Boozer and Jazz Agree on Deal

From Times Wire Services

Carlos Boozer changed his mind, much to the dismay of the Cleveland Cavaliers and to the delight of the Utah Jazz.

Boozer, a restricted free agent, said last week that he planned to stay with the Cavaliers, but the Jazz said Thursday they had a deal in place to bring Boozer, a forward and center, to Salt Lake City.

"We've reached an agreement for an offer sheet to be delivered on July 14," said Kevin O'Connor, the team's vice president.

Boozer could be a huge addition for the Jazz, who never developed much inside scoring last season after Karl Malone left as a free agent and signed with the Lakers. Losing Boozer would be a blow to the Cavaliers, who planned to use him as a cornerstone along with LeBron James in building the Cavaliers.

If Boozer signs the offer -- reported by ESPN.com to be for $68 million over six years -- on Wednesday, Cleveland will have 15 business days to match it.

Utah reportedly has worked out deals with forward-center Mehmet Okur and two of its restricted free agents -- guard Carlos Arroyo and forward-guard Gordan Giricek.

Boozer could help form a potent front line for Utah. Detroit is not expected to match Utah's offer for Okur because of the Pistons' desire to re-sign unrestricted free agent Rasheed Wallace.

Boozer and Okur would join All-Star Andrei Kirilenko on the Utah front line.

Cleveland did not pick up the third-year option on Boozer, planning to sign him to a long-term deal. But by not picking up the option, Boozer became fair game for other teams.

The Cavaliers thought it was worth the risk because of Boozer's word that he would stay with the team that drafted in 2002.

Cleveland issued a statement after hearing of the potential deal with Utah.

"Our actions have been based upon what Carlos told us he wanted. This was also entirely consistent with his public statements in the media July 1," said the statement from General Manager Jim Paxson and owner Gordon Gund. "We are both very surprised and very disappointed by what is now being reported."

Messages left with Boozer and agent Rob Pelinka were not returned.

Boozer is coming off a breakout season -- averaging 15.5 points and 11.4 rebounds. The Jazz saw firsthand what he's capable of in January, when Boozer had 32 points and 18 rebounds in a 102-96 overtime victory in Salt Lake City.

Cleveland would have to shake up its roster in order to retain Boozer and stay under the salary cap.

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Free-agent shooting guard Manu Ginobili reportedly has reached an agreement to re-sign with San Antonio.

ESPN.com reported that Ginobili had agreed to a six-year deal worth between $50 million and $55 million.

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Orlando agreed to a six-year, $39-million contract with restricted free agent Hedo Turkoglu, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Turkoglu, a 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey, is expected to sign the offer sheet Wednesday.

San Antonio will have 15 business days to match the offer. If they do so, he will remain with San Antonio.

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Former Philadelphia forward Brian Skinner is returning to the 76ers for a deal that could be worth $25 million over five years.

A league source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the deal, which won't be announced until Wednesday.

Skinner averaged 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 56 games last season for Milwaukee.

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Free-agent center Mark Blount and Boston agreed on a six-year contract.

The 7-foot, 250-pound Blount was the Celtics' only significant unrestricted free agent. The four-year veteran appeared in every game last season for Boston, averaging 10.3 points and 7.2 rebounds. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Mike Woodson was introduced as Atlanta's new coach, replacing Terry Stotts, who was fired May 6.

Woodson, 46, was Larry Brown's top assistant last season for Detroit.

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