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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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.

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NBA News & Rumors: KG, Westbrook, Jackson, Bynum/Odom, Miller and Millsap

Garnett’s knee is just fine. It has been a concern in camp, but apparently KG has his explosion back. In a recent practice, he caught an alley-oop and slammed it home. The Celtics’ fortunes depend heavily on the health of Garnett’s knee. Without him at full strength, they’ll have a tough time competing with the Cavs and Magic. As an NBA fan, a healthy KG is good for the league.

Is Russell Westbrook turning into a dependable point guard? The Oklahoman reports that is A/T ratio in the preseason is 5.4. Last season it was 1.6, which is quite bad. It’s a small sample size, but if Westbrook can get his A/T ratio above 3.0, it will reap dividends for the Thunder. From a fantasy perspective, if he were to cut his turnovers in half and have the same number of assists (which would result in a A/T ratio of about 3.0), then he’d be the 15th most efficient point guard (just below Mo Williams) instead of the 21st most efficient.

Stephen Jackson will play for the Warriors, but he’s not happy about it. There’s a good chance the Warriors will acquiesce and try to fulfill Jackson’s wishes to be traded, but the 31 year-old has three more years remaining on his contract at the tune of $9.3 per season, so there’s no guarantee that a playoff team would be willing to make a move for him. Miami could move Michael Beasley, but Jackson’s contract would ruin the Heat’s financial flexibility next summer. The Suns could use Jackson to replace an aging Grant Hill, but they’re in financial trouble. The Hornets probably make the most sense, but are they willing to spend?

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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.

Did the Grizzlies pick Randolph over Boozer?

If this story is true, it’s mind-boggling…

The hottest Carlos Boozer tale to blip onto the radar this week: Sources say Memphis had the option of trading for Boozer instead of Zach Randolph earlier this month.

Yet the Grizz decided, apparently with considerable input from coach Lionel Hollins, that Boozer would have been less than thrilled to play out the final season of his contract in Graceland, thus convincing them that Randolph — starting over for the third time — would be more productive.

As difficult as it remains for many league observers to digest the idea that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley felt he could no longer afford Pau Gasol but now is willing to give the combustible Randolph some $33 million over the next two seasons, there’s little doubt that Randolph will feature hugely for the Grizz next season.

It’s not like Randolph is a guy who has been mired in a bad situation his entire career. He has been with three different teams and they all wanted to get rid of him. It’s unbelievable that the Grizzlies had a shot at Boozer and instead decided to go with Randolph, who isn’t half the player and has a far worse contract. The piece is correct — the Randolph trade makes the decision to get rid of Pau Gasol all the more insane.

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