"I'm opting out. No matter what, I'm going to get a raise regardless" - Carlos Boozer
So, what just happened?
Just as you were recovering slightly from the uppercut of Boozer not opting out next year, Memo drops the hammer with his news that he too is going to be staying. Add that to Korver opting in yesterday and the Jazz are one big happy family again.
Well, a financially strapped family for the next year at least. Hey, they're like almost every other family in the US right now. This family also has a little brother that's on the outside looking in right now in Paul Millsap.
It's as if your family had been saving up money for you for college the past 18 years. Then, when you're ready to head off to school (you know, after scholarship deadlines have passed), your parents tell you that there was a wedding for an older brother, another wanted to open a business, and another wanted to go backpacking across Europe to find themselves. They had to clean out your account because they put a claim in on it first. They could get the money for school for you, but they'd have to pay 100% interest on a loan to do so.
Your parents have promised to do whatever it takes to get you to school, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you wonder if it's really going to happen.
I don't have to tell you the awful financial situation the Jazz are in right now. Just Google "utah jazz salary cap screwed" and you should find what you need.
We were over the luxury cap as soon as Korver opted-in (assuming that everyone else opted in as well). Now that they have, keeping everyone together for one year could cost the Jazz between (raising pinky finger to corner of my lip) $30-35 million dollars
My first thought as soon as I heard that Memo was opting in was, "See you Millsap." According to Randy Rigby today on Locke's show, the Miller family is committed to paying what they need to to keep Millsap. They had to have hoped that at least one of the opters (that's what I'm calling them) would opt out so that they could have a little room to work with.
So, let's assume that the Jazz do come to terms with Millsap or match an offer by another team. We have pretty much exactly the same team as we do last year minus Collins and Knight and add in Maynor.
I think most Jazz fans had kind of come to terms with turning a lot of the team over and starting somewhat anew. Some fresh blood thrown into the mix and while it wouldn't be a contending team, it could have been an exciting team to watch. I for one was starting to look forward to the transition.
But for now we have the same team for a lot more money. You can't be disappointed with the team that we have. I feel like it's 2008 again, but this is the team that's suppose to contend for the WC crown and be a force in the West.
That said, we could get better. We're not going to be able to save much money if any this year, so once you get over that, the rest of the season starts to look a lot better. As long as the Miller family is fine with it and it's not going to lead to the collapse of the team, then what does it matter?
Once I came to grips with that, I got my hopes up, just a little. Locke stated on his show that the Jazz have a lot to work with now. They have the expiring deals of Harpring, Korver, Memo, and Carlos that would look good to some team trying to free up space for next year's FA frenzy. Maybe AK can be packaged with something (someone) to bring in a shooter. They have a ton of options now.
And should the Jazz just hold pat with what they have now, crazy I know, they have 4 huge deals coming off the books next summer. That's about $33 million in contracts with those four. I'm not a cap expert or even a noob really, so I don't know how much the Jazz will actually save, but that's a significant chunk.
What I would like to see, and what I've said before, is to swap Booze for a shooter, move Ronnie to the 3, Millsap starts at the 4, and bring AK/Korver/Koof off the bench. The Jazz can do pretty much what they want with the three opters now.
I have these words for Booze though. First, hire a PR firm now, yesterday. Do not speak a word in public without running it by them first. As long as you're in Utah, every free minute should be spent in the community trying to win fans back.
Second, you had better hope that the team can and do keep Millsap. If he's not back with the team, you will pray for road games. You will feel the wrath of 20,000 fans every home game. Misguided hate or not, you've seen what happens to other players that the fans felt have wronged them.
Finally, regardless (see, this is the proper use of that word) of whether Millsap is back or not, you better bring it every single night and every single minute you're on the floor. Every missed assignment, missed rotation, and missed layup will bring out the fury from Jazz fans. Everything you do will be magnified 100X. I hope you can handle the pressure.