The NBA’s deadline for teams to use their amnesty clause has passed and Carlos Boozer is still with the Bulls. What this means is that Boozer cannot be amnestied until after the end of next season — so bust out the No. 5’s because the Booz Cruz is in town for another year.
This comes as absolutely no surprise as the Bulls never even hinted at, let alone seriously considered amnestying Boozer. He has roughly $47.1 million left on his contract and should he have been amnestied, the Bulls would have been on the hook for that even though it wouldn’t have been on the books officially.
The way the amnesty clause works is this: a team amnesties a player and that player goes through a waiver wire type system where any team under the salary cap can claim him. Unlike actual waiver wires, more than one team can claim an amnestied player. Once all teams have either claimed or passed on a player they go into a bidding war with the team offering the highest bid winning the player at that salary. The team that amnestied the player is on the hook for the difference between the final bid and the actual contract.
The highest bid ever on a player who has been amnestied was Luis Scola who was won by the Phoenix Suns for $13.5 million just this week for him.
Given his age and his play of late, no team in their right mind would offer Boozer anything past that mark which means if a team won Boozer at the price Scola went for, Chicago and Jerry Reinsdorf would personally be on the hook for $33.6 million.
Reinsdorf is deathly afraid of paying a luxury tax so it’s no surprise that he doesn’t want to hand out $33.6 million to a player that won’t even be playing for him next year.
Instead the Bulls elected to hang onto Boozer and see what the 2013 make or break season holds — and you can’t really blame them. Yes it would have been nice to add a top free agent, but with the team in the banged up state that it’s in and up to three starters possibly starting the season on the bench or well below 100 percent, hanging onto Boozer makes sense.
Heck, he may even redeem himself this year. That’s how dire things are in Chicago right now.
Plus, if he doesn’t improve at all or just marginally this year, the Bulls can amnesty him next year and only have to worry about making up the difference between the winning bid and $27 million. Basically waiting a year saves the Bulls $16 million which really only effects Jerry Reinsdorf since he’d be the guy paying it.
Bottom line is the deadline has passed so we all might as well get used to the idea of Boozer in Chicago for at least one more year. because love him or hate him, he’s here to stay.