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Utah Jazz notebook: Carlos Boozer still making the media rounds

Jazz forward Carlos Boozer reacts after a pair of last-second shots rimmed out and Utah lost to the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night to fall behind 3-0 in their playoff series.
Jazz forward Carlos Boozer reacts after a pair of last-second shots rimmed out and Utah lost to the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night to fall behind 3-0 in their playoff series.
Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Carlos Boozer's offseason media blitz continued Monday, including visits with ESPN national-show host Colin Cowherd and New York ESPN affiliate WEPN 1050-AM.

The Jazz power forward said nothing newsy while in-studio on Cowherd's show, instead talking mostly NBA Finals.

But Boozer made a case for himself over New York Knicks forward and fellow unrestricted free agent David Lee during his visit with WEPN.

According to a blog transcript from 1050 host Brandon Tierney, Boozer said he "absolutely" thinks he's better than Lee.

Added Boozer, in part: "He's had a great season, and he was an All-Star this year. I think he has a great upside to him. I just think I'm better, but I mean, that's for you guys to debate about.

"I don't worry about that kind of stuff. I just go out there and play for my team and try everything I can to win games and win a ring."

Asked how he's able to impact games in a way Lee perhaps can't, Boozer said, "In different ways, man. I mean, sometimes it just comes down to knowledge, it comes down to being able to have experience in the playoffs. ... He's never been in a postseason."

Boozer did have high praise for Mike D'Antoni, head coach of a Knicks team that has a bundle of money and team payroll salary cap space to offer prospective free-agent signees.

D'Antoni was an assistant on the 2008 gold medal-winning USA Basketball on which Boozer played.

"Mike was great," Boozer told 1050. "Just being around him for those few months, you can tell that he has incredible sense of offense, he's an offensive genius when it comes to the game of basketball, and you can tell by the way his teams played in Phoenix, the way he's trying to play with the team in New York."

Boozer's visit Monday to the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., also included an online chat.

Three answers of note:

On the state of his relationship with Jazz point guard Deron Williams, and if Williams has asked him to stay in Utah: "Great. Really good. We were talking about summer stuff. We have a great relationship. It's only getting better and better."

On the top three factors in his pending free-agency decision: "Whoever has the biggest chance of winning a championship. Winning a championship is the biggest reason. I want to win a ring at this point in my career. Or a few of them if I can."

On if he'd exchange his gold medal for an NBA ring: "No. But I want an NBA ring just as bad as I wanted a gold medal."

HEAT ON BOOZER: The Miami Heat might — or might not — prefer Boozer over Phoenix Suns big man Amar'e Stoudemire as a free-agent pairing for star guard Dwyane Wade, according to a national website report.

But both, Yahoo.com reported over the weekend, take a back seat to Toronto Raptors power forward Chris Bosh.

Writes Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, a longtime and respected NBA reporter:

"(Heat president Pat) Riley ... clearly prefers Bosh over Stoudemire with the second max contract slot the Heat have available.

"Riley is believed to still be torn about whether he would take Stoudemire over Boozer. Riley is also intrigued with signing Boston's Ray Allen to get a shooter on the floor with Wade."

Boozer long has yearned to play in Miami, where he makes his offseason home.

The two-time NBA All-Star and Jazz's top scorer and rebounder this season hasn't ruled out returning to Utah, either.

TRADE TALK: Citing multiple unidentified league sources, the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper reported last weekend that the Cleveland Cavaliers are "testing the trade value for" ex-Jazz guard Mo Williams and others.

Fanhouse.com reported the trade talk "mostly involves Toronto," with "nothing serious at this stage," and The News-Herald of Northern Ohio suggested "one possible destination" for the 2009 NBA All-Star "could be Toronto in exchange for Jose Calderon."

Williams has three years and $26 million left on his contract, but he has opt-out clauses after each of the next two seasons, according to the Plain Dealer.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com