Remember the days when Wes Matthews blamed the Jazz for not making an offer? Remember wondering "How could the Jazz let this happen?", "Why didn't they sign him to a contract extension while he was under contract?" Only to find out later that Wes' agent all but signed the contract with the Trailblazers.
But now, drip, drip, drip...
Hear that? That's the sound of leaks emitting from the league and the Jazz. Normally, the Jazz are tight lipped about everything - even if it means some bad press for a period of time. From trades to deals with players, their standard operating procedure has been "no comment" - which is why I am interested about the current leaks.
First, there's the Raja Bell buyout. I admit, I think it was Bell who broke the story to begin with. But "a league source" confirmed that the Jazz "officially offered" a buyout that Bell "refused to accept." Yes, had Bell kept his big mouth shut, there wouldn't be a story. As a fan I was ecstatic - Bell's dead weight would be removed from our team and the Jazz's books. And then time went on, and on, and no agreement was officially announced. What had happened? Did the Jazz change their mind? Drip - Raja Bell refused the Jazz offer. Now it makes sense - Bell refused the buyout he so enthusiastically announced. Placing the onus for the failed buyout on Bell. His fault, his refusal. Score one for the Jazz public relations department.
Drip - now there's the Millsap extension leak. The Jazz offered Millsap a 3 year $25 million extension - the max they could offer, and Millsap turned it down. This is a win-win for the Jazz. Had Millsap accepted the extension, it would have guaranteed the Jazz another three years of a bargain, blue chip, fan favorite player (see ridiculous amounts of money spent this summer on average power forwards). Definitely a win for the Jazz.
By leaking that Millsap turned down the max extension money, the Jazz can say "Look, we tried, we went all in and Paulie said 'Thanks, but I'll test free agency.'" Another win for the Jazz. They look like they are trying to keep the fan base happy and are doing what they can to retain Millsap. Another point for the Jazz public relations department.
Now let's go forward slightly into the future. If the Jazz do trade Millsap during the season, they can say, "We wanted to get something for Paulie - we didn't want him to leave without us getting something back." Further, if the Jazz do keep Millsap until his contract expires and Millsap gets an exorbitant offer, and the Jazz choose not to match, they can say "We tried to get him under contract last year. Paulie turned us down. We can't match the contract he's being offered as we are signing these other contracts. We wish Paulie the best." Yet another PR win.
However, the reality is that Millsap can get more money as a free agent (again, see ridiculous amounts of money spent this summer on average power forwards). The reality is that if the Jazz want to retain Millsap, they are going to have to pay more money than the offered extension through free agency.
The reality is "drip" - a public relations win for the Jazz.