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Monday, July 12, 2004
Updated: July 13, 11:21 AM ET
Pelinka and client criticized after Jazz deal

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SFX agent Rob Pelinka informed the NBA Players' Association on Monday that he had resigned as Carlos Boozer's agent, two league sources told ESPN Insider Chad Ford.

Pelinka's client caused a storm of controversy around the league last week when Boozer agreed to a six-year, $68 million contract with the Utah Jazz.

Insider's Chad Ford has the blow-by-blow of Monday's last-ditch negotiations and spin-doctoring as Cleveland, the SFX agency and Carlos Boozer angled to dodge the growing fallout. This is the story behind the story.
  • Ford: The spin game
  • Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor confirmed to Ford on Monday that he was aware that Pelinka had resigned as Boozer's agent. However, he declined to make a statement concerning the resignation. According to O'Connor, the Jazz still expect Boozer to sign the six-year offer sheet on Wednesday.

    Making a last-ditch effort to retain Boozer, the Cavaliers have offered him a one-year contract worth about $5 million, The Associated Press reported Monday.

    If Boozer accepts the Cavs' new offer, which was confirmed to the AP by a source close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity, he would put himself in position to be eligible next summer for an even larger contract than the ones Utah and Cleveland have offered.

    According to sources in Cleveland, Boozer and Pelinka approached the Cavs about letting him out of the last year of his contract June 30. Boozer could have been Cleveland's next season for $695,000, but the Cavaliers did not pick up their option after, the club said, Boozer had committed to re-signing for the team's full midlevel exception -- somewhere around six years and $40 million.

    Since that time, the criticism of Boozer and Pelinka has intensified around the league. Boozer and Pelinka haven't returned calls to any media outlet seeking comment.

    In the wake of the controversy, a number of agents have claimed that they would resign if their client reneged on a verbal commitment.

    "I'd resign immediately if a client wanted to renege on a deal, even a verbal one," one agent told Ford last week. "I still believe integrity in this business matters. If you agree on a deal, you have to live with, no matter what else happens. I personally believe that Boozer and his agent miscalculated a bit here. But I also understand what they did. Players want security. The Cavs can offer that. It just means he has to take less money to get it now. It's a tradeoff."

    According to sources, SFX and Pelinka grew increasingly concerned in the aftermath of the agreement that Boozer's betrayal would sully the reputation of the agency and prevent them from conducting good faith negotiations with league owners in the future.

    Neither Pelinka nor his boss, Arn Tellem, returned calls Monday from The Associated Press seeking comment on the decision to part ways with Boozer.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.