Goodbye, Trevor Booker. The four-year reserve has reportedly signed with the Utah Jazz instead of staying in D.C.
Sources: Trevor Booker has agreed to terms with Utah on a free agent deal. #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 15, 2014
Terms of the deal have not yet been released, but this is a surprise given that the expectation was for Booker to return as soon as the Wizards signed Paul Pierce.
UPDATE: According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Trevor Booker is getting 2 years, $10 million.
Trevor Booker's deal with Utah will be two years, $10 million, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 15, 2014
This news comes as a bit of surprise. After the Wizards signed Paul Pierce, a league source told Bullets Forever that they expected the Wizards to use their bird rights to work out a deal to keep Booker, but it appears they weren't expecting Utah to make such a strong offer. If you recall, the Wizards declined to give Booker a $4.7 million qualifying offer that would have made him a restricted free agent this summer, and allowed the Wizards to match any offer a team would have offered to Booker. You have to figure that knowing that, the Jazz were expecting the Wizards would back off if they offered Booker a two year deal worth more per year than Booker's qualifying offer.
While money was likely the key factor here, the rumors leaking out about the Wizards being close to a deal with DeJuan Blair may not have helped things. Shortly after those reports leaked out, Booker tweeted the following:
Welp— Trevor Booker (@35_Fitz) July 14, 2014
Granted, that may not have been about the reports that came out, but Booker never came out and said it was related to something else, either.
Now, the question becomes, where do the Wizards go from here? Hopefully, the Blair sign and trade is still an option to add frontcourt depth, though both Blair and the Mavericks have some extra leverage now that Booker is gone. Plus, the Wizards still have a standing qualifying offer out to Kevin Seraphin, but like Blair, might have a little bit extra leverage to ask for more money now that Booker is out of the picture. If nothing else, today reminds us that while the Wizards' core from last season will remain mostly intact, it looks like there could be quite a few changes coming on the bench.