After their disappointing first round playoff loss to the Washington Wizards, the Chicago Bulls seem committed to parting ways with veteran forward Carlos Boozer.
They also seem committed to making a serious play for Carmelo Anthony in free agency over the summer.
Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly is opposed to the idea of using the amnesty provision to remove Boozer from the team’s books, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports, adding that sources tell him that Chicago will make a strong push to trade Boozer instead.
Boozer is set to enter the final year of his contract next season, but his $16.8 million salary and his reported anger with coach Tom Thibodeau seem to make him a poor fit for the Bulls going forward.
The Boozer situation impacts the Knicks in a major way as the Knicks are “undeniably nervous” about the chances that Anthony will sign with Chicago this summer, Stein writes.
He also adds that the Bulls at the front of the list of Anthony’s preferred suitors.
Chicago would have to clear a ton of salary to land Anthony, but moving Boozer is a major part of that.
If they clear Boozer off the books and likely move Mike Dunleavy Jr. in the offseason, they can offer Anthony around $20 million per season, which many believe will be enough to lure ‘Melo away from New York.
However at the end of the day I believe that the Bulls will have to amnesty Boozer to make it happen.
While they want to trade him, I don’t believe that there will be much of a trade market for Boozer as mostly every other GM in the league knows what the Bulls plans are and that they will ultimately amnesty Boozer if they can’t find a trade partner.
But this Boozer situation is certainly one to pay close attention to over the summer as the Bulls are a legit threat to the Knicks attempt to re-sign Anthony.