NBA free agency will begin on the first day of July with some teams around the league are already prepping to shape their roster more than a month in advance.
The Chicago Bulls may be one of the teams ready to mix things up this summer after finishing a disappointing season losing to the up-and-coming Washington Wizards in the first round of the playoffs.
As Chicago gets ready for next year, a few notable players might not return for next season, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls are reportedly getting ready to use their amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer:
Despite general manager Gar Forman insisting that a decision to seek amnesty on the last season of Boozer’s contract ‘‘doesn’t have to be made until July,’’ sources indicated at the end of the Bulls’ season that a decision already had been made and that Boozer wouldn’t be returning.
Also, rumors have started to circulate around Chicago that Taj Gibson would receive the role as the starting power forward next season. With this change in the lineup, it seems unlikely that Boozer would be content coming off the bench for the Bulls.
The 32-year-old has one more season on his contract for $16.8 million. Boozer being amnestied by the Bulls would free up cap space giving the team more flexibility to pursue big-name free agents this summer like Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol.
If the Lakers were interested in the 11-year veteran, they would have to submit an amnesty waiver claim and pay a portion of his salary. It was also noted last month that Boozer’s agent Rob Pelinka, who also represents Kobe Bryant, could play a role in the Lakers’ pursuit of Chicago’s big man.
This past season, Boozer only averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in 29.2 minutes.
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