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Utah Jazz: Boozer trade rumors continue to swirl

Published: Sunday, July 12 2009 12:06 a.m. MDT

LEHI — As the wind swirled here Saturday, so did Carlos Boozer trade rumors.

The Jazz actively are trying to trade Boozer, a two-time NBA All-Star who recently — much to the surprise of some with the franchise — opted in for the last year and final $12.65 million of his current contract.

"You don't know what the case is right now, so I'm not going to speculate on anything," said point guard Deron Williams, who was hosting a charity golf tournament at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.

"If that happens that he's not here, then we can talk about it," Williams added. "But right now he's on the Jazz, he's our teammate. We'll talk about everything when it happens, if it happens."

Though a definitely discussed three-team deal that perhaps could have sent Boozer to Chicago and brought Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas to Utah collapsed Friday, the Jazz still are talking trade with multiple teams.

Conversations have been spurred partly by Utah's efforts to shed salary so they can comfortably retain backup power forward Paul Millsap, who on Friday — after the three-team deal that would also have involved Portland crumbled — signed a four-year, $32 million offer sheet from the Trail Blazers.

Chicago, Miami, Detroit and New York all reportedly remain among possible destinations for Boozer, though the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times newspaper on Saturday reported that Golden State's supposed interest in Utah's starting power forward is not to be believed.

Portland, one NBA agent said Saturday, no longer is interested in facilitating a Boozer trade — and, for all practical purposes, can't because its team payroll salary cap space currently is tied up while Utah decides whether to match on Millsap.

The same agent said Oklahoma City, which also has ample cap space, doesn't want to help the Jazz by becoming part of a multi-team deal either.

"There's a lot, obviously, and for all the right reasons," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said when asked Saturday about how much telephone conversations he's had with other teams in recent days. "They look at us and say, 'Maybe we can get so-and-so, maybe we can get so-and-so.' We're listening, and talking to everybody. There's a frenzy right now about it, and I think it will slow down a little bit."

Asked to respond to an ESPN.com report suggesting Boozer has directly been told he is not part of the Jazz's long-term plans and that Boozer answered by saying, "I want you guys to move me," Jazz front-office members neither confirmed nor denied.

"I'm going to let Kevin address that one," team president Randy Rigby said.

"I don't want to go there. That's not fair to Carlos, and that's not fair to us," O'Connor added. "But what I would say is that those two (Boozer and Millsap) have played together last year and the year before, and played fairly well together."

Rigby, too, left the door ajar — even if ever so slightly — to the possibility that both Boozer and Millsap would be back for the start of next season.

"It's too early for us to really say that," the Jazz president said. "(But) I could see a possibility that they would be coming back.

"I mean, we're going to have to really analyze and see whether it's going to be for the betterment of this organization, short-term, long-term, from an on-court position, as well as front a financial position. And we're gonna have to make some tough decisions."

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