The Jazz have readily acknowledged that they wouldn't mind trading up in the June 28 NBA Draft.
They even suggest there is a good chance they'll make a significant deal before the 2006-07 season begins — and, no, that is not a reference to last week's swap that sent youngsters Kris Humphries and Robert Whaley to Toronto for former BYU star Rafael Araujo.
Beyond that, though, it seems there is plenty more smoke where the fire is being fanned.
And, as has so often been the case since shortly after he arrived as a free agent from Cleveland in 2004, it seems $68 million power forward Carlos Boozer is smack dab in the oven of hot talk.
The Houston Chronicle recently reported that the Jazz — who currently own the No. 14 overall selection in this month's draft — join Portland, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Golden State, Philadelphia and Orlando on the long list of teams that "would like to move up" by draft night.
Seattle, which currently has the 10th pick, and Toronto, which owns the No. 1 overall, both reportedly are interested in perhaps moving down.
Last week, while addressing e-mail questions from readers in the Chicago Tribune, longtime NBA writer Sam Smith answered a query from Salt Lake City by writing that "it seems clear (Boozer's) not thrilled with Utah and they haven't always been with him and his injuries."
"At some point," Smith added, "the Jazz may just have to take a draft pick to get out from under his salary."
On Sunday, noted New York Post rumormonger Peter Vecsey — reporting from Orlando, where late last week many of the NBA's front-office movers-and-shakers were on hand to talk trade while scouting the league's annual pre-draft — took the chat a few steps forward.
Vecsey had the Jazz on a list of 13 teams he deemed to be "the biggest talkers" in Orlando and wrote that Boozer's was among a half-dozen or so well-known NBA names "that were on the loose lips of many down here."
He may be onto something in this instance.
Vecsey also writes that "Samuel Dalembert is definite to be relocated, (and) despite a fairly prohibitive contract, numerous teams continue to find the 7-footer appealing."
The Jazz admittedly are seeking a shot-blocking center, and are believed to have liked the Philadelphia 76ers swatter for some time.
When Utah dealt for reserve-center Araujo, by the way, multiple franchise officials also made it known they clearly consider both Boozer and fellow big man Mehmet Okur to be power forwards.
They did so by suggesting one reason they made the trade is that with Greg Ostertag retiring and Jarron Collins about to become an unrestricted free agent, they had no centers under contract for next season.
On the limited occasions Boozer has been on the floor at the same time as Okur, who has not missed a game since coming to Utah in 2004, the Jazz essentially did without a true center.
One other related note: Jazz officials also suggested that acquiring Araujo will have no impact whatsoever on their interest in re-signing Collins, a part-time starter throughout his five seasons in Utah.
Hey, how do we get Devin back on our team. I love Devin!!!!
Timmy D for MVP!!!!!! X3
"Today's game is style over substance. He's the opposite. He's substance over style. I think he's appreciated. I don't think he's adored."
Dave Odom, Duncan's college coach
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