The first domino fell in the dismantling of this Chicago Bulls squad, as we know them, with the trade of Luol Deng to Cleveland. Now the question remains what other moves are on the horizon?
Carlos Boozer being an amnesty candidate has been discussed since last season and many expect the Bulls to exercise that clause on the power forward this summer. But John Paxson, speaking during Tuesday’s press conference regarding the Deng trade, said that particular option won’t be looked at; at least not right now.
"Everybody knows that we have the amnesty clause available to us. And it's a decision that will be made but it's not being made today," Paxson said. “It will be made at some point, but you can't do it now if you want to do it. But let me say this about Carlos, OK, because I think Carlos sometimes gets a little bit unfair criticism. When you think about the last three or four years, the one player who has practiced every day, played almost every game, come into the practice facility or the United Center with a positive attitude has been Carlos Boozer.”
Indeed he has. Boozer is one of the more affable players in the locker room and is the ultimate “team first” guy. He’s also been the most consistent player on the Bulls roster the last few seasons.
But this isn’t about Carlos Boozer as a person. Just like the Deng trade, this is about business.
The team is expected to bring over Nikola Mirotic from Spain next season to play the power forward or ‘stretch forward’ position because of his ability to shoot from distance, and they will have to pay him a considerable amount of money because he won’t be locked into his rookie wage scale once he gets to the NBA.
So any deal concerning Boozer – whether it be via trade or amnesty – will have nothing to do with his production and everything to do with money. But Paxson says the front office will cross that bridge when they get to it.
"He's been good for our team, he's been good for our guys. And we take those things into consideration. No decision has been made and the fact is we don't have to make that decision today so it's not worth discussing really."