Now that the NBA Trade-Deadline has passed, the Utah Jazz can sit back and see what happens from here. The Jazz stayed intact. No trades were consummated. Meaning… there ought to be serious implications for the “here-and-now” as well as the future.
As Jazz fans, we continue to wait for Carlos Boozer to return to the court. Certainly, there’s a possibility that his healthy return could pay big dividends towards a “successful run” through the NBA Playoffs. We can only hope that this will be the case! In similar fashion, we as Jazz fans, wait for Carlos Boozer to make his decision to potentially opt-out of his contract. It will happen (either way) this summer. (So too could Memo and Korver… but they more than likely will not).
Being that our current economy is in such a crappy state, the NBA Salary Cap and Luxury Tax levels have been predicted to drop dramatically for the next season. Spending on contracts in the NBA could hit a dramatic low this summer (both in amount & length). Tom Ziller, from Fanhouse, goes into great detail about this unusual potentiality. As we sit now, the Jazz (with Boozer deciding to finish off his contract with Utah) will be sitting at $71 million dollars of payroll… right at the current luxury-tax threshold (salary cap is $58 mil). With the tax level predictably falling over the next year, the Jazz will be sitting squarely in luxury-tax land next season. And to think… this does NOT even involve the hope, consideration and need to re-sign Paul Millsap yet. Yikes!
Now… Boozer has said once before that he’ll likely opt-out. As we analyze it, the only real competitors on the open FA market (for his services) will be Detroit, Memphis & OKC. Competition will be the factor that drives his price range. Will they desire to sign him? At more than the Jazz are already paying him? Even after he has missed 43 games this season (and counting)? Do you think it’ll be wise for the Booz to opt-out? I wonder if all of these factors (the economy, the falling luxury-tax level, Boozer’s on-court absence, his injury woes, etc) will change his mind towards free agency, and cause him to wait 'til 2010.
If so… then we’re screwd! We’ll see Mr. Paul Millsap walk. Our chance to shed salary is gone until next year. There’s nothing we can do… except pay into the luxury tax land (which the Jazz won’t do since they’ll be squarely inside there next season). Thus, who would you rather have… Millsap or Boozer? It’s one or the other. You decide.
I hope The Larry H. Miller Group is selling a lot of cars these days. If not... oh wait… oh no.