The End Of Boozer’s Road?

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The love-hate relationship between Jazz fans and their free agent-to-be power forward Carlos Boozer continues to confound us here at the hideout.

While every other team (save for the Phoenix Suns) would love to retain their marquee free agent, you hear little of that talk from Salt Lake City in regard to Boozer.

In fact, the locals are resigned to the fact that the Jazz need to salvage whatever they can from a sign-and-trade deal and just move on after six years of enigmatic basketball marriage that I could tell had run its course as the Lakers were sweeping Boozer and the Jazz out of the Western Conference semifinals.

Even the folks that have stayed in Boozer’s corner, realize that the time for change has come.

Steve Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune explains it like this: Having missed the chance to trade him in the past year, they are reduced to two choices, then: Allowing him to sign with another team and receiving nothing in return or partnering with Boozer and another team in a sign-and-trade arrangement that would help everybody.

Easy decision, obviously.

Speaking as Boozer’s biggest advocate in this town — not that there’s tremendous competition for the title — I’m acknowledging that with his market value, medical history and level of fan dissatisfaction, his six-year stay has run its course. Keeping the team together for one last effort in 2009-10 was worthwhile, as the playoff series victory over Denver demonstrated, but the misfortune of repeatedly running into the Los Angeles Lakers doomed the experiment.

So it is time to move on.

There’s too much risk in another six-year investment for a player who turns 29 in November to justify the luxury-tax payment, even for the one season until Andrei Kirilenko’s contract comes off the books.

The reality is that without Boozer, the Jazz will get worse before they get better. Among other failings, they did not replace him in the draft with a power forward — or, more accurately, replace Paul Millsap, who would move into Boozer’s starting role.

Now what? The Jazz have “prepared ourselves” for all the possibilities of free agency, general manager Kevin O’Connor said. “When the first big fish falls, then everybody else starts to go.”

Boozer isn’t even considered the big fish in his own Salt Lake pond.

So that would make him “everybody else.” And from all indications, Boozer has to go elsewhere.

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7 Comments

  1. EG says:

    If the Jazz want Lebron it would take Boozer in a sign and trade plus Deron Williams and the Cavs still wouldn’t be getting fair value.

  2. Mike says:

    The Jazz need to sign Boozer and have Cleveland sign James. Then we trade Boozer and Kirilenko for Lebron and Jamison. If Cleveland doesn’t go for it. The Jazz could throw in Fes. This would be a sure thing.

    • Zanzabar says:

      Josh check out Mike’s great trade deal. Looks like the Laker fan have not cornered the market on delusional. LOL

      • Mike says:

        How is this deal not ideal. Cleveland would end up with the better end of the deal. Lebron is leaving, this will at least give Cleveland the best power forward in the league and a top 5 small forward. I don’t see anything wrong with this.

    • Tommy says:

      Mike, Lebron isn’t going to the Jazz. Keep dreaming bro.

  3. Dennis says:

    Sign Boozer to the LAKERS and trade Walton & Powell! Go LAKERS!!!

    • joseph webb says:

      yeah because we here in utah want josh powell and luke walton so bad,and i’m sure booz wouldn’t mind coming off the bench right? wow lakers fans ive in there own world