Basketball

Boozer, Okur opt to stick with Jazz

Power forward Carlos Boozer and centre Mehmet Okur confirmed Tuesday that neither will opt out of the final year of their respective contracts with the Utah Jazz to test the free-agent market.

Neither Carlos Boozer nor Mehmet Okur will be opting out of the final year of their contracts with the Utah Jazz to test the free-agent market.

Boozer, a 27-year-old power forward, had until Tuesday to exercise the player's option in his contract, but elected to remain in Utah next season at a salary of $12.7 million US.

Boozer was limited to 37 starts last season by injuries — a strained quadriceps tendon, knee and ankle problems — but he averaged 16.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 32.4 minutes.

"We're excited," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said. "We're hopeful he can continue to play at an all-star level, and will have an injury-free season."

Bozzer has averaged 16.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 32.5 minutes in 432 games (391 starts) since he was chosen in the second round (35th overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2002 NBA draft.

He joined the Jazz as a restricted free agent on July 30, 2004.

Also Tuesday, Okur confirmed he, too, will stick with the Jazz.

Okhur, 30, has averaged 13.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 29.5 minutes in 531 games (373 starts) over seven NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Jazz.

"He's clearly been an integral part of our success since his arrival and we are hopeful that he will continue to perform at such a high level in the future," O'Connor said of the Turkish centre.

Okur is slated make $9 million US next season.

With files from The Associated Press

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