ORLANDO -- Utah Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer spent a good part of Sunday -- an off day -- visiting with Magic center Dwight Howard. And one of the things they talked about was the possibility of becoming NBA teammates.
As an unrestricted free agent this summer, Boozer just smiled Monday at that future option.
"Who wouldn't want to play with Superman?'' Boozer asked FanHouse, referring to Howard's nickname, after Utah's Monday morning workout at Amway Arena. "It would be great. We're like brothers. On top of his competitiveness, and his dominance on the court, he's so much fun to be around. Yes, the two of us could work well together, two dominant inside players. But we'll just have to see what happens.''
Of course, there's the issue of the salary cap, which the Magic are hopelessly over, while teams like Miami, New York and New Jersey will have plenty of room to better afford Boozer this summer.
There also is the strong possibility that the Jazz could move him somewhere before the February trading deadline, allowing them to receive something in return instead of just losing him to free agency this summer.
"I'd be blindsided by (a trade). I think there's a really good chance I'll be here (with the Jazz) the rest of this season,'' Boozer said. "I don't anticipate anything. After that, who knows? This summer will take on its own story.''
Boozer, who missed much of last year to a knee injury, has regained his All-Star form this season, and he is expected to receive a maximum-level contract this summer that would pay him close to $90 million over five years. The Jazz, already paying the luxury tax, are not expected to compete with that kind of offer because they are grooming a younger, less-expensive replacement in Paul Millsap.
"We talked about it (becoming teammates),'' Howard recalled Monday after the Magic practice. "But aaaah ... we'll let that happen down the road. Today, I have to worry about beating him.''
Boozer has been able to block out speculation over his future and focus on this season -- arguably the best of his career -- which wasn't easy after upsetting Jazz fans when the talked about possibly opting out of his contract last summer, and his desire to play in Miami for the Heat.
He already has a beachfront home in South Florida, although he is trying to sell it to buy a different one there with more land to better accommodate his family and his dogs.
"Until something happens, there's really nothing to talk about,'' he said. "We (the Jazz) are past all that summer drama. We've got a good team here. We're fifth in the West, and trying to get into the top four spots. That's what I'm focused on now.''
Boozer comes into Monday night's game in Orlando averaging 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds. Until a bad game last week in Atlanta when his scoring average dipped, he was one of just three NBA players (Chris Bosh and Tim Duncan were the others) to be averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
"He's been terrific this season, playing maybe the best basketball since he's been with us,'' said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "After all that happened this summer, I just told him to disregard it. He came back ready to play. There were no hard feelings as far as I'm concerned. He's here until he gets traded or wants to be traded, but that's like when somebody gets hurt. Whoever is here is here.''
Howard and Boozer, for now, will remain good friends. They cemented their friendship in China on the 2008 Olympic team. Boozer, Howard and Bosh -- also a free agent this summer -- were inseparable. Boozer stayed at Howard's home during the NBA Finals in June. Boozer was in the Magic locker room shortly after the Jazz beat the Magic in Salt Lake City earlier this month. They were back at Howard's home Sunday.
The Jazz play Wednesday night in Miami, where the questions about his free agency are sure to intensify.
"I won't tell them anything different in Miami,' Boozer said. "At this point, there's nothing out there.''