Jazz Offseason: Detroit, New Jersey mentioned as Boozer possibilities

Published May 31, 2009 6:39 pm

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Carlos Boozer has yet to make official a decision about opting out of his contract to become a free agent, but speculation about the All-Star forward's future with the Jazz only increased Sunday.

As the New York Post 's Peter Vecsey wrote, "Apparently, rising free agent-of-choice Carlos Boozer is telling confidants he's either going to Detroit or New Jersey."

The Pistons are expected to have the salary-cap space to be able to sign Boozer outright and long have been thought a potential destination, but the Nets would need to work out a sign-and-trade with the Jazz to acquire Boozer.

Such a deal with New Jersey likely would have to be built around either Vince Carter, who has three years and $52 million left on the contract he signed in 2007, or Bobby Simmons, who will make $10.6 million in the final year of his contract.

Neither Boozer nor his agent, Rob Pelinka, returned messages Sunday. Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor couldn't be reached for comment.

Carter is an eight-time All-Star who averaged 20.8 points last season, but his age (32) and contract might be prohibitive in any deal. Carter is due to make $16.1 million, $17.5 million and $18.3 million, although only $4 million is guaranteed in 2011-12.

Simmons averaged 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds, but started only 44 of 71 games last season. The Nets also have several young players -- Brook Lopez, Yi Jianlian and Ryan Anderson -- who could prove attractive in a potential sign-and-trade.

Even so, New Jersey would be a surprise destination for Boozer. The Nets went 34-48 last season and owner Bruce Ratner reportedly has lost tens of millions in recent years while trying to move the team to a development in Brooklyn.

The Nets ranked 25th in the NBA in attendance (15,147) and are expected to do everything to cut costs from reduce the number of assistants coaches on Lawrence Frank's staff to field a consolidated summer-league entry with another team.

Additionally, the Nets were believed to be clearing cap space for the 2010 free-agent class after trading Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee last June for Simmons and Yi.

Also Sunday, the New York Daily News speculated that Boozer might end up in Toronto if the Raptors feel pressure to trade Chris Bosh ahead of possibly losing him as a free agent next summer.

If nothing else, Toronto would be a humorous destination for Boozer, who spends his offseasons enjoying the sun of Miami.

Boozer is expected to opt out but has until June 30 to officially do so. He is due to make $12.7 million next season and voiced his desire to return to Utah after the Jazz were eliminated by the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.


The Spanish newspaper Marca reported that an NBA team will play a preseason game in Madrid on Oct. 8. That team is expected to be the Jazz, who will play Chicago in London on Oct. 6. ... The Jazz are not expected to bring draft prospects to Utah for workouts until at least June 14, but the team will be in attendance at group workouts being hosted by Golden State and Minnesota.

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