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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Unpredictability makes him a liability

By Bryan Chouinard

In sports, just as in everything else, you are who you are.

We’ve learned this lesson from numerous cases ranging from Terrell Owens to Adam “Pacman” Jones, and in every case, no matter how many chances these star athletes are given, the results are always the same. T.O. always manages to turn on his quarterback and Pacman always manages to end up in a strip club at some outrageous hour of the morning.

Although Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer is no T.O. or Pacman Jones, none of us should have been surprised by the comments made in December by Boozer about his future in Salt Lake City, saying he will opt out of his contract at the end of the season. Boozer has since retracted his statements, but the fact of the matter is that the Jazz would be better off without the Alaskan native.

The way Boozer came to Utah should have been a red flag to Jazz fans, but Utah fans were too infatuated with the big man to care how he came to the Salt Lake Valley in the first place.

After being drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002, Boozer spent two years in Cleveland. In his final season with the Cavaliers, he averaged more than 15 points and 11 rebounds a game. After the season, Cleveland had the option to make Boozer a restricted free agent and did so after an agreement was made between the team, Boozer and his agent that Boozer would sign a new deal with the Cavs in which he would make $39 million during six years.

But after getting his release, rather than resigning with the Cavs, Boozer and his agent starting listening to offers from other teams. Boozer ended up signing to play for the Jazz for six years and $70 million, a figure the Cavs could not match because of salary cap issues.

So is anyone really surprised that the guy wants out when it’s time to get a new deal?

Since Boozer’s return from his injury, he has averaged 16.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, which is five points and one rebound less than last season, before his injury.

It remains to be seen how Boozer will come back in his first full season after an injury, but with up-and-coming forward Paul Millsap, it allows the team to let a guy like Boozer go.

Millsap isn’t the only young forward the Jazz have at their disposal. During the past few years, the Jazz have stockpiled big men, drafting Kosta Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko to solidify their frontcourt.

It’s time to put faith in the franchise’s ability to draft young talent. The Jazz will never win a championship with the roster the way it is, so it’s time to get younger and make some room under the salary cap.

By doing this, the Jazz will not only develop young talent, but will also be able to sign the right players to build a team around Deron Williams in order to contend for an NBA title.

The fact of the matter is that Boozer isn’t getting any younger and the only way Williams will spend the rest of his career in Salt Lake City is if the team shows that it is actively looking to improve the roster in order to become a championship contender.

But when it is all said and done, whether Boozer returns to 20 and 10 form or not, the Jazz will never compete for a title when a player like Boozer is in the locker room.

Jazz players, coaches and fans have all lost faith in the former Duke Blue Devil since his comments last winter. Despite the fact that Boozer was once an All-Star, you can’t have a player in the locker room who isn’t totally committed to the other 11 guys on the team.

That’s just who Carlos Boozer is, and there’s no changing him.

Bryan Chouinard

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