Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor's offseason to-do list isn't terrifically long.
High atop it, though, is an issue of maximum importance to the franchise maximum dollars for Deron Williams.
The three-year point guard is eligible for a contract extension come July, one that could net Williams another five years and roughly $80 million (exact number still to-be-determined) on top of his $5.07 million salary for the 2008-09 season.
The Jazz who have exclusive negotiating rights with Williams this summer and would retain the right to match any outside offer he accepted in the 2009 offseason, should they not agree to terms on a new deal by Oct. 31 seem bound to tender Williams a max-money deal.
"I'm on both sides of the fence," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said the day after his Williams-led club was eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers from the NBA playoffs' second round. "I want to see Deron happy; I want to see Mr. Miller (Jazz owner Larry H. Miller) happy.
"That (extending Williams for five years) would be a good thing for this franchise, and I think that's the direction we probably are leaning," Sloan added. "I don't think we're leaning to let him get away."
Or, as teammate Carlos Boozer said Saturday, "He's not going anywhere. You guys know that."
The only real issues, then, seem to be timing and whether Williams and the Jazz extend the contract for three, four or five years.
Williams, a Team USA member hoping to win a roster spot for the upcoming Summer Olympics, apparently wants the matter resolved before he begins international play thereby protecting his financial interests against possible injury.
"That probably would be the best thing, the most-important thing," he said Saturday.
Said O'Connor: "I think the importance would be to have a comfort level for him. Whether that happens or not, I don't know. ... We're gonna try and work out a deal, obviously."
As for years, Williams was noncommittal.
"I'm still thinking about the loss, and that's all that's on my mind right now," he said Saturday. "I'm sure I'll have time to deal with my agent and talk about those things, but right now I'm not really focused on that."
Williams did, though, make it clear he wants to remain in Utah long-term.
"That's the plan," he said. "You know, I definitely love it here. I think we have a great team, a great coaching staff and have a chance to win. That's the thing that's most important to me.
"I definitely feel strong," Williams added, "that this team can win a championship."
Other housekeeping matters for O'Connor include picking up the team's third-year, $797,581 option on reserve Paul Millsap's contract (a virtual formality); learning if No. 3 point guard Jason Hart will opt out of next season's $2.48 million salary; and tendering a restricted free agent C.J. Miles a qualifying offer.
Hart didn't speak with reporters Saturday, but it seems unlikely he'd walk from such money.
The Jazz would retain the right to match any offer to Miles, and haven't ruled out offering him a multi-year contract.
Miles, though, will test the market just like last offseason."I have to do (what's needed) to help myself and my career," the reserve swingman said, "Whether it's here or somewhere else, I have to do it. Hopefully it's here."
Contributing: Dirk Facer, Jody Genessy E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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