Chicago Bulls: Why Bulls Should Use Amnesty Clause on Carlos Boozer
The amnesty clause gives NBA owners the right to erase one bad contract from their books to adjust to the new salary cap. This removes 100 percent of a player's salary from cap and tax purposes.
The player will then be put on waivers and bid on by teams under the salary cap. The highest bidder pays that portion of the contract while the former team pays the remainder without worrying about salary cap and tax ramifications.
Boozer would be the perfect player for the Bulls to unload. Here's why.
Carlos Boozer Is Unreliable to Chicago Bulls
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Carlos Boozer is unreliable to the Chicago Bulls for many reasons.
Boozer, 30, is severely injury prone. The Duke product has missed 169 games during his nine-year career, or a little more than two full seasons.
During the 2010-11 Bulls' season, Boozer missed 23 games due to injury. He broke his right hand before the season by "tripping over" his gym bag and missed 15 games.
Injuries are not the only liability with Boozer. The Bulls have to worry about Boozer's conditioning, as the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson said Boozer appeared to be out of shape.
Boozer also does not defend well and misses many easy layups and short jumpers, which drives Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau crazy.
Carlos Boozer Didn't Deliver in the Playoffs
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The Chicago Bulls brought in Carlos Boozer to be a difference maker, especially in the playoffs.
Well, all Boozer did last postseason was disappoint the Bulls organization, his teammates and the fans.
Forwards Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster of the Indiana Pacers physically manhandled Boozer. The two Pacers made Boozer really ineffective inside, as he was held to 10 points a game on 35.8% shooting.
The Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford also did a great job in containing Boozer, as the Bulls forward only got 13.3 points a game. Boozer's lone breakout game was a 23-point, 10-rebound performance in Game 6.
Boozer should have done better against the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem, but Boozer could not defend them well or score at all. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau thought Boozer's play was so abysmal that he elected to play backup Taj Gibson major minutes, including the fourth quarter in Game 5.
If Boozer was supposed to be point guard Derrick Rose's wingman, he didn't show it in the playoffs. Boozer finished the postseason averaging 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting only 43.3%.
Taj Gibson Is a Better Player Than Carlos Boozer
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While Carlos Boozer was injured last year with a broken right hand, backup power forward Taj Gibson stepped up and performed admirably for the Chicago Bulls.
Gibson, 26, had nine games with 11 or more points, averaged six boards a game and had 21 blocks, which was three more than Boozer had the entire season.
Gibson is a better defender who is quicker to the ball and can give the opposing shooter some fits with his stealing and blocking abilities.
He also shows more aggressiveness around the rim than Boozer, as his fast-break dunk over Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade testifies.
While Boozer is sluggish around the rim and off the ball, Gibson has more energy and is more fundamentally sound.
If the Bulls unloaded Boozer, Gibson would easily transition into the starting lineup, and Chicago would not miss a step.
Cutting Carlos Boozer Frees Up a Lot of Money
The Chicago Bulls quickly signed up Carlos Boozer in 2010 to try to entice LeBron James to the team.
That didn't work.
This panic-induced signing resulted in the Bulls overpaying for Boozer. While most experts thought Boozer could go for $10 to $12 million a year, the Bulls broke the bank wide open and signed him to a five-year, $76-million deal.
While Boozer is a good player, he isn't "The Man" on the Bulls and isn't worth superstar money.
The Bulls are already paying Luol Deng and Joakim Noah eight-figure salaries, and they will shortly add Derrick Rose to that list with $15 million or more a year.
All those contracts tie the Bulls' hands in making a much-needed change for a shooting guard.
If the Bulls amnesty Boozer, they will get out of his monstrous contract and not miss a beat because of their deep frontcourt.
The Bulls would also have more money to acquire a scoring shooting guard like Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Marcus Thornton, who could be difference maker the Bulls lacked last postseason.