Jazz won’t give Boozer away

The Dallas Mavericks offered up an all-about-the-money trade for Carlos Boozer and were rejected, per Marc Stein.

Using Drew Gooden’s partially guaranteed contract and two players it wound up trading to the New Jersey Nets days later – Kris Humphries and Shawne Williams – Dallas could assemble a package of contracts high enough to reach the salary range of Boozer’s $12.3 million expiring contract to make the trade math work … but low enough to net an initial savings of $2.5 million for the Jazz.

The Jazz, though, have been telling teams for months that they won’t give Boozer away. A recent slump that dragged its record to 19-17 before Saturday’s thumping win over the Mavs in Dallas apparently hasn’t changed that stance.

As noted in this cyberspace when Eric Maynor and retirement-bound Matt Harpring were dealt to the Thunder in December — which sliced its luxury-tax bill this season from $12.6 million to a much more manageable $4.8 million — Utah set itself up to be a lot more choosy when such attempts to steal Boozer inevitably rolled in.

Since the summer we’ve heard repeatedly that the Jazz want at least one keeper in return in addition to payroll relief if they’re going to consent to a Boozer deal. And that was when their luxury-tax bill was going to approach $13 million.

I’m honestly a little surprised that a deal isn’t already done, but if these are the kinds of offers that the Jazz are getting, I don’t blame them for continuing to pass. Why give away a productive and healthy top 30 player to save $5 million in luxury tax? If the Jazz move Boozer before the trade deadline, it will serve a serious blow to their playoff hopes, and the team will lose the revenue generated from its postseason home games. Figure about $500K per game (after the NBA takes its cut) and the Jazz stand to earn $1 million from a minimum of two home games in the playoffs. Visiting teams also get a cut of the gate receipts, so they stand to make money on the road as well.

So while the luxury tax is a concern, it’s not the overriding factor for the Jazz. Like Stein said, they need a keeper out of the deal, and my guess is that at the trade deadline draws closer, they’ll get one.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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