Anyway, this is the official "CJ is Back" post to notify the world (5 days after the fact). After waiting the full time period allowed, Kevin O'Connor, Jerry Sloan and the rest of the Jazz Brass have agreed to match the initial offer signed by restricted Free Agent C.J. Miles for a reported amount of $15 million dollars over 4 years. So, sorry Northwest Division rival Oklahoma City Barons, no Ceejay for you!
I'm not surprised by this news, and expected it after the whole Brevin Knight / Jason Hart trade. I also approve of this move, as you don't want to make the Utah Jazz some sort of college for shooting guards who are drafted right out of high school -- this team deserves to see some returns for this investment.
Furthermore, C.J. Miles is a Dallas area product who came directly to the NBA from Skyline High. He was drafted in the same year as Deron Williams (himself a product of The Colony in the greater Dallas area as well); and sees himself as an older brother type for the young Ceejay. (He even got Lil' John to come to CJ's birthday party!)
The chemistry in the team is quite good and Miles is a part of this younger group of players who all get along with each other. If nothing else, this was an opportunity for Deron Williams (aka the face of the franchise) to flex some of his star power muscle.
Photo by NBAE / Getty Images
Miles' friendship with the star of the team may not be enough to guarantee playing time, and he knows it:
"It's been discussed that if I come in and work and show that I should play, then I will play, and that's what I plan to do." (Miles, 2008, ESPN.com)
It's funny, though, the number of outside observers who thought that Miles would be gone, or that, perhaps, Miles wanted to go. What Miles wanted was security. He has that. He gets paid the same to run around in the shadows of Kevin Durant / Jeff Green on a virtual expansion team as he does getting to play with his friends and win division titles and play deep in the playoffs every year. Which would you take? This is what C.J Miles said on the 1320 KFan shortly after the news happened:
"I don't have any hard feelings [about what Jerry Sloan said to the media] . . . I'm in Utah, back in a Jazz uniform where I belong, and I look forward to playing [with my boys Deron, Ronnie B, and Millsap] again." (Miles, 2008, 1320 KFan)
Miles also pointed out that he did not want to leave Utah, and that he does not feel like he was put in a situation where he had to leave, either. He would have to work hard, and fight for minutes on any team -- so why not work hard and get minutes on the Utah Jazz? So, now we get to see if he can be that guy that we need, a solid SG who can improve upon his work last season (48 fg%, 39 3pt%) and continue contributing where and when we need him to!