It appears as if the Chicago Bulls have gone into full desperation mode, informing Carlos Boozer he will likely be amnestied in an attempt to sign Carmelo Anthony outright via free agency. This news comes one day after various figures in the Bulls’ organization hosted Anthony for a visit which included an extended meeting followed by a dinner with Tom Thibodeau and Joakim Noah. Chicago management has remained heavily opposed to amnestying Boozer as it will basically be paying his near $17 million salary for him to go away. However, this move is inevitable as Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks have expressed their disinterest in taking back Boozer in any sign-and-trade scenario for Anthony.
Bulls told Carlos Boozer it’s a possibility he will be amnestied or used in a sign-&-trade but have made no final decisions, sources saidAdvertisement
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 3, 2014
Though the transaction has yet to become official, a variety of teams will certainly be interested in acquiring Boozer’s services. He is coming off a pretty solid season in which he averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game in just 28 minutes of action. Production did decline a bit when Thibodeau decided to allow Taj Gibson to play during crunch time while Boozer sat on the bench and observed. Defense has never been Boozer’s strong suit, so the benching really came at no surprise. Boozer was obviously unhappy about the benching and to add the icing to the cake, Thibodeau informed Gibson he will be the starting power forward next season whether Boozer was a member of the team or not.
Furthermore, seeing that Boozer can be claimed off waivers for a bargain price, the Los Angeles Lakers are likely to be an aggressive suitor. If Los Angeles ends up striking out on its pursuit of Anthony, Mitch Kupchak will seek players who can be signed to a bargain price on a short-term deal. Boozer not only fits this mold, but he is the perfect candidate for what Kupchak is looking for. The Lakers are undoubtedly familiar with what Boozer has to offer as he used to kill them in the playoffs during his tenure with the Utah Jazz. Often times, the Lakers kicked off the Western Conference playoffs against the Jazz when Boozer was in his prime and consistently putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Although Boozer’s days of putting up those kinds of numbers are over, he has shown he is fully capable of being a steady contributor who can fit in any system. The Lakers’ roster is extremely thin at the moment so acquiring Boozer, who can bring some energy and toughness, is a no-brainer. Additionally, he can even drop some offensive wisdom on raw Lakers rookie Julius Randle who is nearly the same height and weight.