Report: Boozer Amnesty A “Done Deal”

The Chicago Bulls have eyes for Carmelo Anthony. But to gain the requisite cap space it will surely take to acquire him, the Bulls need to pull off major salary cap gymnastics by augmenting their roster. The easiest way to begin that process? Using the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer. According to a report, Chicago has finally decided to do just that.

The news is courtesy of Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

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.

Even shedding Boozer’s salary, Chicago will only have approximately $12 million of space to work with under the salary cap. Anthony will command more money than that unless he takes a sizable pay-cut. There’s always the option of a sign-and-trade, but Cowley says that the New York Knicks have ignored the Bulls’ tries at engaging such discussions for Carmelo.

In recruiting Anthony, the Bulls hoped the Knicks would be interested in a sign-and-trade for Boozer’s expiring contract, but they have been rebuffed several times. The Bulls are assuming they’ll have to acquire Anthony as a free agent, and they felt good about their position after meeting with him Tuesday in Chicago.

Basically, Chicago has more work to do if it wants to sign Anthony. The most logical way to help create that necessary space is to part with Taj Gibson, too, but the Bulls and even Anthony seem intent on keeping the runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year in the Windy City.

Despite an all-out recruiting pitch to Carmelo yesterday that included a private workout by Derrick Rose, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Bulls aren’t overly confident that they’ll be able to coax Anthony from New York to Chicago.


Anthony met with both the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks today.

As for Pau Gasol, Cowley echoes Stein’s report that the Bulls have legitimate interest in the Spaniard whether Carmelo comes aboard or not.

They’re headed to Los Angeles for a meeting with Lakers free-agent big man Pau Gasol, not only as an alternate plan if Anthony re-signs with the Knicks — the only team Bulls officials think is a threat in the sweepstakes — but also to sell Gasol on the idea that they can fit him under the salary cap with Anthony, but they’d have to get creative.

Regardless, Boozer’s days as a Bull are numbered. Is this a harbinger of bigger things to come? We’ll find out soon enough.

Is amnestying Boozer a sign that Chicago will ink Carmelo?

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