The Utah Jazz will get some offseason help thanks to Isiah Thomas — he traded them the Knicks first round pick this year.
But who to draft will be the easy question for the Jazz, the bigger question is what to do about free agent to be Carlos Boozer. Sign him? A sign-and-trade with another team? Let him walk and let Paul Millsap have his job?
The Jazz could look to re-sign Boozer, but it’s hard to see how they would do so without pushing their payroll deep into luxury-tax territory again. The Jazz likely would have to trade either Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Okur or Millsap to a team with salary-cap space to making re-signing Boozer realistic.
Williams isn’t going anywhere, Okur is recovering from a devastating injury and Kirilenko is due to make $17.8 million next season. The Jazz could look to move Millsap, but consider that they’re looking at a potential value player these next three seasons now that the pain from Millsap’s front-loaded offer sheet is over.
So the question is whether the Jazz feel obligated to re-sign Boozer or to work with him on a sign-and-trade with another team that would bring them something in return? No team wants to just let an All-Star player leave, but the Jazz definitely are in a unique situation this summer.
Look for them to explore sign and trade options, but they would have to take salary back in that kind of deal, and paying a lot of tax is what they are looking to avoid. They may have to just let him walk.
Welcome to the squeeze mid-market teams in the NBA face. The Lakers, the Bulls, they could just sign Boozer as a cost of business. The Jazz face some serious questions.