"This was something we were told to do," he said, "so it's not our fault that we got an offer sheet."
That brings everything back to where Millsap would rather play, and how upset he'd be if the Jazz indeed matched.
"It should never have gotten to that. That's how I feel," Simmons said. "But I don't think anything will change with Paul, no matter what happens, because Paul loves the game. He'll give all he's got no matter where he is. He loves the game that much."
Still, Millsap's reps have made it clear their client never would have signed the offer sheet if he weren't ready and more than willing to play for Portland.
"It's a great fit for the kid," said Ara Vartanian, who also represents Millsap.
But is it really?
"That was obviously the discussion we had," Vartanian said, "and Paul feels comfortable that there's a fair chance for him to earn minutes there."
Yet power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center Greg Oden — the NBA's No. 2 overall draft choice in 2006 and No. 1 overall in 2007, respectively — seem entrenched in Portland.
So if the Jazz don't match, the scrappy Millsap might be looking at playing several more seasons as a reserve — something that this past season the 2006 second-rounder suggested he's ready to move beyond.
Which is why the fact Portland would even be tempted to tender such a lucrative offer sheet to Millsap baffles Jazz GM O'Connor.
"What I can't imagine is if they're gonna pay what's reported out there to the backup, what are they gonna pay to their starter?" he said with reference to Aldridge, who has been negotiating a contract extension of his own. "Probably a maximum contact."
No need to worry, though, Vartanian suggests.
He said was told during the negotiating process that Millsap — who did not respond to an interview request — could be the first forward off Portland's bench, and that against certain lineups he might even open at power forward with Aldridge pushed to center.
And Blazers coach Nate McMillan is said to be a big Millsap fan.
"From what they tell us, Paul is potentially a starter on this team," Vartanian said. "They're looking to go small-ball, because they have such a young, athletic team."
Besides, Simmons suggested, Millsap's high-hustle game translate to multiple positions, from small forward to center — and it isn't just limited to rebounding, his specialty, and cleanup points.
"He's a ballplayer, just straight ballplayer," he said. "He can do a lot of things, has a lot of tools, and he fits in with anybody. He's not a guy who dominates, so he doesn't have to have plays run for him, as we've seen in Utah.
"He's not selfish. He's comfortable with just playing ball and having fun. He's a winner. Winners don't care about stuff like that," Simmons added. "That's the luxury of a Paul Millsap. You can put him anywhere and in any situation, and he's going to do what he does best first, and all the rest later."
For now, then, Millsap waits and wonders.
Will he go to Portland, the team that first agreed to dump more than $10 million into his bank account by the end of the month, and shop for one really pricey umbrella?
Or does he stay in Utah — where the Jazz first vowed to match no matter what, but now seem to wavering a bit — and not worry about paying for a mover?
Stressful as it may be — and Miles understands the conflicting emotions like few can — it's not a bad pickle in which to be caught.
"It's a good feeling, but it's like a split — because you feel good, it's a new situation, but, at the same time, you have a great team that you're on and a lot of friends that you've made," Miles said. "The camaraderie's been great here for the last four, five years, so why would you want to leave?
"I was prepared for either situation," he added. "We had thought about what we would do, or what it would be like, but I never got too far one way, because I didn't know what was gonna happen."
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