Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Boozer Debate

Well... let's allow the discussion to begin (or in Boozer's case... let it continue)!
We've been waiting, analyzing and conjecturing for months about Carlos Boozer and what he will ultimately decide. "To opt out, or to not opt-out, that is the question!"
As I see it... Boozer has an interesting decision laid out before him. Sure, he says that he wants to be back. But really? Boozer will do what's best for Boozer. And yet, to admit, the Jazz will do what's best for the Jazz. There will have to be a mutual investment on both parts to ultimately allow Boozer to make his decision.
Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Jazz may not want to invest in Boozer after all. Even though Boozer is the one who will make the decision, the Jazz could ultimately trade him afterward (if he doesn't opt-out). Here's the commentary via Yahoo Sports:
"After Utah’s first two losses in the series, Deron Williams told friends he was growing increasingly frustrated with the softness of some of his teammates. Williams has previously targeted Andrei Kirilenko for criticism, but he’s said to have also soured considerably on Carlos Boozer .

After Monday’s season-ending loss, Boozer now says he’d like to return to the Jazz, adding that he feels like “one of those cornerstone people who brought this team back to prominence.” In truth, the decision might not be entirely up to him. Even if Boozer doesn’t opt out of his contract, the Jazz are expected to explore trading him and devote their resources to keeping Paul Millsap ."
The key to understanding this analysis is that... if Boozer knows the intention of the Jazz (which he will eventually) and doesn't get a promise of future investment, he may just opt-out and walk away. So really, the question is... what do the Jazz want to do? Keep him, let him walk or trade him.
I believe that there will be teams vying for Boozer's services. In specific, Detroit and Memphis could possibly be serious suitors (along with perhaps OKC and Atlanta). Will Boozer's economic value be high enough to walk away from $12.3 million next season?
My Prediction: I actually believe the Yahoo Sports report. The Jazz would like to have both Millsap and Boozer back next season, however, because of luxury tax concerns, the Jazz will only be allowed to invest in one of them. I think the Jazz want to keep Millsap more than Boozer (he'll be cheaper and more durable). Thus, Boozer will discover this intention (along with his relatively high economic value) and ultimately opt-out. If he doesn't, the Jazz will trade him to one of those teams mentioned above... for cap space, a player and a draft pick. Thanks for playing for us Booz! Best of luck.


Tucker McCann said...

Hmmmmm, I still have a very hard time believing that any team would take Boozer with i) his fragility, and ii) his contract.

It's like paying $80k for a Mazda Miada just because it looks sporty. But do your research, you can get it for $20k.

Orlando said...

I don't see any plausible scenario in which Boozer opts out. There is no way he's getting more than 12 million a year in this economy when so few teams have cap room Memphis is not going to shell out money for Boozer when they traded Pau for nothing. OKC is not going to blow the bank on an injury prone malcontent when they have a great, young, cheap nucleus in place.

So, either he walks away from money because he can see the writing on the wall, or he waits it out, puts in a career year, and then walks away when tons of teams have saved up cap room and maybe the economy has improved. Boozer is back next year.

Orlando said...

One more point: just like the Jazz would prefer Millsap to Boozer, so would Detroit. And Detroit is the one that can make that decision by either offering Millsap, or enticing Boozer to leave. The Jazz just have to sit back and wait for Detroit's pick and then watch one of their power forwards walk.

Draft Guru said...

I think you guys just might be surprised. There will be a taker out there. Just look at the silly teams like the Warriors, Clippers, Wizards, Bobcats, etc. that are so eager and willing to sign players to contracts. You underestimate their stupidity. Gilbert Arenas? Made top dollar after sitting out with ankle/knee problems. DeSagana Diop? Made serious money for just being big. Even if Boozer's first year is less than his $12 million by staying, he'll get additional years value and increases in pay later on. There's no gaurantee that he has a big year next season. Who's to say he doesn't get injured again? He's got to hit the market while he's got the opportunity. His playoffs performance (I believe) was enough to entice a taker. We shall see...

And I don't think Detroit will go after Millsap. They need a marquee-type player. Millsap is too similar to Maxiel.

Draft Guru said...

Another example... Elton Brand.

If Elton Brand can get a 5 and 80 deal he got with Philly after 13 games from Achilles tendon surgery, you can bet that Boozer will get a lot more than $12.7 mil per, which is what his option is for.

Tucker McCann said...

I pray that you are right Draft Guru, but I fear that you are wrong.

I STILL cannot stomach the idea of an NBA franchise paying Boozer more than what he makes now with the craptacular seasons he has had in Utah.

Aint gonna happen. Good-bye Millsap.

torrey ellis said...

I believe that Millsap is restricted. So if Detroit, or someone else gets him to sign something than the Jazz match and bring him back. Boozer will see the writing on the wall and see the Jazz prefer Millsap and will opt out. Thus everyone is happy.

Orlando said...

Millsap is restricted, but the Jazz won't match if Boozer stays. Unless Greg Miller says "screw the luxury tax." Also, Boozer will have to opt out (or not) before the Jazz sign Millsap.

Pasty Gangsta said...

It's a tough call but I'm with the Guru on this. I think what both Booner and Crotty are forgetting about is a very powerful force in the NBA (and in life for that matter): ego.

In Boozer's mind he is worth a long-term contract at more than $12 mil a year. And let's be honest -- when he's healthy he's a 20-10 guy, which is rare in the NBA. Teams have made much worse long-term bets (see Davis, Baron).

I think he tests the waters and a team bites. Although who cares about the latter part -- once he opts out we'll be done with him.

Also, I think he'll actually be worried about competing against the Lebrons of the world a year from now. As crazy as it sounds, he'll be a premier free agent this year.

Tucker McCann said...

So, to be clear, if Boozer opts out, and nobody bites, the Jazz are not required to take him back for his final year? I thought we were.

Perhaps the Harvard Law Grad could clear this up.

Orlando said...

No, he has a player option, which means that he has to elect to extend his contract for another year. If he does nothing, the contract is ripped up. We can resign him, but we don't have to (won't).

Memo has an early termination option. Which is essentially the same thing, except he has to elect to end the contract. If he does nothing, the contract continues.