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News » Rumor mill quiet for Jazz as trade deadline nears


Rumor mill quiet for Jazz as trade deadline nears


Rumor mill quiet for Jazz as trade deadline nears
With three weeks remaining until the Feb. 19 trade deadline, the Jazz have been largely quiet in the NBA's rumor mill, according to league executives contacted this week.

Some of that can be attributed to Kevin O'Connor 's style as general manager, but the Jazz are expected to wait until Carlos Boozer returns from left knee surgery next month and make a playoff push with their current roster.

For teams trying to clear future salary-cap space, Jarron Collins , Brevin Knight and Morris Almond have attractive expiring contracts, according to executives, but there are questions about whether the Jazz can take back salaries for 2009-10 and beyond.

The most frequently asked questions about the Jazz concern whether Boozer will follow through and opt out of his contract to become a free agent this summer and whether the Jazz will be able to re-sign Paul Millsap after his breakthrough season.

One general manager said he would not opt out were he Boozer considering the injury he suffered this season, the lack of teams with cap space -- especially those willing to spend in the current recession -- and the number of teams saving for the 2010 free-agent class.

Millsap can expect a contract for the full midlevel exception -- approximately five years and $33 million -- from another team, the general manager said. The Jazz would have the right to match any offer Millsap received as a restricted free agent.

With Deron Williams ' contract extension kicking in, the Jazz have $71 million in salary commitments for 2009-10 before re-signing Millsap, though that number could change should Boozer, Mehmet Okur and/or Kyle Korver opt out.

?

Not OK

Not only will they be determined to snap their four-game losing streak Friday against Oklahoma City, the Jazz also would like to avenge an embarrassing 114-93 loss to the Thunder on Jan. 14. It was the Thunder's first victory over a winning team all season.

"They put it on us out there, so we owe them one," Williams said.

The Thunder no longer are the NBA's worst team at 10-35 and have won seven of their last 13 games but are only 3-18 on the road.

?

Star Struck

The NBA tonight will announce reserves for the Feb. 15 All-Star Game in Phoenix. Millsap (15.6 points, 9.7 rebounds) and Williams (16.9 points, 10.2 assists) are the Jazz's leading candidates, but the team's 25-21 record could hurt both.

The Jazz had not heard anything Wednesday about either player being selected, unlike when they have had past All-Stars.

For the first time in four years, the Jazz also did not have a player selected for the All-Star rookie/sophomore game. Williams, Millsap and Ronnie Brewer all have been chosen in recent seasons, but rookie center Kosta Koufos was not this season.

?

Briefly

Andrei Kirilenko received treatment Wednesday on his injured right ankle, with no decision yet made about whether he will be able to resume playing or require surgery.

rsiler@sltrib.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 30, 2009

 

 
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