Blazers preparing offer for Utah's Paul Millsap
Jason Quick The Oregonian
After a series of trades fell through this week, the Trail Blazers have settled on their next target: Utah power forward Paul Millsap.
Although Millsap is a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz can match any offer, the Blazers are preparing what one source called a "toxic" offer designed to exterminate interest from other teams.
Millsap, 24, is a bruising and active player who excels at rebounding. Despite being only 6-foot-8, Millsap last season used his 250-pound frame to average 13.5 points and 8.6 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game. His 3.3 offensive rebounds per game ranked fourth in the NBA and his 251 offensive rebounds ranked sixth.
If Millsap signs an offer sheet accepting the Blazers’ deal, Utah will have seven days to match the offer. The Jazz is already facing the luxury tax next season with a team salary of more than $73 million. Their finances, and prospects of competing with a lucrative offer to Millsap, took a hit last week when Carlos Boozer ($12.6 million), Mehmet Okur ($9 million) and Kyle Korver ($5.1 million) all exercised options to stay in Utah.
The Blazers figure to exhaust nearly all of their cap space to lock up Millsap. They are $7.7 million under the cap, but can gain an additional $1.65 million by renouncing the rights to Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland. However, in the process, the Blazers would be assessed with a roughly $450,000 cap hold for having less than 11 players, thus giving them $8.9 million in cap space.