long summer.

While the Jazz say they've had preliminary contract extension talks with Boozer and Mehmet Okur, "opting-out" is still a possibility for both and Kyle Korver too.

Boozer has been asked about his contract the past two days, but he doesn't say much about it. Boozer instead says he is anxious to start the season after a disappointing playoff performance and limited minutes in Beijing.

Carlos Boozer hugged Kevin O'Connor before this morning's practice. O'Connor is in charge of re-signing Boozer after this season, but Boozer won't discuss next season, saying instead he is focused solely on playing his fifth season in Utah.

"I can't believe it. It went so fast! My seventh year in the league, fifth in Utah and hopefully it's the best one," said Boozer.

Boozer didn't have his best playoff run last spring. He struggled as his team fell to the Lakers in the second round. And just five weeks ago Boozer won gold in Beijing, but logged the fewest minutes on Team USA.

"We learned so much from the players in Beijing as far as leadership, team aspects, the chemistry in USA basketball," said Boozer. "[We will] try to bring it to the Utah Jazz and hopefully it will result in success."

"He just needs to be Booz," said Korver. "That's all we need and he's been great the last two years and we're expecting more of the same this year."

"We're going to need that from Carlos," said Williams. "He's definitely happy to be on the team and I know he wanted to play and probably that will motivate him this year."

Boozer seems relaxed and ready to go.

Wednesday's afternoon practice has been moved to 4 p.m. so Paul Millsap and some teammates can watch his Louisiana Tech team play Boise State.

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com

Kathy Aiken

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