PHOENIX — All indications are that there will be no contract extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
But a meeting Wednesday between his agent and franchise officials left Carlos Boozer confident the Jazz are willing to explore ways to re-sign him, even if player payroll commitments for next season and beyond currently preclude that, unless the team were to become a luxury-tax payer for years to come.
"I got that feeling," Boozer said Friday. "I definitely, really did. That's pretty much what the message was."
Boozer's agent, California-based Rob Pelinka, traveled to Utah to meet with Jazz CEO Greg Miller, Jazz president Randy Rigby and Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor.
Tensions between the camps — prompted partly by Boozer's surprise decision last summer to opt in for the final season of his current six-year contract with the Jazz, and subsequent public pleas for a trade — apparently were smoothed by meeting's end.
"It definitely was a positive meeting," Boozer said. "I'm happy about that. ... I couldn't be more pleased."
"Both of us expressed that what had happened in the past is over, and both us felt those issues are no longer roadblocks for us and that we both have a desire to want to see if we can jointly build something for the future," Rigby added. "We have a strong interest in talking with him and seeing if we can do something for the future, and they expressed an interest of Carlos wanting to play in Utah."
Rigby wouldn't comment on payroll issues, including the question of if salary would have to be shed in order to keep the two-time NBA All-Star.
Boozer suggested he was gratified to learn the Jazz are open to perhaps re-signing him but also indicated he intends to test free-agent waters once his contract formally expires at the end of June.
That seemingly makes the chance of an extension before then non-existent.
"That's great to hear. That's something I didn't know," Boozer said of the Jazz's willingness to continue the relationship. "That's why we had the meeting.
"Now," he added, "we can leave the rest of it until July and see what happens."
WILLIAMS PLAYS: Starting point guard Deron Williams and starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews both played when the Jazz faced Phoenix on Friday night, but starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko did not.
Kirilenko re-strained his left calf in the third quarter of the Jazz's home win over Minnesota on Wednesday night and was back to wearing a walking boot at today's morning shootaround.
He sat out for the third time in the Jazz's last four games.
Backup C.J. Miles started in place of Kirilenko, whose status for tonight's home game against New Orleans is uncertain.
Williams played despite a bruised left shoulder, sprained left ankle, sore right wrist and a back that was bruised when he got kneed in the Timberwolves game.
What hurts most, Williams said, "depends on the day."
An MRI exam performed on Williams' shoulder Thursday showed nothing more than bruising.
"I knew there wasn't anything wrong structurally," he said. "It just hurts."
Williams hasn't given consideration to taking any time off, though, mostly because of playoff-seeding implications in the final month of the Jazz's season.
"That's pretty much it," he said. "Everything's so close right now. Oklahoma City's right on us, with the tie-breaker over us."
Matthews played despite mildly spraining his left medial collateral knee ligament in Wednesday's game and said he felt "sore" but "blessed" he wasn't more seriously injured.
"When it first happened, I was scared," the rookie said, "because my instinct all the time is to get right back up ... and when I couldn't, I was a little worried, because my knee did buckle and it was in an awkward position."
Matthews didn't miss a game during his four-season career at Marquette, and he and backup power forward Paul Millsap are the only Jazz players who haven't missed one this season.
"That's tough to do in this business," Matthews said. "I've definitely learned that this year."
HE SAID IT: TNT analyst Charles Barkley: "I love Oklahoma City, but I don't think they can beat the Jazz in a (postseason) series."
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