The NBA trade deadline is next Thursday but we might have our biggest trade yet already nearing competition and is in the finalizing stages. The Chicago Bulls have been looking to dump Carlos Boozer and his bloated contract for some time now and it appears they have someone willing to take him on. The Toronto Raptors are a head nod away from acquiring both Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson from the Chicago Bulls.
Key phrase being a head nod away.
According to reports, the Bulls have already agreed to trade Boozer and Robinson in exchange for Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas III. The only thing holding the trade up from completion is for Toronto to sign off on it.
In trading Boozer, the Bulls would dip back below the luxury tax threshold and would avoid having to pay a tax at the end of the season. Never in the history of the franchise have the Bulls had to pay the luxury tax and it was looking like this year would be a first. But moving Boozer means relieving $5 million as Bargnani’s salary is $10 million versus Boozer’s $15 million.
The best part of the trade for Chicago is getting John Lucas III back at a salary Chicago is comfortable with. The Bulls got ripped for not bringing back their bench players from last year and ended up paying more to bring in a new cast of characters, so bringing Lucas III back not only brings back some chemistry from last year but gives the Bulls a real weapon off the bench.
The Raptors win in this trade as well, seeing as Boozer instantly upgrades their frontcourt and Nate Robinson adds depth and talent on the bench. The only question now is whether or not the Raptors will be able to afford Boozer and Rudy Gay on the same payroll moving forward. But for now, the Raptors are showing the NBA they’re serious about trying to make a Finals push and aren’t afraid to overpay for it.
The deal is still awaiting the okay from the Raptors, but this deal is essentially in the bag and it’s hard to see either side losing on this deal, even if the pieces involved are stingy at best in terms of consistent production.