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News » Korver staying with Utah

Korver staying with Utah

Korver staying with Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Jazz know at least one player with the option to leave is staying.

Now, for the other two.

Kyle Korver told the Jazz on Monday that he will not opt out of the final year of his contract, taking the guaranteed money over becoming a free agent.

"We are thrilled to have Kyle remain with the Jazz," general manager Kevin O'Connor said in a release Monday.

Korver's decision was the first of three that are due before Tuesday's free agency deadline. Center Mehmet Okur and forward Carlos Boozer can also opt out of their remaining season. The Jazz had no updates other than Korver's on the eve of the deadline.

Okur's agent Marc Fleisher said in an e-mail Monday that his client was leaning toward opting out, but had not decided.

O'Connor didn't expect decisions to come until the last moment. One finally came Monday afternoon from Jeff Schwartz, Korver's agent.

Korver averaged nine points per game last season, giving the Jazz an outside shooting threat off the bench. He shot 44 percent from the field and 38.6 from 3-point range. He has one year remaining on the contract the Jazz took off Philadelphia's hands in a trade midway through the 2007-08 season.

Of the three players with options, Korver's $5.2 million salary for next season is by far the smallest. Boozer and Okur will have a much bigger impact on the Jazz's payroll if they decide to stick around.

The choice is to gamble that the recession won't affect their market value or take the guaranteed money over the next year, then hope the economy looks better in a year.

The Jazz are leaving it up to them.

"Everybody has a number that they like and if those numbers don't work, then it doesn't work," O'Connor said Friday, when all three players' futures were still uncertain.

O'Connor said he understood the stalemate, saying it's a fact of negotiating. One side wants maximum money and the other wants maximum return while keeping salaries at or under the NBA cap.

Okur is scheduled to make $9 million next season. He could test the free agent market for more money or a long-term deal that would cover the 30-year-old late into his career - something he had hoped would come from the Jazz before the deadline.

Boozer has $12.7 million guaranteed next year if he stays in Utah. He has said he would definitely opt out, then that he hadn't reached a decision and wouldn't do so until the deadline. He also said the day after the season ended that he would take a long-term contract from the Jazz if they offered - but didn't say what kind of money it would take to keep him.

"I would say it is up to us - after he makes his decision," O'Connor said Friday. "That's the bottom line."

Boozer agent Rob Pelinka didn't return messages seeking comment Monday. Boozer has averaged a double-double for the Jazz each of the last three seasons - but played in only 35 games because of injuries. In five seasons with Utah, he has missed 134 games.

O'Connor said all three would be welcomed back, keeping together a team that went 48-34 despite a rash of injuries that led to 148 missed games.

"We'd like to see what we could have done healthy," O'Connor said. "We'd like to still see what we could do healthy."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 30, 2009


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