It looks like you don’t have old Carlos Boozer to kick around anymore. Well Pippen Peoples, it’s done. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Bulls will use the one time amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer. Finally. It started to look sketchy for a minute with the rumors and speculation of Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf not wanting to come up out the pocket and pay the $16.8 million to say peace out, but it’s a done deal. Reports are already surfaced that the team has informed Boozer of their plans. It’s over!
The Chicago Bulls for several weeks tried to avoid this option by trying to trade Carlos Boozer and his expiring contract. The most appealing situation was packaging him with other assets to New York Knicks to work out a sign and trade to acquire Carmelo Anthony. When the New York Knicks went on record stating that they had “no interest” in Boozer, it was a wrap. The Chicago Bulls are not to blame for trying to trade Boozer. If things would have worked out the Bulls could have gotten back more than $20 million dollars in salary. Now that the Bulls will reportedly use the provision, the Bulls will have about 9.7 million dollars in cap space. Pippen Ain’t Easy has been very opinionated for months on how this amnesty option was the one and only scenario that was going to happen to rid themselves of Boozer. When the amnesty becomes official, the free agency for the Bulls can really begin. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Nikola Mirotic, me or anyone reading this would not be coming to the Chicago Bulls via free agency until this step was dealt with…period.
According to the by laws of the newest collective bargaining agreement, the $16.8 million dollars in annual salary that was owed to Carlos Boozer will be paid to him. However, his salary will not count against the salary cap. Now the Bulls have more flexibility to go out and sign free agents (that is if they want to come.)
Earlier this week, All-Star Joakim Noah, franchise player Derrick Rose and various members of the Bulls front office spent several hours with New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. They put their own full court press on in an attempt to convince him to sign on the bottom line for next season. Now that Boozer’s contract has been amnestied, it looks like the meeting might have gone well after all.
Chicago Bulls representatives will hop a flight to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with Pau Gasol, who is next in line on the wish list if Carmelo Anthony passes on coming to Chicago. The word around the campfire is the Bulls are also inquiring about the services of Lance Stephenson, who seems to believe that he is worth more than the $44 million dollars the Indiana Pacers reportedly offered him. Cowley also reported that Tom Thibodeau is interested in going after Trevor Ariza, small forward for the Washington Wizards. I know D.J. Augustin would love that signing if he stays with the Bulls. Ariza basically threw him in the closet and locked the door after Game two of the first round of the playoffs. I think we’re still looking for Augustin’s game to this day.
This is a sad and troubling end to a potentially ugly situation that was brewing in Chicago. Boozer, a two-time All-Star averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 28 minutes per game. I think Boozer was unfairly treated in his last couple of years in a Bulls uniform. He was brought in to be the second option behind Derrick Rose. When Rose was healthy, it made things easier for Boozer to operate based on all the attention Rose commanded. When Rose started getting hurt, all of Boozer’s weaknesses were exposed. I’ve always said that if used correctly, Boozer could be a valuable piece in Thibodeau’s rotation. Now we’ll never know.
As mentioned for months by Pippen Ain’t Easy, the Miami Heat is already linked to obtain Carlos Boozer’s services. I guess you Bulls fans will REALLY have a reason to hate the Heat now if he signs. Now I wonder, now that Carlos Boozer is gone, who’s next on the Bulls fans’ hit list?
Derrick Rose…you’re up!