Since the Millsap news dropped last night, there have been several comments and fan posts proposing that the Blazers are trying to force Utah to include them in a three-way trade that ships Boozer to another time, give Utah cap space to sign Millsap, and gets Portland a player that they covet.
If you are interested in reading the tea leaves on whether this is a possibility or not, all you have to do is watch for how quickly Millsap is extended the offer. If an offer is extended, the Blazers are likely playing for keeps and it is extremely unlikely they will participate in a Boozer trade.
Here's why a signed offer sheet would make a trade unlikely.
- The offer sheet is one that is truly toxic for Utah. Even if they are able to clear cap space via a trade to match the offer, Utah would obviously like to pay a lower price or at minimum restructure the deal. This is particularly true if the offer contains a significant signing bonus.
- Because the offer sheet is toxic, it is very lucrative for Paul Millsap both in terms of overall money and the amount of up front money. This offer is one that he would love to have.
Once an offer is extended and agreed to, there are three possible outcomes:
- Utah decides against matching.
- Utah matches.
- The offer is rescinded.
For a Boozer trade to happen with Portland, Utah would want the offer to be rescinded so that it can negotiate a less toxic contract with Millsap. This is where it becomes tricky.
The collective bargaining agreement says:
A signed offer sheet can be rescinded within the seven day waiting period if all three parties (the player and the two teams) agree. http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q36
Going back to the assumptions, the offer is very attractive to Millsap. Why would he agree to rescind it? It is in his best interest to force either the Blazers or the Jazz to honor the terms of the offer.
Some have suggested that we could trade Millsap after signing. This is also not possible for some period of time. (http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q76).
Therefore, a signed offer sheet makes a trade involving Boozer and the Blazers much less likely.
If the Blazers want in on a Boozer trade, they should:
Send the offer sheet to Utah first, not Millsap. Let Utah know what the Blazers intend to do and how we'd be very happy with Millsap, but how we also would like Prince/Hinrich/Someone. Are they interested in exploring that option.
Sit on the offer sheet for a couple of days. Maybe you tell Utah that they have until end of day Friday to explore trades that involve the Blazers and Boozer. After that period of time, you're sending the offer to Millsap.
- You coordinate with Millsap's Agent. Millsap has been waiting for something to break free. You're helping this happen. So you coordinate with Millsap's agent to make sure that word gets out that Portland is a viable option and that MIllsap would be happy playing behind Aldridge. Millsap's camp does this because they know no matter what outcome happens, they are going to a good team and will get more money.
The biggest indicator of the possibility of a trade is how quickly and offer sheet is extended and signed. If it happens quickly, the Blazers want Millsap. If it takes a few days, the Blazers are working behind the scenes to see if a trade can happen.