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It would be hard to make a case that Carlos Boozer is earning every dime he makes in every minute of every game. At the same time, there have been far more ridiculous contracts than his in the grand scheme of things.
In actuality, Boozer’s contract isn’t great, but it’s not that bad. Players who were paid more than him but were amnestied include Rashard Lewis, Elton Brand and Gilbert Arenas.
Then there were the players who didn’t play or hardly played because they were hurt, such as Derrick Rose, Andrew Bynum and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Then there were those who played but weren’t as productive. As measured by win shares, Boozer outperformed Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay, who all made more money than Boozer.
There are a wide range of bad contracts, and on that spectrum, Boozer’s is less awful than most.
A team can do a lot worse than get 16 points and 10 rebounds a game from a player, and it is going to have difficulty finding such output for the NBA veteran’s minimum or at the mid-level exception, which is all the Bulls would get if they amnesty Boozer.
He might not earn $15 million, but he does earn about half of that, which you can’t replace with $5 million.