Jazz fans have been lucky that there has only had to be one torch passed for the PG position in the last 20 plus years: John Stockton to Deron Williams.
At first, it seemed like there would only need to be one torch passed for the PF position too: Karl Malone to Carlos Boozer.
My, oh my; how things have changed in the blink of an eye.
Many people thought the duo of Booze and D-Will would be a force to be reckoned with for many years. Now, most of those same people are begging for a one-way ticket out of town for Boozer.
With the retaining of Paul Millsap, the ticket is about to be purchased and the torch seems ready to be passed again.
Millsap and Boozer have very different styles of play. Millsap is the leave-it-all-out-on-the-floor, dive after loose balls, and grind it out type of player. If Millsap makes it through an entire game without picking up a new bruise or battle wound, it’s almost like he thinks he has failed the team.
Boozer is more of a finesse type of player. He has more of a polished offensive game than Millsap, but seems to lack the desire to play defense. While he is a threat to score 30 or more points a game, you run the risk of him allowing even more points to the man he is supposed to be guarding.
Millsap is the kind of player that will fight through the pain and keep giving his all. Boozer on the other hand has missed almost half of the games he could have played in as a member of the Jazz.
So the questions remain: Will the torch passing be a smooth transition or more of a blotched baton hand-off in a relay race? And what exactly will happen with the Carlos Boozer saga?
To answer the first question, I am leaning more towards a smooth transition.
While Millsap doesn’t provide as much of an offensive threat as Boozer, he has improved every season and doesn’t necessarily need plays called for him to score points and have an impact on the court. He also brings much-needed toughness on the defensive end, as long as he stays out of foul trouble.
Millsap also put up very respectable numbers while filling in for the often-injured Boozer last season, and I think he will only build upon his success.
As for the second question, nobody really knows exactly what will happen, except that Boozer will almost certainly be dealt by the trade deadline in February.
Whether he gets traded for Tyrus Thomas, Udonis Haslem, Michael Beasley, or a bag of basketballs, I don’t know what to expect. Whether he gets traded before the season begins, or sometime around the trade deadline, I don’t know what to think.
Several teams appear to have interest in Boozer, but for the most part have been proposing low-ball offers. It also appears that the Jazz are going to patiently wait until they find a deal that will not only shed money, but help the team improve as well.
Are the Jazz willing to give up another piece of the team or some draft picks in order to find a deal that will help the team compete? Again, more questions that only time can answer.
What I do know is that the torch is lit and Boozer has his arm extended, eager to pass it off. It is time for the Jazz and Millsap to finish the hand off and take the torch.