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It was supposed to be the most turbulent off-season since the Stockton to Malone era came to an end in the summer of 2003. But the decisions made by Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Mehmet Okur killed much of the drama. All three decided against testing free agency and did not opt out of their current contracts. It may have removed much of the drama, but it certainly didn't simplify things for the Jazz front office.
Two big questions remain.
First, will the Jazz be able to keep Paul Millsap without taking on $10 million of luxury tax and the highest payroll in the NBA?
The free agency negotiating period ends at 10 p.m. Tuesday, yet no word on any contract offers for Millsap. His agent was looking for $10 million a year but that kind of "crazy money" is not out there this summer. According to reports, teams like Oklahoma City and Portland which have money to spend, have other plans.
A number of teams are interested but probably not for much more than the mid-level exception. That will make it easier for the Jazz to match any offer, but if they match an offer for Paul at around $6 million a year, they are still looking at being around $ 10 million over the tax threshold after they sign a third point guard (likely Ronnie Price). It may not be a good precedent for the Jazz to become big spenders in a small market.
Second, if the Jazz do not trade Carlos Boozer in the off-season, can he win back fan support here in Utah?
We posted a poll on KSL.com last week asking fans, "Are you excited to have Carlos Boozer back next season?" In the poll, 3,584 fans voted and 73 percent (2,608) said no. Clearly, Boozer has some work to do if he returns to the team next season. I asked Jazz President Randy Rigby that question while guest hosting the John and Hans Show on 1280 The Zone. He explained that the Jazz are aware of the damage done by comments he made last December, that he "was going to get a raise regardless" while he was in the midst of missing 45 games to injury. But the Jazz expect to get a monster season out of him in a contract year and believe that will go a long way in repairing the damage.
We also don't know how Carlos will respond to playing for a team whose owner publicly criticized his defensive effort and leadership.
While we wait for those questions to get answered, here are 5 more observations from the weekend in sports.
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