The New York Daily News reports of something that's been of great dispute this season and in years past. The report indicates the Bulls plan to trade Luol Deng, but more importantly, plan to use the amnesty provision they've kept since the 2011 CBA ratification to waive Carlos Boozer.
The Bulls' game-plan for the immediate future is coming into focus. League sources with knowledge of Chicago's plans say that they'll definitely be looking to deal Luol Deng before the Feb. 20 trading deadline. Deng is a free agent this summer and the Bulls don't want to pay him anything close to top dollar. The second part of their house-cleaning: They intend on using their amnesty move this coming summer to part ways with Carlos Boozer. Boozer is scheduled to make $16.8 million next season. As we reported earlier, Derrick Rose has caught wind of the plans and is none too thrilled about being part of a rebuilding project. Tom Thibodeau won't be very happy with it, either
That's a little surprising on a number of levels. Trading Boozer would be one thing. He's owed $16.8 million next season and that's a lot for a guy who will be 32 next season. He's averaging 14.6 points and 8.6 rebounds, but without knowing when or how Derrick Rose will return, the Bulls have to start hedging their bets.
But to amnesty him now has two major complications. One, it means the Bulls will still be on the hook for that $16.8 million next year, it just won't count against their cap. So if they put together a full roster by signing a major player to star next to Rose, it will be the same financially as if they were in the luxury tax. Second, why amnesty him with a single season left on the deal when you could have used it several seasons ago and conceivably built an even better team around Rose, and if not, at least a cheaper one?
Maybe it wasn't possible to do so with that money still being paid to Boozer, but it seems like a weird idea to just cut him with a year left on the max contract they signed him to in 2011.
Deng is a whole other matter, as reports have indicated that the team will both not trade the All-Star forward and that they are actively looking to deal him. Deng will be a free agent this summer and expressed frustration that he and the team failed to reach an agreement on an extension.