Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Spenders

I came back from an extended weekend (in which I experienced my first earthquake) and discovered that the Jazz matched CJ's offer. I'm still in shock. I mean, the deal wasn't a bankbuster, and CJ has shown "flashes," but for a team that is loaded with bloated contracts (read: AK) and mediocre swing players, inking the team's 10th man for at least 3 years seems a little bit ostentatious. Since when do the Jazz sign $15 million deals with 3rd stringers? We're the new Mavs!

But I wonder if the Jazz brass decided to keep CJ as a hedge against the possible apocalyptic tidal wave of player defections that could occur over the next two years. The Tribune has a nice overview of next summer's contract situation, but the gist is that half the team's status is up in the air. To wit: after next season Boozer, Okur, and Korver can opt out, Ronnie Price, Jarron Collins, and Brevin Knight will be unrestricted (and, in Collins' case, undesirable) free agents, and Millsap will be a restricted free agent.

Could it be that the Jazz see CJ as a cheap insurance policy in case Korver and Price look for big pay raises next year? $3.7 million isn't too much to pay for a half-decent back-up swingman, especially when the only other option is player/coach Harpring. If Korver decides to stick around, and the Jazz extend Brewer, they can shop Miles around to teams willing to take a cheap risk on a talented young 2-guard. If Korver leaves, Miles fills the backup shooting guard spot and gives the Jazz some leverage in negotiating an extension with Brewer.

So, just because the Jazz have invested in CJ Miles, don't expect him to cut into Brewer's, or Korver's, or Harpring's minutes next year. CJ's time to shine may not have arrived, just yet. His role on next year's team may well be identical to his present role: brooding bench enigma.


Pasty Gangsta said...

Crotty -- The earthquake you experienced would pale in comparison to the one that would occur in my heart if the Jazz ever lost Collins. No one wears a sweater vest or catches a water bottle better than he. Here's to hoping that LHM's sons realize his value in the same way that their old man does.

Orlando said...

i think we can all agree that Jarron is due a huge payraise next summer. He has been a first-class citizen, let's pay him like one!