It has been a long, improbable and confusing year for the Chicago Bulls.
Of course, the season was derailed a mere 12 games in as Derrick Rose suffered a torn meniscus in his knee and the waters have only gotten muddier as the year has wore on. Now, the roster is without long-time small forward Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer appears to be on his way out of town as well.
Moving on, the Bulls really hold all of the cards on Boozer. Sure, the underachieving power forward is owed $16.8 million next year, but Chicago has multiple options in terms of unloading the rather expensive big man. However, the most likely scenario is that the Bulls wind up using the amnesty clause on Boozer, which would make him an outright free agent with his salary not counting against the cap in 2014-15.
When signed, most Chicago fans figured Boozer would be gone by the time his five-year contract worth $75 million finally came to a close, anyway. Thankfully, that appears to be the case as current back-up Taj Gibson has done more than enough to deserve Boozer’s starting spot in the everyday line-up.
Showing Boozer the door seems like a slam dunk move to me as Chicago saves some cap and in the process, the team will also be able to increase Gibson’s workload on a nightly basis to get more bang for their buck. Gibson is currently enjoying career highs in points, assists and blocks per game, so it’s an ideal time for the 28-year-old workhorse to get promoted and hopefully stay in the Bulls’ starting line-up for at least another three years.