Consider this summer the calm before the free-agent storm for the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz officially only have three free agents to worry about this offseason and a fourth biggie, when you throw in Deron Williams and his impending contract-extension negotiations but 2009 figures to be a much busier one for Utah's brass.
Depending on what happens, it could completely alter the look of the core group that helped Utah get to the Western Conference Finals in 2007 and into the semifinals this past spring.
In a year, a total of nine Jazz players from the current squad and four of five starters from the 2007-08 team will have expired contracts or options that allow them out of their deals.
That number could dip to eight or jump to 10, depending on how Williams' and C.J. Miles' situations work themselves out.
Included in that group, as listed by ESPN.com, will be unrestricted free agents-to-be Carlos Boozer (player option), Jarron Collins, Ronnie Price and Jason Hart. On top of that, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver both have early termination options, the Jazz hold a team option on Kyrylo Fesenko, and Paul Millsap will be a restricted free agent.
Williams' current deal will be up by then as well, but the Jazz and their star point guard have made it clear that finalizing a 3- to 5-year extension is a top priority this summer.
All that might mean Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor could be longing for the good ol' days of '08 come this time next year.
Millsap and Hart have already been taken care of in no-brainer fashion. Hart, the Jazz's third-string point guard, picked up a one-year player option, and the Jazz jumped on their one-year team option on Millsap's relatively small contract.
That takes care of both of them until next summer, not counting possible wheeling and dealing.
Williams could have his extension hammered out as early as this week, and the Jazz tendered a qualifying offer to Miles that allows them a chance to match any other proposal that comes his way.
KOUFOS KUDOS: Jazz first-round pick Kosta Koufos has earned a spot on a prestigious European basketball list. The 19-year-old, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Greece, was listed fourth on the FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year honor roll.
Spain's Ricky Rubio, who plays for DKV Joventut, was named Europe's top young player, followed by Serbia's Milos Teodosic and Italy's Marco Belinelli (Golden State Warriors).
The rest of the top 10 young players, in order after Koufos, are: Danilo Gallinari (Italy), Milan Macvan (Serbia), Nicolas Batum (France), Alexey Shved (Russia), Vladimir Dasic (Montenegro) and Mladen Jeremic (Serbia).
The award, according to FIBA.com, is voted on by fans and experts, including coaches, players and basketball journalists.
SUMMER SCHOOL: BYU's Trent Plaisted (Detroit Pistons) and Utah State's Jaycee Carroll (New Jersey Nets) are both on NBA summer-league rosters and will get their first official taste of pro action as early as this week.
The Pistons will take part in the Las Vegas Summer League, beginning Friday, while the Nets are in Florida for the Orlando Pro Summer League, which starts today.
If Hoopshype.com comments about summer-league players prove accurate, Plaisted, a second-round-selection who was traded to the Pistons, "will play overseas this year." A prediction wasn't made for the former Aggie shooter, but Carroll was credited by the writer for being "one of the best players undrafted."
Rosters for the Utah Jazz-hosted Rocky Mountain Revue July 18-25 at SLCC's Lifetime Activities Center are expected to be announced soon.
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