The draft and free agency have pretty much gone according to plan, so where is our Stretch Four? I have been pining away for Paul Millsap, the undersized hulk who has his head on his shoulders and a good offensive game to go with his excellent defense.
Rumors all year have been that the Jazz could part with both Al Jefferson and Millsap, but it appears the guy who can't defend to save his life is on the way out ... and it's to the Bobcats. Meanwhile, the Utah brass is showing Paul the love (and at the same time being smarter than the Wizards when it comes to signing a free agent).
Here's the link: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865582516/Utah-Jazz-Paul-Millsap-have-mutual-interest-in-pursuing-a-deal-Big-Al-gone.html
Moments after becoming an unrestricted free agent, the longtime Utah Jazz power forward entertained a guest.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey.
Though an offer wasn't made to Millsap, a source told the Deseret News that the Jazz showed a "high interest" in re-signing the player who's spent his entire seven-year career in Utah.
The source added that there is "mutual interest."
Millsap's camp and the Jazz are expected to pick up talks sometime later this week.
The 28-year-old Millsap, who's averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 540 games with Utah since being picked 47th overall in 2006, is being courted by other unnamed teams, according to cbssports.com writer Ken Berger.
Sound familiar, Ernie?
Kevin O'Connor, the Jazz's executive vice president of basketball operations, did make it sound like the organization is willing to wait to see how free agency plays out before making offers.
"You've got to sit on your hands a little bit," he said in an interview with 1280 The Zone, "and understand that the first five or six days, it's usually a deal that's in favor of the player."
At the moment it looks like the Wiz will either sign Jamison to the vet minimum and declare victory, or look to ship out Ariza and assets for a Stretch Four.
So who should be their target?
Earl Clark is kind of meh to me. Ersan Ilyasova? He has a lot of years on his deal. Chris Bosh? Talk about years and salary left on the contract!!! Ryan Anderson? Love him, but Hornets shipped out Ariza already. Kevin Love? Not happening. Wait for the Mavs to give up on Dwight Howard and ship out Dirk Nowitski? I know, I know. Kevin Durant! Yeah, no.
The Blazers said no to David Lee for Lemarcus Aldridge. Maybe Ariza's contract is more attractive? Danillo Gallinari? Always hurt. Larry Bird? Too old. Steve Novak just got shipped out in the Bargnani deal. Maybe Toronto wants to shed more of that contract and pick up future All-Star Jan Vesely? Is Derrick Williams still in play?