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Bulls agree to a five-year, $75 million deal with Carlos Boozer, may have bought their way back into the LeBron sweepstakes

Jul 7, 2010, 4:27 PM EDT

UPDATE 5:47 PM: According to the Bulls’ website, Boozer’s deal will be worth about $75 million (via Mark Deeks/Sham Sports).

UPDATE 5:38 PM: According to Sam Amick of NBA FanHouse, a league source claims that Boozer’s deal is less than the reported $80 million, but no clarified value has been given yet.

5:27 PM: The Bulls are clearly prepared to move on without LeBron James, although they’ll still leave a light in on in case he wants to play in Chi-town. According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Bulls have agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with power forward Carlos Boozer. However, it’s particularly notable that Boozer’s sub-max offer still leaves enough cap room for one max salary deal. LeBron James had supposedly narrowed down his choices to Miami and Cleveland, but Boozer’s addition in Chicago could be enough to catch the corner of James’ eye.

However, as our own Kurt Helin and I noted earlier, the road to prosperity doesn’t have to go through LeBron, even if he happens to be one hell of a navigator. James is the big prize, and would be the best usage of Chicago’s remaining cap space. However, if LeBron is convinced that Cleveland, Miami, or New York would present a better opportunity, the Bulls will still be competitive as they are. Add some shooting to the mix, and this Chicago team has the potential to be something rather special.

Even though Tom Thibodeau will have his hands full in making Boozer a competent defender, Carlos’ addition provides a nice offensive counter to Joakim Noah’s defense. The Rose-Boozer pick-and-roll should be an effective staple, and the balance a high-scoring power forward will bring to Chicago’s overall floor game should make a substantial impact.

However, it’s a bit fruitless to analyze the Bulls’ offense until we see the complete picture. Like I said, this move is only a precursor of others to come. LeBron is clearly options A, B, and C, but there are a number of directions Chicago can go from here. Say what you will about Boozer, but he’s a productive 4, a good fit, and a hell of a selling point for the remaining free agents.

  

  1. Zack - Jul 7, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    I guess durability is only a concern when a player goes to NY.

  2. Scott @ WFNY - Jul 7, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Sam Smith’s report says 5/$75, FWIW

  3. Bob - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Dear LeBron,
    Please come to Coach K court NORTH.

  4. Bob - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Ha ha ha (next up is Redick) – Yeah right. He’s not leaving Cleveland for Chicago. If he’s going anywhere, it’s to NYC or MIA.

  5. Phil - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Good luck Chicago. You should get a good 150 games or so of lackluster defense from him over his 5 year deal. And 80 of those games will be in his final contract year.

  6. Ojibway Bob - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    I think LeBron should mess everyone up and sign with Toronto….
    IT COULD HAPPEN!!!!

  7. Sea-town - Jul 7, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    I think LeBron tells the NBA commish he’s quitting unless he gets to start his own franchise in Seattle. If only….

  8. kevin - Jul 7, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Is there anyone monitoring these comments. NBC or whoever owns this site needs to delete the racist comments and obscene language.

  9. ted - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Hey John (aka KKK) Are you really that moronic?

  10. kevin - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Hey, NBC. Take down the racist comment.

  11. kevin from nyc - Jul 8, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    Honestly, I think Chicago would be his best fit. If he goes to Miami he is just following Wade. If he stays in Cleveland, he may never get a championship. The Knicks with D’Antoni is a mistake. Stoudemire will be another over the hill player brought to the Garden to fill seats. (See Greatzie, Spencer Haywood, McAdoo, etc). Forget it, Goto Chicago and win a championship.

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