The moment many Chicago Bulls fans have been waiting for may finally happen this offseason. Carlos Boozer, one of the least-liked players on the team, is expected to leave the Bulls at the end of the year either through trade or amnesty. With his exit pretty much guaranteed, now is the time to look at what benefits or negatives this would bring.
Boozer signed a $75 million contract with the Bulls in 2010. His arrival received a lot of fanfare and critical acclaim. The former All-Star came off of a successful year with the Utah Jazz, and it was believed that he would help strengthen Chicago’s core. Unfortunately, his tenure with the team didn’t really pan out that way.
In his defense, Boozer wasn’t a complete bust; he just did not perform at the level of everyone’s expectations. But this season, even Boozer defenders have to admit that his play has taken a turn for the worse.
But poor play isn’t even the biggest complaint critics have been swinging against him. Boozer’s exorbitant contract has served as an albatross around the Bulls’ neck over the last few years. Now without Boozer on the pay docket, Chicago could finally be able to sign their second star. The possibilities on the free agency market are practically endless at the moment, so Boozer’s exit is something fans are praying for right now.
If the front office doesn’t want to keep Boozer next year, there are smart ways to handle this situation that would be best for both sides. The best way to handle Boozer’s exit would be through a trade. Even if the Bulls were to amnesty Boozer, they would still be obligated to pay him next year’s salary, which is an expected $16 million. But if he’s traded, the financial obligations would be offloaded to the other team. If Chicago is smart, their best trade option at the moment would be Boozer and a draft pick for Minnesota Timberwolves‘ Kevin Love.
With Boozer’s exit, the Bulls will finally have the financial legroom to make some much-needed acquisitions on the trading market. A Boozer-less Bulls may soon come to being; hopefully it lives up to everyone’s expectations.