The amnesty talks have been hanging over the head of Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer for a couple of seasons now. And with Boozer’s statistics decreasing every year since coming to Chicago in 2010, a change has to be made by the Bulls in order to become contenders again.
One of those potential changes could come during free agency if the Bulls land New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony. A major factor in signing the Knicks’ leading scorer has come from Bulls center Joakim Noah. Ever since the All-Star break in February when the two players were teammates, Noah has been trying to convince Anthony to sign with the Bulls in July. On Saturday, it was reported by the Chicago Sun-Times that Noah is still trying to recruit Anthony to sign with the Bulls.
The only problem with signing Anthony is the fact that the Bulls are right at the salary cap limit. However, the Bulls could change all of that if they use their amnesty option to get Boozer’s $15 million contract off of their books. The team could also try to trade Boozer to a team that is heavily under the salary cap, but that scenario seems unlikely since there doesn’t appear to be any potential trade partners at the moment.
Basically, getting rid of Boozer is the only way the Bulls can land Anthony this summer. Noah has to be aware of that fact, and it’s obvious that he would rather play with Anthony over Boozer. During the past few seasons, Noah has been the emotional leader and a fan favorite in Chicago, while Boozer has been the scapegoat for most of the problems on the court. His lack of defense and mediocre production on offense even led to reduced playing time in fourth quarters.
The Bulls’ money could be better spent elsewhere, and nobody knows that more than Noah at this point. Playing in the frontcourt alongside Boozer had to have been wearing on Noah over the years. He’s forced to elevate his rim protection by having to cover his man and Boozer’s as well, and that would happen on a nightly basis. But similar to Boozer, Anthony is not known to be a good defender either. However, with the Bulls last in the league on offense, adding Anthony’s scoring power would only make the team better.
Only time will tell if Noah’s recruiting pays off, but having Noah try so hard to bring Anthony to Chicago is not a good sign for Boozer. The writing on the wall to get him out of town is everywhere.