This could be the most important week in the history of the Utah Jazz. Some big decisions have to be made by both star players and team management. Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver can all opt in or opt out of their current contracts by 10 p.m. on Tuesday. The Utah Jazz must also make decisions about Paul Millsap and his restricted free agency.
Tim Buckley of the Deseret News and Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune joined Tom Kirkland on SportsBeat Sunday and shared some great insight into what may or may not happen in the coming days. What is very clear is that it all begins with Carlos Boozer. His decision impacts how the Jazz will deal with all of the other situations in play.
Whether he ‘opts in' or ‘opts out,' it may be time for Carlos Boozer to move on.
If he opts out, will the Jazz be willing to invest another five years and up to $16 million per year on a player who has missed nearly a third of his games in a Jazz uniform with various injuries? It may not be worth the risk and the Jazz would have to let him walk without getting anything in return. But letting him walk without a sign-and-trade could provide luxury tax relief and help in re-signing Millsap and Okur.
Carlos stated at locker cleanout that he is looking for two things: He wants to be the cornerstone of a franchise AND get long term security in the way of a five year deal. If he opts in he gets neither and the Jazz will have to deal with an awkward situation in their locker room all season. He will play one season for a little more than $12.5 million with the chance of suffering another injury before locking up a long-term deal. He will also have to play with another power forward, Millsap, which likely just received a lucrative multi-year deal from the Jazz. Can you be a franchise cornerstone when your ‘back-up' has a lucrative long term deal and you don't? Does he want to play for an owner who questions publicly his leadership ability and commitment to defense? And does he want to play for fans that, many of whom didn't want him back?
We will find out Tuesday night.
Until then, here are 5 observations from another busy weekend in the world of sports.
Countdown to the college football season: 66 days!