As reported by Sam Smith of Bulls.com, the Chicago Bulls have finally pulled the trigger and have used the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer. Carlos will still receive the $16.8 million he is due for the 2014-15 season, but that money will no longer count against the Bulls salary cap. This is purely a financial decision (though in basketball terms, they’d be happy to unload him), as the Bulls are not the kind of team to happily jump into the luxury tax.
Take a look at his career stats and remember that at one point, he was one of the most dominant forwards in the game.
Boozer had fallen off mightily in recent years, including putting up the worst season (2013-14) he’s had since his rookie year (2002-03). Boozer averaged just 13.7 points with 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists, all of which were way off of his career averages. He shot just 45.6 percent from the field and just 45.7 percent on his 2-point attempts. In the playoffs, it got even worse — he couldn’t even find playing time.
After averaging 28.2 minutes per game in the regular season, Boozer got just 24.2 in the postseason, averaging a horrific 9.6 points and 7.8 rebounds on 42.6 percent shooting.
If the luxury tax weren’t an issue, the Bulls would have done their best to showcase Boozer and dangle him at the trade deadline, but with the recent acquisitions of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, they needed to shed salary to stay beneath the luxury tax line. This had to burn Jerry Reinsdorf, one of the league’s more fiscally conservative owners. Paying a guy over $16 million to simply go away must not sit well.
Teams will surely be interested in Boozer’s services — if he has many of them left. He’d be a great bargain to join the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers or any other team looking for a rebounder with some postseason experience. If he can’t hit a jumper, it might not matter — but we’ll let the teams worry about that.