The Chicago Bulls‘ intentions of amnestying or trading Carlos Boozer come as no surprise to Chicago fans, but that possibility became official on Wednesday when the Bulls informed Boozer that he would not be back in Chicago next season.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times first reported that Boozer’s camp had been informed of the Bulls’ plans and that it was a “done deal.” If they do in fact use the amnesty provision on Boozer, the $16.8 million salary he’s owed would not count against the salary-cap.
In an ideal world the Bulls would like to use Boozer in a sign-and-trade deal with the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony. If they can’t attract Anthony or if the Knicks don’t want Boozer back in any such deal, then the Bulls would be forced to amnesty the 2010 free agency signee that has been a major disappointment in his time in Chicago.
Unloading Boozer would finally pave the way for Taj Gibson to start next season. Gibson had been playing the entire fourth quarter last season and played just as many minutes per game as Boozer did. Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season while Gibson averaged 13.0 points and 6.8 rebounds but was a far superior defender.
Boozer’s time in Chicago has been tumultuous — his weaknesses have been exposed and he has been a scapegoat of sorts when the team struggled to score points. It was evident that Tom Thibodeau much preferred Gibson to Boozer.
Whether they add Anthony or not, it was inevitable that Boozer be moved in order to have the salary-cap space and flexibility to fill out their roster in an attempt to compete for a championship.