The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Utah Jazz have offered forward Paul Millsap a three-year, $25 million max contract extension, showing their commitment to the near All-Star. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, they’re not going to be able to avoid Millsap hitting the open market, according to the report:
Initial indications are Millsap won’t agree to the extension, though, preferring to enter free agency in 2013 with plans to cash in on an inflated 2012 market that saw mid-tier forwards such as Gerald Wallace, Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum and Ryan Anderson recently receive lucrative multiyear contracts.
via Utah Jazz: Contract talks begin between Jazz, Paul Millsap | The Salt Lake Tribune.
No shocker there. On top of the ability to test where he wants to go and the value of market competition raising his price tag, the new CBA, as we’ve tried to point out time and time again, makes it a near-absurdity to ever sign an extension. By becoming a free agent, Millsap will be eligible for a four-year deal from any other team and a five-year deal from the Jazz.
Millsap signed for four-years and $32 million in 2009 which was thought to be excessive at the time and has quickly become one of the better value contracts in the league. If Millsap’s approach shifts from “I want to see what’s out there” to “I’m definitely leaving,” we could see the budget version of the trade dilemmas that have faced other small markets dealing with available stars. Millsap should have been targeted by teams over the past two years looking for a budget star. He’s a versatile center who can power inside and step out and hit the three, rebounds well and has no injury concerns. He’s the guy you want if you want a complimentary star to an alpha dog.
We’ll have to see if the talk of leaving is just talk, and if so, if Millsap can get the kind of big money from Utah he’ll want, even with that loaded frontcourt.
Lavoy Allen made a name for himself in the playoffs last year as “The KG Stopper.” He did a phenomenal job against Garnett, who had been dominant in the playoffs up until that point. Naturally, Doug Collins went away from Allen and played Spencer Hawes for longer stretches, despite Garnett taking Hawes’ lunch money and throwing him in the deep puddle in the parking lot. Which isn’t some huge knock. It’s Kevin Garnett.
But apparently that wasn’t enough for Doug Collins, who said that Hawes and newcomer Kwame Brown will start next year, making for a killer combination of players with terrible production relative to their draft stock. Both players are capable, Hawes offensively, Brown defensively, but Allen has higher upside and brought more to the table last year.
Allen, though, isn’t bothered by his coach’s comments. From CSN Philadelphia:
“It doesn’t bother me,” Allen said while at an appearance for a basketball showcase at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in South Jersey on Saturday afternoon. “You never know what can happen once training camp rolls around. You don’t know who’s going to do what. Coach says that now, but you never know what he’s thinking. He switched the lineup many times last year.”
via Allen on not starting: ‘Coach says that now’.
What’s the over/under on how long until Allen cements the starting job? 25 games? Maybe 40? It’s entirely possible that Allen takes a step back, he didn’t set the world on fire last season or anything, he just played well and with an aggressiveness the Sixers need down low. But Hawes also played above his career production last season. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out during the course of the season. But if the Sixers face the Celtics in the playoffs again and the same decision tree is used, Garnett could once again feast and be the deciding factor.
Don’t expect Spike Lee to be rocking the black-and-white at any point next season.
With the Nets headed to Barclays to open their first season in Brooklyn, there will be some defections. Some fans aren’t all that committed and it won’t take much to get them on board with the idea of swapping out the Knicks’ dysfunction and CAA, I mean, James Dolan’s whims of fancy for the Mad Russian and his eccentric Netcentrics. With Spike Lee being from Brooklyn and constantly speaking in support of the borough, you had to wonder if he would be betraying the Garden as his home.
Not so much.
From the New York Times:
“I wish I had a dollar for every time people ask me that — I could finance another film,” he says. “No, no and no. Can’t do that. Can’t.
“I am orange and blue, baby,” he says in reference to the colors of the Knicks. “Orange and blue.”
via Spike Lee to Stick With His Knicks – NYTimes.com.
You can bet that Lee will both be welcome and in attendance on opening night vs. his Knicks at Barclays, and will take in a game from time to time when it fits better with his schedule. But the guy is an icon at Knicks games (hence why this is actually relevant to you) and you don’t just stop being as much of a psycho Knicks fan all of a sudden. Nike should jump on the opportunity to get him in an ad for the rivalry, though, because that’s going to get crazy in a hurry.