There is one less Blue Devil in Chicago. The Chicago Bulls have used their one time amnesty provision to pay off the rest of the contract of Carlos Boozer and make him a free agent. Doing so opened up some $16 million in cap room for the Bulls.
What are the Bulls going to use the space for?
This was a lot more interesting of a question not all that long ago. The Bulls were supposed to amnesty Boozer in a number of schemes to bring in top quality help for Derek Rose and Joachim Noah. Some of those schemes were trades that might have brought in Kevin Love, though at the added expense of Taj Gibson. There were schemes to secure Carmelo Anthony, assuming Anthony would agree to less money or the Knicks would agree to a sign and trade.
In the end, the Boozer windfall will be used to sign free agent forward Pau Gasol, bring over draft holdover Nikola Mirotic, and fill in the remaining gaps. I don’t know if Bulls fans would have been happy about a summer including Mirotic and Gasol with Kirk Hinrich thrown in a week ago, but the team is in better shape and lost none of its main assets in the process except Boozer.
So what happens to Boozer now?
Boozer will still be in the League next season. Some team will bring him in for scoring and rebounding off the bench. Boozer’s defensive acumen was not exactly to the standards of Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeaux and center Joachim Noah, but his offensive production will carry his career a few more years. According to the Chicago Tribune, several teams have already expressed interest including the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Charlotte Hornets. Boozer will not make $16 million a year on his next contract, but he won’t need to since the amnesty provision means the Bulls have played his salary in full for next year.