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Morning links: Jazz to reportedly pursue Paul Millsap; Eric Weddle calls out Chargers

With the NBA Finals wrapping up Tuesday night, the league officially entered its offseason. Let the player move speculation begin.

Last Friday, 1280 The Zone’s Spencer Checketts reported the Jazz will actively pursue bringing Paul Millsap back to Utah. Millsap, who has been named an Eastern Conference All-Star in each of the past two seasons with Atlanta, will become a free agent at the beginning of next month.

Checketts welcomed ESPN’s Ryen Russillo onto his show Tuesday, and they discussed the possibility of Millsap returning.

“They way you look at Utah, as well as they have drafted, ... it’s really hard unless one of those young guys is a total stud, to be like, ‘OK, this who we are now and somebody is going to carry us,’” Russillo said. “That’s why the Millsap thing makes a lot of sense, that they would go after him and either play him at small forward and move (Gordon) Hayward to the 2. … Then maybe you could use him in a rotation of three guys with (Derrick) Favors and (Rudy) Gobert. And maybe they don’t love Favors and Gobert together all the time, and they kind of mix it that way.

“The bonus for Utah is it’s a guy that’s already played for the Jazz and knows the deal, and he is cool playing in Salt Lake. … It’s something that during the course of the offseason that people have talked about saying, ‘You know, I think Utah is really going to make a push for Millsap.’”

Millsap has become more of an outside threat in his time with the Hawks, and one of the coaches that helped him get to that point is Utah coach Quin Snyder, who was an Atlanta assistant during Millsap’s first season with the Hawks.

“I learned a lot from ‘Q’ over this past year. He’s very intelligent,” Millsap told the Deseret News in November. “He makes you think. A lot of stuff he says I don’t get until later that day. That’s how smart he is. But I enjoyed it. I enjoyed him a lot. He helped me out a lot.

“He’s one of the greatest minds,” Millsap continued, “so a lot of stuff that he taught me I take with me today.”

Teams can begin negotiating with players July 1, and contracts can start being signed a week later beginning July 8.

Weddle gives emotional statement in his return to Chargers practice

Former Ute, and All-Pro safety Eric Weddle was back with his teammates Tuesday as the San Diego Chargers began their three-day mandatory minicamp. Weddle had sat out all of the Chargers voluntary team workouts unhappy the team had not wanted to pursue a contract extension.

Following Tuesday’s practice Weddle pulled out his phone and read a prepared statement.

“Delivered with minimal emotion but unwavering directness, what he said was as reassuring as it was damning,” The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee wrote. “It was unique and raw and, at times, scathing. It was quintessential Weddle.”

Weddle rebutted claims that he and the Chargers had ever met, and essentially said that he was beginning his final season in San Diego.

“Contrary to what has recently been said by upper management, there has never been any financial numbers discussed and the Chargers have never put an offer on the table for us to consider,” Weddle said as part of the statement. “It is obvious to me I am not part of this organization’s long-term plans. The NFL is a business, and I can accept that. I just wish the organization had been upfront with me from day one.

“From a contract standpoint, if we do not agree to a multiyear extension before training camp, I have instructed my agent to not speak to the Chargers again. I will give this team everything I have this year and head to free agency in 2016. This will be the one and only time I will discuss my contract, and I look forward to focusing on football.

“I’m past emotions,” he said. “Early on, I was (emotional). But it can happen to anyone. Right now, it’s my last year (with the Chargers). I’m going to make the most of it … I’m really fine with it. It hurt early on, but it’s a business. You never think it will happen to you, but it is. I have to make the most it, enjoy my teammates.”

Exploring the duties of the AD

Sports Business Daily recently explored the life of an athletic director, and Utah’s Dr. Chris Hill was a prominent part of the piece.

In this day and age of constant turnover in athletic offices, Hill has become somewhat of an anomaly as he is on his 28th year in his current position.

“I’ve worked really hard to be part of the university community and to have the support from within the university as a team player,” said Hill. “I fully understand that we would never be in the Pac-12 without being a great research institution.

“The biggest disease in this business is ego. You’ve got to know when to pick your fights and when not to.”

Other Links:

LeBron James' legacy fades with each NBA Finals loss. (USA Today)

Riley Curry celebrates Warriors' NBA title with her dad Stephen. (Yahoo)

Clint Dempsey tore up referee’s notebook. (The Big Lead)