So the latest on Jefferson is the Jazz are closing on a deal that will allow Minnesota to dump his salary for Carlos Boozer's trade exception. In fact, by the time you read this it may have already happened. I can't imagine what David Kahn will do with all that cap space. Perhaps he's interested in offering a mid-level exception-equivalent deal (similar to what Darko got) to Tracey McGrady. Or maybe his run at Luke Ridnour is crazier than we all thought and he offers him $10 million. Anyway, I digress...
So how does this involve the Pacers? I say Paul Millsap has a right to wonder why the Jazz are so quick to go after another PF-only like Jefferson as soon as they lost Boozer to free agency. Milsap has waited his turn, and put in his work, and the Jazz still don't have faith in him? Why? Any chance he demands a trade?
Even if he doesn't, check out next year's Utah payroll with Jefferson, assuming they can absorb him with the trade exception without giving up any salary:
With Jefferson, without matching Portland's offer for Wesley Matthews, the Jazz will pay right at $70 million, or, in other words, will come dangerously close to paying the luxury tax. Oh well, there's always next year, right?
Not for Utah. With Jefferson (and again, without long-termming Matthews) the Jazz would have over $50 million committed to seven players in 2011-12. Even if they filled out the rest of their roster with league-minimum guys, they'd be looking at coming close to the salary cap.
So, the questions I ask are...
A. Is Millsap expendable? Any Jazz fans out there wanna weigh in? I mean, he's fairly-signed (maybe even a little underpaid). He's young. Great motor and athleticism. Stats are off-the-charts (16/10 per 48 last year, shoots 70% from the line and 54% from the field). Basically he's the cheaper version of Al Jefferson if Al didn't have any injury risk and was a better defender. But he's overpaid as a backup/6th-man type.
B. Is there any combination of our crap that expires next year+our willingness to take on any of Utah's crap that doesn't that's good enough to land Milsap?
My suggestion: At the deadline, offer Ford for Millsap and Ronnie Price.
Thoughts? Would it be enough? Would I have to throw in a pick?