Miami making a late bid for Carlos Boozer?

ESPN’s Ric Bucher tweeted this 15 minutes ago:

This is ESPN Rumor Central fodder for now but too tantalizing not to mention: 11th-hour talks are on that would send Boozer to Miami.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski followed up with this:

Utah and Miami have recruited Wiz to be 3rd team in Boozer talks. Wash would get cap relief out of it. Beasley not involved, source says.

Michael Beasley wouldn’t seem like a good fit with Jerry Sloan, so it makes sense that Wojnarowski is saying that he’s not involved. But who would the Jazz get in this deal? Udonis Haslem? Jermaine O’Neal? Josh Howard? Al Thornton? Mike Miller?

I’ve always thought that Miller was destined to play in Utah, but would he be worth giving up Boozer and the team’s shot at a playoff run this year? Maybe the Jazz would go for Miller and one of the Heat’s first round picks.

Wojnarowski says that Washington will get salary cap relief out of it, but they only have one bad contract (Gilbert Arenas) on the books for next season, so he must be talking about relief this season. How about this trade which would send Miller and Dorrell Wright (and one of Miami’s first round picks) to Utah, Udonis Haslem to Washington (trimming $2.8 million from this year’s payroll) and Boozer to Miami?


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Five blockbuster deals that should happen (but probably won’t)

The trade deadline is just a week away, so I thought it would be fun to play puppet master and propose a few blockbuster trades that should happen, but probably won’t. Let’s start with the least likely and work our way to the most credible. (Honestly, I had this idea before I hit the ESPN NBA page this morning and saw Chad Ford’s similar piece. Don’t worry, we don’t suggest any of the same trades.) Click on the link to see each trade in the ESPN Trade Machine.

1. Amare Stoudemire for David Lee
To make the salaries work, the Knicks would also include Jared Jeffries and Chris Duhon in the deal.
Why the Knicks should do it: Stoudemire had his best years under Mike D’Antoni and would welcome a reunion. He’s also a big name that would encourage another superstar to join the franchise this summer, and he’s more likely to re-sign with the Knicks because New York is the media capital of the world. They’d also benefit from clearing Jeffries’ salary from the books, leaving around $13 million in cap space to sign a big name (assuming Stoudemire does NOT opt out of the final year of his deal).
Why the Suns should do it: David Lee is a great fit for the Suns’ up-tempo system and he’s almost as good as Stoudemire (PER: 22.1 vs. Amare’s 20.2) at about 60% of the cost. Phoenix would pay a little more this season and have to take on Jeffries’ contract, but they’d have a young All-Star caliber power forward to build around. If they stand pat and Amare opts out, they stand to lose him with nothing to show for it, as they only would have around $4 million in cap space if Amare bolts.
Why it won’t happen: Phoenix won’t want to take on Jeffries’ contract for next season without a commitment from Lee to re-sign for a reasonable salary. He was asking for $10 million per season last summer, but his price is probably going up after making a push for the All-Star Game in 2010.

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The quiet before the trade deadline

In his latest Trade Buzz, Chad Ford writes that things on the trade front have been a little quiet lately. Here’s why:

One factor appears to be the looming battle over the next collective bargaining agreement, with negotiations expected to start soon. In front offices around the league, the feeling is that owners will fight for major concessions from the players in the next CBA, perhaps even a hard salary cap. With the uncertainty over the new CBA and the economy, some GMs are taking a cautious tack.

In addition to cap considerations, there is another perennial issue: Teams ask for a lot in early trade talks and often don’t feel a sense of urgency until the final hours before the deadline. As one GM told me: “There aren’t many teams that are willing to give teams cap relief this year. And the teams that are willing to do so are asking for a lot in return. I’m not willing to give up an All-Star to save money. But that’s what they want.”

There are some very big names that are available (Amare Stoudemire, Antawn Jamison, Carlos Boozer, Caron Butler, Ray Allen, Andre Iguodala and Devin Harris, just to name a few), and as non-playoff teams try to save money, it’s going to be interesting to see if cap space trumps talent over the next couple of weeks.

Jazz looking to shake things up

The Utah Jazz are willing to trade just about anyone on their roster, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports…

Concerned about a lackluster start that has left them in ninth place in the Western Conference and motivated not to pay a hefty luxury-tax bill for moderate success, the Utah Jazz appear willing to trade anyone on their roster but point guard Deron Williams, multiple league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Carlos Boozer, who is making $12.6 million in the final season of his contract, has attracted interest, but sources said the Jazz have yet to enter any substantive trade talks involving the forward. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has told management he’d prefer to keep Boozer for the season to help with the team’s playoff push, but ownership wants to avoid paying as much luxury tax as possible.

Rival executives think the Jazz have been asking for too much for Boozer, and that most teams who trade for him would want assurances they have a good chance to re-sign him over the summer.

Utah’s payroll is pretty reasonable next season (~$58 million) so presumably they’re looking to trim salary this season. With a payroll of $77 million, the Jazz are going to have a tough time getting below the luxury tax threshold (~$70 million), but any money they can save will also reduce the tax they’ll have to pay.

The Jazz aren’t going to get equal value for Boozer for a couple of reasons: 1) the general consensus is that he’s leaving after the season, and 2) Chris Bosh looks more likely to leave Toronto, and Bosh is more coveted around the league due to his age and durability (i.e. teams like the Heat may elect to wait and see how the Bosh situation develops before exploring a deal for their Plan B). Look for the Jazz to execute a deal that cuts $1-$2 million in payroll and lands a decent young prospect or a first round pick.

Then again, Jerry Sloan would like to keep Boozer for a playoff push and he has more than a little pull in Salt Lake City.


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NBA Rumors: Boozer, Gay, Monta and Rubio

Mavs interested in Boozer?

Add the Dallas Mavericks to the list of NBA teams that were — and perhaps still are — interested in acquiring trade-craving Carlos Boozer.

Boozer has also been rumored to be heading to New York as part of a sign-and-trade swap with David Lee.

Rudy Gay wants to stay in Memphis.

“I know what I can do on the basketball court,” Gay said. “Everything else will work itself out. I love Memphis. Memphis has been my home. This is where I want to be. I really believe this is where I can make big things happen for myself and the Grizzlies.

“I like what’s happened this summer. There was definitely a lot of thought put into this offseason with all the changes. I guess we’ll know more about what the changes mean when the season starts.”

GM Chris Wallace and Gay’s agent, Jeff Austin, haven’t gotten into specifics about what they believe to be Gay’s market value, and that’s where things usually get sticky. We’ll see if Gay’s goodwill continues as the extension negotiations continue.

Is Monta Ellis on the trading block? Yes, according to Warriors beat writer, Tim Kawakami.

Monta Ellis in Dallas? That I can see, if Dallas would send some short-term deals and if the Warriors would be happy taking a major talent hit just to dump Monta’s money.

For all the energy the Warriors have placed in telling us that Monta is their centerpiece and all the sweat issued to dispute my reports that he’s unhappy… well, I could very much see Don Nelson working hard to trade Ellis.

The Ellis-Golden State relationship has been heading south ever since Ellis’s moped accident. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors traded him, though I could say that about anyone on the roster, other than Anthony Randolph, who appears to be untouchable.

Did GM David Kahn use a second round pick to help fund Rubio’s buyout?

On draft night, Kahn used a second-round pick to select Henk Norel, a European prospect whose selection had at least one ESPN draft analyst puzzled.

Norel also plays for DKV Joventut.

Might Kahn offer Rubio’s Spanish team $500,000 to buy out Norel’s contract, too, invite him to training camp and thus, in essence, fund $1 million of the buyout that way?

Kahn is in Spain again, trying to free Ricky.

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