From everything that’s been written and said, we were made to understand that Carlos Boozer was as good as gone from Utah. The Jazz weren’t willing to meet his salary demands (and most importantly, they want to be under the luxury tax line by this summer), and it was only a matter of time before Boozer left for greener pastures.
While that may still be the case (he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1st), it doesn’t mean that Jazz management is going to give him away easily. You’re going to have to come with a whopper of a deal for Utah to trade the big man.
According to ESPN, the Dallas Mavericks learned this lesson recently:
Utah general manager Kevin O’Connor loudly insisted Monday that those of us who presume that the Jazz will do anything they can to get under the luxury-tax line between now and June 30 have it way wrong. The Dallas Mavericks got the same message when they tested Utah’s resolve early last week.
The Mavs made a long-shot attempt to convince Utah to part with Carlos Boozer by proposing an all-about-money trade that would have provided the Jazz with another sizable chunk of payroll relief to follow up the significant savings from their recent swap with Oklahoma City, ESPN.com has learned. Yet sources close to the situation say that the Jazz weren’t about to be tempted.
Since they claim that the luxury tax isn’t the most important factor at the moment, it bears noting that Utah and Houston are currently tied for the last Playoff spot in the Western Conference.
We’ll see how long management in Utah holds on to this particular group of players, at the price they’re paying for them.