The grumblings amongst Bulls' fans over the past few seasons regarding amnestying Carlos Boozer has been greatly shortsided.
Not only has the power forward been one of the most consistent players for the team during the last three years, in terms of health and production, but he remained professional -- aside from once publicly voicing his displeasure regarding his lack of fourth quarter minutes this season -- through having his minutes limited with the continued development of Taj Gibson's offense.
In the midst of a fluid offseason where the Bulls are hoping to add depth and talent to climb back into contention in the Eastern Conference, Boozer appears to not be in the plans going forward and the Bulls will either waive him using the amnesty provision or try and include him in a sign-and-trade deal.
The Sun-Times reported that Boozer had already been informed they would use the amnesty provision on him, but ESPN reported that no final decision has been made on that front just yet.
The Bulls have until July 18 to use the amnesty clause on Boozer, which would remove the final $16.8 million of their books. Doing so, the Bulls would have about $9.7 million in cap space. Including him in a sign-and-trade, which is the dream scenario, would allow them to take back more than $20 million in salary, which would help things on the Carmelo Anthony front, in getting him close to a near-max deal.
ESPN reported earlier in the week that the Knicks will not take back Boozer in any sign-and-trade involving Anthony, which could mean a third team would be needed if the All-Star small forward decided that Chicago is where he wants to play next season.
Anthony met with the Bulls on Tuesday in an extended courting and pitching affair that lasted nearly nine hours. The Bulls will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with free agent Pau Gasol.
If Boozer is waived, teams with cap space would be able to bid on him in a waiver process. He would then be awarded to the highest bidder, who would pay a portion of his salary. He would become a free agent only if there were no bids and possibly head to Miami, where he resides during the offseason.