On one hand, point guard Williams calls Boozer "one of the best power forwards in the league, hands down" and has publicly stated he wants the two-time All-Star back.
Asked if losing Boozer would affect his play, he readily suggested it would.
"Of course," Williams said. "He's a guy that gets me four, five, six assists a game."
On the other hand, however, Williams and Boozer haven't always enjoyed the warmest of relationships.
They appeared to band together for the common cause most of this season. But, behind the scenes in seasons past, it wasn't always that way.
And Williams this week acknowledged that playing Boozer and Millsap together — something the Jazz were forced to do quite frequently this postseason, prompted mostly by starting center Mehmet Okur's ruptured Achilles — isn't exactly ideal.
"I think that's one of the problems — is it's kind of hard, you know," Williams said, "to play (Millsap) and Booz at the same time, especially against a team like L.A., teams that have a lot of length to them."
Moreover, Williams' mood seemed to brighten a bit when he was asked last Tuesday if, need be, Millsap can pick up where Boozer leaves off.
"They're different players," he said, "but I think Paul is definitely capable of averaging around 20/10."
That would be 20 points and 10 rebounds per game — numbers roughly akin to the team-high 19.5 points and team-high 11.2 boards Boozer averaged in the just-completed regular season, and numbers significantly higher than the 11.6 and 6.8 Millsap posted as a backup in 2009-10.
Asked additionally if he thinks Millsap can start and handle 35-to-40 minutes per game — Boozer averaged 34.3 this season; Millsap, 27.8 — Williams responded enthusiastically.
"I think he can," the Jazz point said. "I mean, I think you saw when Booz was out (during the 2008-09 season) and (Millsap) had, what, 19 straight double-doubles?"
That he did.
Boozer himself was quite complimentary of Millsap this week. "Paul had a great series, a great postseason, a great season," he said. "Paul just continues to grow and get better. I'm proud of him."
Sloan, however, bends backward to lay out the case of just how valuable Boozer — for whatever faults he may have, from career-long injury woes to decided defensive deficiencies — has been to the Jazz.
"Anybody can 'fill' the spot. But will we have the same results? Can you win 53 games if Boozer's not here?" he asked. "That's the tough part.
"He (Boozer) is a very talented guy. Teams double-team us, or they zone us — he's terrific in the middle of the zone. He's got a lot of things, and not everybody has those kinds of skills — to be able to pass out of it, or take a shot that makes it look easy.
"Those things are easier to deal with," Sloan added, "when you have guys that can automatically do it."
And what if the Jazz should lose that? "Paul, he's been terrific the way he's worked and everything," Sloan said. "I'm sure if something like that happened he'd get the opportunity."
If that doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement of the longtime backup, it's probably because it's more reflective of what Sloan feels the Jazz would lose than any doubts he has about Millsap's willingness to make a mark of his own.
"He's been a good worker," Sloan said of Millsap, whom he lauded for enhanced shooting the past two years. "We hope to see him continue to improve."
"If you look statistically at what guys do when they hit the age Paul's at (25), they continue to get better, and then they kind of level off for a period, and then there's a slope downward," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said. "Like a bell-curve kind of a thing. And I think he's still on the way up."
It won't be forever, though, that Millsap — age-wise, and skill-wise — is on the rise.
The clock ticks on him, as it does on all NBA players.
Last offseason — after Boozer surprisingly opted in for the final season of his Jazz contract, and Utah declined to trade him even after committing major money to his backup — Millsap tuned out the noise.
He hit snooze on what he thought was the signal it was his time to start, at least for one season. "I didn't set myself up for (disappointment)," Millsap said. "Really, I may have thought I could help starting — but, in a worst-case scenario, (planned to) come off the bench, play significant minutes and try to help our team that way.
"I kind of knew what was going on, and I dealt with it."
Which begs the question of just what he's setting himself up for now.
"Just go out there and continue to work," he said. "I mean, I can't control (anything).
"Whatever they decide is their decision. But I'm gonna come back in the best of shape. You know, I'm trying to get better."
He is, but deep down he also feels he's good enough now.
Good enough, that is, to start.
Asked if he can replace what Boozer does for the Jazz, Millsap's response really did sound as convincing as it was brief.
"I'll let my work," he said, "speak for itself."
- Utah's first family of boxing loses one of...
- Timpview standout, 2014 Mr. Football winner...
- BYU basketball guard Anson Winder and...
- Morning links: Utes land a local commitment...
- Dick Harmon: BYU basketball must make...
- Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward gets a...
- Guest commentary: Hey, BYU basketball, slow down
- Believe it or not: QB Travis Wilson is set to...
- Peavler: Can BYU football rise up to... 67
- Tyler Haws vows BYU will turn it around... 38
- San Diego hands BYU its second straight... 37
- Dick Harmon: BYU basketball must make... 32
- Guest commentary: Hey, BYU basketball,... 29
- Morning links: Utes land a local... 29
- Dick Harmon: Texas speedster Charles... 28
- Timpview standout, 2014 Mr. Football... 25