The Chicago Bulls host New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony Tuesday on the first official day of free agency.
The Bulls gave Anthony a tour of the United Center, let him watch point guard Derrick show that he is healthy and took him to a dinner that included with Bulls’ players Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, head coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Gar Forman and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
The Bulls are also interested in several other big name players like Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol. To sign Anthony, Gasol or any player above mid-level, the Bulls would have to cut some costs and that means dumping Carlos Boozer. It was believed by many the Bulls wouldn’t use the amnesty provision to waive Boozer, but it looks as though those reports were false.
According to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times, Boozer’s departure is a “done deal.”
A source said Wednesday that Boozer’s departure is a “done deal,” adding that Boozer’s camp already has been informed.
There haven’t been any takers on a sign-and-trade for Boozer, and the Bulls also want the money to go in a different direction, whether Carmelo Anthony is in the mix or not.
Under the amnesty provision, Boozer still will be paid the $16.8 million he’s due next season, but it won’t count against the salary cap.
There was a minority opinion that chairman Jerry Reinsdorf wouldn’t want to pay a player and get nothing in return, but that’s not the case. The Bulls think the time to make a run in the Eastern Conference is now, and that can’t be accomplished with Boozer on the roster.
Boozer, 32, averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 45.6% from the field and 76.7% from the free throw line last season.