Utah Jazz match Trail Blazers offer and retain Paul Millsap

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has exercised its first right of refusal and retained restricted free agent forward Paul Millsap, pending the results of a physical.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.  Utah had seven days to match an offer sheet made to Millsap by Portland.

The Deseret News reported that the deal is worth $32 million over four years.

“Keeping Paul on our roster was one of our main goals this offseason,” said Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor.  “We look forward to watching him play a key role on this team for many years to come.”

A three-year NBA veteran, Millsap (6-8, 250, Louisiana Tech) appeared in 76 games (38 starts) in 2008-09 averaging 13.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.1 minutes per game.  As a starter Millsap increased his numbers in each statistical category, averaging 16.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists including a streak of 19-straight double-doubles, the longest streak in the NBA since 2006.  Millsap finished the season with 29 double-doubles overall.  The native of Monroe, La., also set career-highs in points (32 at Boston 12/15) and rebounds (17 at L.A. Lakers 1/2) while finishing fourth in voting for the league’s Most Improved Player award.

“We are excited to keep Paul with the Jazz,” said Jazz President Randy Rigby. “Since he arrived in 2006 he has been an integral part of our team, establishing himself as one of the up-and-coming power forwards in the NBA.”

Originally selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall pick) of the 2006 NBA Draft, Millsap has appeared in 240 of a possible 246 games over his first three seasons, holding career averages of 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 22.8 minutes per game. Millsap was named to the 2006-07 All-Rookie Team (one point shy of the First Team) and finished sixth in Rookie of the Year balloting. Selected to play in both the 2007 and 2008 Rookie Challenge, Millsap is the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding three straight years. The forward finished his career at Louisiana Tech with averages of 18.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.99 blocks in 92 career games in three seasons.