Nothing was happening this week. The free agency signing period opened up and nothing was happening. We had nothing to write about other than the same old Andre Miller/David Lee musings that have been beaten to death. So I figure it’s a nice night to take the lady to her first reggae concert, and in the middle of Burning Spear’s 97th bongo drum solo, I get a text from SJ that reads: “Can you say Millsap?”
Great night for reggae.
So being as how I was busy singing “Jah is Real” and “More fire More fire” all night, Ben at Blazersedge beat us to the punch on most of this Paul Millsap business. Nevertheless, I’m going to try to catch up.
Via Jason Quick:
Although Millsap is a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz can match any offer, the Blazers are preparing what one source called a “toxic” offer designed to exterminate interest from other teams.
Toxic meaning pricing everyone out of the game, something Kevin Pritchard has the luxury of doing with Paul Allen’s pockets. I can’t remember if we’ve mentioned this before ourselves (I want to say we did, but it might’ve been casual texts between SJ and I) but offering Millsap a big offer sheet is a win-win situation. Millsap signs and Utah doesn’t match, the Blazers get the best young free agent on the market (per Kevin Pelton). The Jazz match, and you have successfully crippled a division rival’s finances for years to come.
I’ll be following this Millsap story like yellow on a Cheez-It for the next few days, and hopefully we’ll find out more when we go to Vegas on Sunday — yes that’s right, the Rip City Project will be in Vegas for every single one of the Blazers’ Summer League games. And I’m telling you right now, if Millsap comes, he’s getting a reggae nickname. Paul “Burning Spear” Millsap anyone?
In the meantime, here’s another tidbit from Quick’s most recent article that, frankly, you should ignore but it’s worth mentioning:
That Roy is unsigned is particularly alarming and a signal that negotiations have snagged. Word is that Roy wants to sign for the maximum allowed five years, but the Blazers only want to commit to four years.
Right. Let’s not sign the team’s franchise player for the maximum possible years. Actually, it might benefit Roy to sign for fewer years, but you don’t lowball your two-times-in-three-years All-Star out of the gates (which I doubt the Blazers actually have). It’s also worth noting that both Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge (also up for an extension) are handled by Super Agent Arn Tellem and, like any agent, he benefits from getting his clients signed sooner rather than later.
And if you were wondering, Burning Spear — who I will forever associate with Millsap now if he dons a Blazer uniform — absolutely tore the house down. The man is 61 years young and still going wild on stage. To think the Rolling Stones get all the senior-citizen musician credit.
UPDATE Thursday (11:22 AM ET): John Hollinger posts on the Blazers’ pursuit of Paul Millsap, calling it a “decent risk”.
During the seven days Utah has to match, the two sides could also agree to a sign-and-trade with the same contract terms for Millsap. If Utah included Kyle Korver and took back Travis Outlaw and the rights to Koponen and Freeland, the Jazz would only be $2 million over the tax and could probably dump the remaining salary at the trade deadline if need be.
Finally, Utah could preemptively agree to a sign-and-trade before Millsap inked an offer sheet with Portland. In that case, he could get a six-year deal with 10 percent raises. The carrot for Utah would be to include Matt Harpring in the above trade instead of Korver. Millsap would get a six-year, $55 million deal in that scenario and the Jazz would only be about half a million dollars over the tax threshold.
Hollinger also mentions that the Jazz would be putting themselves at least $11 million over the luxury tax by matching a Portland offer for Millsap, meaning whatever they match from the Blazers, they will be paying twice that in league taxes. Like I said before, this is win-win for P-town.
UPDATE: Thursday (7:11 PM ET): SJ here hijacking this post. ESPN.com is reporting that there is a possible deal in the works between the Blazers, Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz. The details from the Chad Ford and Marc Stein helmed post:
Sources stressed to ESPN.com that no deal was imminent Thursday and that both Portland and Utah are still evaluating multiple trade scenarios. But two sources with knowledge of the three-team proposal confirmed that there have been substantive talks regarding a trade that would land Boozer in Chicago, Hinrich in Portland and Tyrus Thomas in Utah.
Despite fresh reports Thursday about the Blazers weighing whether to sign Millsap to an offer sheet, Hinrich is the player Portland prefers, according to one source close to the process, after the Blazers came so close last week to landing the versatile Hedo Turkoglu.
Don’t get too excited or worried because a little over an hour ago, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! had this to say on his twitter:
Bulls haven’t had a “single conversation” about a 3-way deal Blazers and “have nothing going” with Utah about Boozer, Bulls source tells Y!.
Confused? So am I. Very rare do you hear two extremes like this. ESPN did report that it isn’t imminent so I’m leaning towards this not being much. However, it isn’t quite something you can ignore at this stage in the game. Could this be the first trade rumor of the off-season that falls apart as soon as it is reported? Utah blowing smoke? Let’s just say waking from a nap and reading that ESPN.com report was not the best thing for my heart or brain. I’ll be a little rattled if all this Millsap talk is just to get Kirk Hinrich. More on this as it drops.