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Utah Jazz: Blazers may offer Millsap a contract

Jazz forward Paul Millsap, a restricted free agent, is waiting for an offer from either the Jazz or another team.
Jazz forward Paul Millsap, a restricted free agent, is waiting for an offer from either the Jazz or another team.
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

His representative says he hasn't received a firm contract proposal from the Jazz, but Paul Millsap reportedly has one coming from another NBA team.

It's from the Portland Trail Blazers, and it apparently is a doozy.

The Oregonian newspaper reported on its Web site Wednesday night that the Trail Blazers "have settled on (Millsap as) their next target" and that they're "preparing what one source called a 'toxic' offer designed to exterminate interest from other teams."

Neither financial terms nor length of the offer were reported.

But the Blazers, according to the Oregonian, "are hoping Millsap provides some interior grit and toughness" and "figure to exhaust nearly all of their (team payroll salary) cap space to lock up Millsap."

Portland is $7.7 million under the cap, and can offer Millsap a multiyear deal that includes all of that as a first-year salary next season.

But the Blazers, the Oregonian also reported, can push that cap space to $8.9 million by renouncing their rights to two draft choices from Europe, Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland.

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, reached late Wednesday night, was unaware of the development.

"I haven't heard of anything," he said.

Millsap is a restricted free agent, so the Jazz do have the right to match any offer sheet their backup power forward signs with another NBA team.

And they've vowed to do just that.

But with Portland's proposal purportedly designed to scare off a match, it's unknown — should Millsap indeed accept the offer — how Utah would respond.

Teams can discourage a match by frontloading a contract with salary or even offering a signing bonus.

Millsap's representative, DeAngelo Simmons, didn't return a call seeking comment on the report.

But earlier Wednesday night, Simmons did say that — late into the first full summer day in which NBA unrestricted free agents can sign contracts and restricted free agents can sign another team's offer sheet — no deal with Utah was in the works.

"The Jazz have not made a concrete offer," said Simmons, who is both Millsap's uncle and his rep in talks with Utah and other NBA teams.

"They haven't given us a number at all," Simmons added, "and they said they're waiting on other free agents, such as (Anderson) Varejao and Shawn Marion, to set the market." reported late Wednesday night that Varejao, a forward center from Cleveland, reached agreement with the Cavaliers to return for $42.5 million over six years — with the final year only partially guaranteed and incentives potentialoly pushing the deal's total value to $50 million.

Marion, a four-time All-Star forward, is — like Varejao — an unrestricted free agent.

The Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, according to, "on Wednesday night moved to the brink of completing a complicated sign-and-trade deal involving the Memphis Grizzlies and at least one other team that will ultimately send Marion" from Toronto to Dallas.

"Known parameters of the deal," the Web site further reported, "call for Marion to receive a five-year contract in the region of $40 million."

Millsap's camp initially had been seeking a multiyear deal starting at $10 million or more, but the Jazz last week seemed inclined to offer a contract beginning around $6 million per season.

O'Connor — who has been in Florida with the Jazz's summer league team — said he was planning to return to Utah.

Jazz president Randy Rigby said Tuesday that O'Connor "is continuing to have dialogue with Paul and Paul's agent," and that Millsap's representatives were "encouraged ... to look at the market and do what they need to do."

If that ends up being a decision to sign Portland's pending offer sheet, and the Jazz don't match, Millsap might not break out of his backup role any time soon.

"Sources," the Oregonian reported, "say Millsap has told the Blazers he would be amicable to playing behind LaMarcus Aldridge, (Portland's) returning power forward and one of the franchise's cornerstones."