Take a deep breath, Chicago Bulls fans.
Carlos Boozer may not be going anywhere after the 2013-14 season, despite the many rumors to the contrary that have popped up for what seems like years now. Even though the Bulls could save themselves a lot of money by using the amnesty clause on Boozer's contract over the summer, that might not be happening.
Craig Sager reported as much during the TNT broadcast of Chicago's final pre-All-Star-break game (h/t Blogabull.com):
Although Carlos Boozer started all 46 games he has played this year, he is down to a career low 2.8 minutes in the 4th quarter. And after Luol Deng was traded to Cleveland earlier this year, Boozer began to wonder about his own future with the team. He told me tonight that he has been assured that he will not be traded by next week's deadline, nor will the team buy out the final year of his contract this summer unless they can land a superstar which is too good to pass up.
I can buy the lack of trading options, but assuming Sager meant to say "amnesty" instead of "buy out," how does that make sense? Boozer is set to earn $16.8 million during the 2014-15 season, according to ShamSports.com, and he comes nowhere close to justifying that type of contract.
Superstar or not—and Nikola Mirotic doesn't count as a superstar—the Bulls would be best off if they wiped his salary off the books. And as BullsBlogger writes, "The 'superstar' line would have one believe they'd only desire cap space if they could land Carmelo Anthony, or perhaps any of the three Heat stars also opting out of their contracts this summer."
Basketball-Reference shows that Chicago scores three fewer points per 100 possessions when Boozer is on the court, and his defense—or lack thereof—isn't making up for the difference. The Bulls allow an additional 3.5 points over the same time frame when the power forward is playing.
Amazingly enough, this is an improvement upon last year's numbers.
So obviously, Chicago should keep an overpaid player who makes the team worse on both ends of the floor. Granted, management will be responsible for paying Boozer, whether he's amnestied or not.
But isn't it far better to fill up the cap space with players who can, you know, actually make the team better?