Utah Jazz Rumors: Paul Millsap Likely to Forgo Extension, Test Free Agency

Manav KhandelwalAnalyst IIAugust 6, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Paul Millsap #24 of the Utah Jazz calls for a jump ball after being called for a foul on Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

According to a report from ProBasketballTalk's Matt Moore, Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap is expected to decline the three-year, $25 million extension the team recently offered him in order to test the free-agent waters next season.

Bleacher Report NBA featured columnist Ethan Norof recently tweeted this, explaining the situation in clear terms:

#Jazz offering Paul Millsap 3/$25 mil is a slap in the face. PM is 27, coming off a season where he averaged 16.6 pts, 8.8 rebs & 1.8 stls.

— Ethan Norof (@Mr_Norof) August 5, 2012

Millsap is clearly looking for more money and a longer deal—both of which he is eligible to get under the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) if he doesn't sign an extension.

As the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned in their initial report, Millsap is looking at precedents for why he needs to wait a little longer:

Initial indications are Millsap won’t agree to the extension, though, preferring to enter free agency in 2013 with plans to cash in on an inflated 2012 market that saw mid-tier forwards such as Gerald Wallace, Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum and Ryan Anderson recently receive lucrative multiyear contracts. 

The 2013 free-agent class includes big men Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Josh Smith, Serge Ibaka and fellow Utah teammate Al Jefferson. As players like them start to rack up the blockbuster contracts early in free agency, teams will look to Millsap more as a bargain than a luxury.

The Jazz, who already have young big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter on the roster, had clearly chosen Millsap over Jefferson as their third big man. With this recent news, however, they'll once again have to make a decision on which one they'd like to keep.

Millsap, 27, has never made an All-Star game, but he continues to impress around the league. He's averaged over 17 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in his last two season—his two healthiest since in 2008-09.

This news is great for the Indiana Pacers, who've been trying to acquire Millsap since last November.

With free-agent acquisition David West doing an underwhelming job since he came to the team, and first-round pick Miles Plumlee likely just a role player, the team will need another big man to come in and pair up with center Roy Hibbert.

If the Jazz can't re-sign Millsap, the Pacers will be the favorites to swoop in and snatch him up.

Whether they'll pay the up to $50 million price tag, however, remains to be seen.