A nice Duke twofer yesterday: Carlos Boozer has declared that he intends to opt-out of the final year of his deal with the Jazz (shocker!), and Grant Hill is officially the ESPN Trade Machine's worst enemy.
Frankly, I was caught off-guard by how surprisingly blunt each was. Booz made it abundantly clear that he intends to get PAID this offseason, which should come as no surprise. As much sh*t as we give him around here, Boozer really is among the best at his position...he just happens to be behind Duncan, Dirk, KG, Amare, and Bosh. And he also happens to lead the league in BA's per minute...according to me. With teams like the Heat clogging the rumors with talk of breaking the bank to nab him, it makes perfect sense. Still, it's December. Your team isn't even sniffing the playoffs yet, much less free agency. Call me old fashioned but it just seemed like an awfully strange thing to say for a guy who hasn't really meaningfully contributed to his team this season, injury or no injury.
Grant Hill means business. And to him, business is sticking around with the team he signed with, the Suns. Let me tell you: business is
good kind of good. But Hill has certainly discovered the ultimate way to keep his name out of the rumor mongers' perverse fantasies: nip that mofo at the bud. This has to look good from a Phoenix perspective: Nash is crying about his buddies, Amare's discontent with his role in the offense and his future with the team, Shaq still wants more touches, and waaaaaay too many people are ready to write off the Suns right now. In December. A team with Nash, Amare, Shaq, and now Jason Richardson. Good luck with that. I'm not saying the Suns will necessarily be a powerhouse, but don't underestimate this crew's ability to get things together in a hurry come spring.