Utah Jazz: Boozer keeps talking trade
Return to Utah unlikely, but he insists there's no hard feelings if he does
Keith Johnson, Deseret News
Another day, another Carlos Boozer interview in another of his preferred future playing destinations.
And, no, it wasn't in Utah.
On Tuesday, however, Boozer wasn't quite as revealing with a Chicago sports radio station as he was in Miami on Monday when he went on about, among other things, how much he loves the South Beach area, how he won't be playing again for the Utah Jazz, how tough the economy is, how well he personally did in this past spring's playoffs, how healthy his body is, and how anxious he is to find out what team he'll be traded to before next season.
While talking to ESPN 1000 in Chicago, where he helped Corey Maggette run a basketball camp, Boozer even seemed to back-pedal on an important point he made to Miami's WQAM on Monday.
In Florida, Boozer replied to a question about whether or not he could envision himself playing again in Utah with a simple "Um, no" response. But asked during his interview on the "Waddle & Silvy Show" if there would be "hard feelings" should he return to the Jazz, the power forward sounded like he'd changed his stance a bit.
"No," he replied. "Not at all."
Boozer also reiterated that he has allegedly been asked by Jazz management to zip his lips about the whole trade process.
"I can't speak about it anymore," he said. "I was asked to let my agent and the Jazz take care of the situation and I'm gonna leave it at that. I'll let them take care of it and you guys will probably hear something before I do."
Boozer said that his agent, Rob Pelinka, is "definitely trying to help the Jazz do what they want to do," adding that he's just playing the waiting game for now as the Jazz weigh their options "by talking to different teams and seeing what will make their team better."
A month ago, Boozer opted in for the last season and final $12.7 million of his six-year contract with the Jazz. He said he really doesn't have a hunch as to what team he might be dealt to, nor when it will happen.
"Obviously, I'd have liked for it to have been over, of course, but at the same time I know whatever happens is meant to be and I look forward to it," Boozer said. "I'm just working my butt off ready for a monster season. And I'm just looking forward to dominating in the NBA again."
Boozer added that "a few" players have supposedly tried to recruit him. That, however, seemingly would have little effect on a possible trade scenario, seeing as he is not a free agent and does not have a binding opinion in a potential deal.
"Everything lays in the Jazz's hands," Boozer said. "I know they're doing their homework and their due diligence and I'm gonna step back and not speculate about what I see on TV or what I hear on the radio and just let them do what they're gonna do."
Though he previously talked about how he'd like to play with Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, Boozer admitted to a Windy City audience that he would likewise enjoy the opportunity to play in his offseason home of Miami, too.
Previous Boozer comments have led many to believe that playing for the Heat would be his first choice — a point he wasn't willing to concede to the Chicago radio hosts.
"If I was traded to Miami, I would welcome that. That's what I meant. I don't have a No. 1 destination," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing next season and I'm looking forward to whatever jersey I do put on. ... I'm very interested and looking forward to see what the Jazz do."
Boozer was also asked if his past with Jim Paxson might interfere with a potential Jazz-Bulls trade. Paxson, the brother of current Bulls general manager John Paxson and a Chicago consultant, was the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2004 when Boozer reportedly went back on his word with then-owner Gordon Gund in order to sign his surprising multi-year deal with Utah.
"I've always had respect for Jim," said Boozer, whose departure from Cleveland preceded Paxson being fired by the Cavs at the end of the 2004-05 season. "Obviously, he drafted me when I first came out of college, so I have huge respect for him. I've seen him many times after that. Obviously, if I came here, me and John Paxson wouldn't have any issues at all."
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