Utah Jazz: Boozer still keeping options open for next year

Tim Buckley

Even with Miami a chilly 75 or so on Tuesday — sorry, socked-in Salt Lake City — the place has its appeal.
Beautiful people. Beautiful water. And, yes, beautiful weather.

Palm trees. Sand. And, don’t forget, no state income tax.

No wonder Carlos Boozer has long been lobbying to play here, including a radio campaign when he was trying to get traded to the Miami Heat — a team with which he’s frequently been linked — over the summer.

It hasn’t happened yet, but the possibility of Boozer playing in one of his preferred locales — and the city that the one-time Alaska resident now calls home — will increase exponentially in the offseason.

If, that is, Miami doesn’t target and land instead another high-profile big man, with Toronto’s Chris Bosh one possibility.

And if, that is as well, Boozer hasn’t been traded and signed to a contract extension by another team before then.

As it stands now, though, the Jazz power forward has no reason — "unless y’all know something I don’t," he told a couple of reporters Tuesday — to think he’ll be moved when the NBA’s deadline for dealing rolls around on Feb. 18.

Nor does teammate Deron Williams, whose response when asked if he figured Boozer will be with the Jazz for the rest of the season was short and to the point.

"Yeah," Williams said. "Why would we not? We have no reason to think otherwise."

They had even less later Tuesday, when the Jazz dumped several million dollars in payroll by trading backup point guard Eric Maynor and injury-hampered forward Matt Harpring to Oklahoma City.

For now, then, Boozer plays on as if he will stay in Utah for the duration of his sixth season with the Jazz.


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