When the NBA's summer negotiating period opens late tonight, don't expect any immediate announcement of agreement on a contract extension between point guard Deron Williams and the Jazz.
In fact, the two sides Jazz management, and Williams and his representation aren't expected to even meet face-to-face until sometime next week.
But when an agreement is struck Williams is eligible for a five-year extension that would begin with the 2009-10 season and would be valued around $90 million if extended for the full five years the point guard shouldn't have to come far for a news conference.
"I'm here in the summer all summer, so I'm not going anywhere," Williams said last week, while visiting the Jazz's practice facility. "All they have to do is call me, and I'm up here."
Rather than return to the Dallas area, where he attended high school before playing at the University of Illinois, Williams and his young family now are living year-round in Utah.
No other Jazz starters do: Shooting guard Ronnie Brewer returns to his native Arkansas, Russian small forward Andrei Kirilenko spends most of his summer in Europe, power forward Carlos Boozer resides in Miami and center Mehmet Okur returns home to Turkey.
But Williams is going all-out to make himself a part of the community, playing in local golf tournaments, holding a sponsor's event at the Tooele County race track owned by Jazz owner Larry H. Miller and even bending the willing-to-listen ears of Jazz management.
It's all a welcome statement for the Jazz, who readily acknowledge the commitment Williams who will spend much of August in China, playing with Team USA in the summer Olympics is making.
"I think he just feels comfortable here. We love the fact that he's staying," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said. "He takes ownership of the Utah Jazz right now, and we really appreciate that and enjoy it. We think it's important that he does that a point guard that does that."
It's somewhat akin to how a certain former Jazz point exerted influence within the franchise, even if now-retired John Stockton went about it a different way.
"John left and went to Spokane (Wash., his hometown and current place of residence) every summer and was with his family and wasn't here," O'Connor said, "but I don't think there was any question that he took ownership, or sponsorship, of the Jazz and we feel Deron's doing the same thing.
"It's nice to have him around, nice to see him working out (at the practice facility). It's good for us that he's in here, it's good for us that he cares about who we're gonna draft because we want him part of this for a long time, and we want him to be involved in it."
RUMOR MILL: According to NBA columnist Mitch Lawrence, writing in Sunday's New York Daily News, "The (Miami) Heat, incidentally, still has plans to land Boozer next summer when he's free, even with (No. 2 overall draft choice) Michael Beasley now in the front court."
Boozer can opt out of his current six-year contract next summer, and rampant rumors suggest he'll do just that perhaps with plans to hook with the Heat.
HMMM: According to Sunday's Denver Post, 6-foot-8 Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony "is expected to be an Olympic starter for his country at power forward, where he thrived the past couple of years during international play."
If so, that probably means two-time NBA All-Star power forward Boozer also a member of Team USA will come off the bench for a second straight Olympics.
ALUMNI UPDATE: According to the Detroit Pistons' "official" blog spot, ex-Jazz reserve point guard Dee Brown will play on the Pistons' summer league team in July.
Brown, a 2006 Utah second-round draft choice and a former teammate of Williams' at Illinois, played for the Jazz two seasons ago and played last season in Turkey.The Pistons are entered in the 21-team NBA Summer League that runs July 11-20 in Las Vegas.
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