Cavs out after 'understanding' falls apart
Carlos Boozer and the Utah Jazz have agreed on a six-year, $68 million offer sheet Thursday, ESPN's David Aldridge reports, sending a crushing blow to
the Cleveland Cavaliers, who made Boozer an unrestricted free agent with the belief he would re-sign with the team for its mid-level exception.
Earlier Thursday, ESPN Insider Chad Ford reported that the Jazz had cancelled a planned visit by the Nets' Kenyon Martin because the team was
preparing to make Boozer the offer to which he has now agreed.
"We just decided in was in both of our interest to go in a different direction," O'Connor told Ford about the Martin cancellation.
The huge offer, coming after Boozer drew interest from half a dozen teams once he hit the free agent market, proves the Cavaliers made a significant
mistake in relinquishing their contractual rights to Boozer for the upcoming season.
Boozer, recently named to the U.S. Olympic team, was under contract for next season at $695,000, but Cleveland did not pick up its option on Boozer
for the 2004-05 season after, the club said, Boozer had committed to re-signing with the Cavs for the team's full mid-level exception -- somewhere
around six years and $40 million.
Now Cleveland almost certainly cannot retain Boozer. While the Cavs have the right to match the Utah offer, they are only about $4 million under the
current cap and would have to trade and/or renounce the rights to a number of players to clear enough room to sign Boozer.
According to sources, the Jazz began serious negotiations with Boozer around July 4th and finished the deal last night, capping a huge offseason for
Earlier this week, Utah agreed to terms on an offer sheet with Pistons restricted free agent center Mehmet Okur for six years and $50 million. Okur,
Boozer (15.5 points and 11.7 rebounds a game last year) and star forward Andrei Kirilenko will give the Jazz one of the conference's most potent young
frontcourts. The Jazz have also re-signed both of their starting guards from last season, Carlos Arroyo and Gordan Giricek. And Utah drafted promising
rookie guard Kirk Snyder and forward Kris Humphries in the first round last month.
With the Jazz out of the Martin sweepstakes, the Nets' forward moved on to a visit with the Hawks on Friday after Wednesday's meeting with the
Nuggets. A source in Denver claims that the team has not made Martin an offer.
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