Amnestying Carlos Boozer Is Easier Said Than Done

The Bulls big man will most likely have to stick around for at least another season

By Bryan Crawford
|  Thursday, May 24, 2012  |  Updated 4:14 PM CDT
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Why Chicago Is Stuck With Boozer

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Fans may want Carlos Boozer amnestied now, but he'll be wearing a Bulls uniform for at least one more season.

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Despite having a much better year two than year one in Chicago, it's no secret that Bulls fans still want Carlos Boozer gone.

He hasn't exactly endeared himself to Chicagoans who've come to admire, respect and also expect true grit from their professional athletes.

A lot of that has to do with the enormous contract he received in the summer of 2010 that was worth $80 million dollars over the span of five years. After this year's disappointment in the first round of the NBA Playoffs where Boozer's play was extremely poor in Game 6 as he shot 1-11 from the field and scored only three points in an elimination game.

His post game comments were even more disturbing as he seemed not to care that the Bulls had just been eliminated at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Now the low rumble has been for the Bulls front office to play the amnesty card and get him out of town, but it's not quite that easy.

Just because you amnesty Boozer doesn't mean you can just fill his slot with another player. The Bulls, who already have limited flexibility with regard to the cap, would still be on the hook for the bulk of his remaining salary still owed to him, even when another team picks him up, and would still find themselves dangerously close to being over the salary cap considering they're probably going to re-sign Omer Asik this summer.

On top of that, playing the amnesty card means the Bulls would lose their full mid-level exception worth $5 million (if they remain under the cap) and would only have the “mini” mid-level exception to work with which is worth half of the full. If the Bulls are going to pursue a point guard this summer as expected, $2.5 million isn't a lot of money to entice someone to come here.

The conclusion? As unfortunate as it may sound, the Bulls are stuck with Boozer for at least one more season. If any decision is going to made on him – especially using the amnesty provision – it'll have to wait until next summer and the only way for him to leave town now is through a trade, but given the enormity of his contract and with the new CBA rules, it's hard to imagine a team being willing to take back a salary like that.

The problem with Carlos Boozer isn't so much about who he is as a player, it's what the Chicago Bulls decided to pay him two summers ago and so far, he's yet to live up to his contract.

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