Miami Heat Killer Paul Millsap Is The Face Of The NBA's New Economic Reality

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Photo: Flickr/Bridget Samuels

Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap exploded for 46 points in a win over the Heat last night – it’s hard to believe that he was a career reserve.His performance makes Utah’s decision to let Carlos Boozer, the team’s leading scorer over the past four seasons, find his $75 million fortune elsewhere look very smart. The Jazz were content to pay Millsap $7 million to man the power forward position.

Similarly, the team declined to match the $34 million contract the Blazers bestowed upon backup guard Wes Matthews, and the $15 million pact the Bulls handed shooting guard Kyle Korver.

Utah knew when it was time for a change. They rode last season’s lineup to four consecutive playoff appearances, but couldn’t get past the Western Conference Finals. Rather than spend big to keep that core in tact, the Jazz decided to move on with its affordable pieces and reload for a new run.

That’s a recipe for success in today’s NBA. Meanwhile, owners who cry for a different salary structure – such as those in Atlanta and Memphis – spend hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain rosters that accomplish nothing.

And while Millsap – arguably the league’s best bargain – beats down LeBron, Wade & Co., his predecessor earns twice as much to nurse an injury on the Bulls’ bench.

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