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Report: Bulls, Raptors discuss Bargnani for Boozer trade; nothing imminent

Feb 7, 2013, 8:52 PM EDT

The Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer reacts to losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in their NBA basketball game in Chicago Reuters

UPDATE  8:52 pm: Aggrey Sam of of did some poking around and found out yes, the two sides did talk about a potential trade based around Andrea Bargnani for Carlos Boozer. But that is a long way from anything being close, Sam reports:

League sources have confirmed to that the discussions did indeed take place, but as one person with knowledge of the situation said, “There’s nothing to it. Nothing’s going on.”

However, another individual, who wasn’t authorized to speak on behalf of either team, believes the proposed deal–which would package Boozer and backup point guard Nate Robinson in exchange for Bargnani and former Bulls fan favorite John Lucas III–is still on the table, though Toronto is hesitant to take on the remaining salary on Boozer’s contract.

Basically, the Raptors don’t love this deal so they are going to keep looking around. They want to move Bargnani and if they can’t get a better offer they could come back around to this one. Maybe.

I’d still be shocked if the Bulls did it, personally. They should ride out Boozer for the rest of this year then amnesty him if the money is a concern.

6:40 pm: “Here, you take our problem and we’ll take yours.”

The Toronto Raptors are actively shopping Andrea Bargnani around and they may have found an interested party in the Chicago Bulls. Marc Stein at ESPN says that the two sides have had “exploratory trade discussions.”

From Chicago’s perspective, sources said, Bargnani’s arrival could help address their glaring lack of 3-point shooting and brighten the overall look of its payroll, given that the Italian forward makes $5 million less than Boozer this season. Despite his well-chronicled defensive deficiencies, Bargnani would figure to be an effective pick-and-roll partner for Derrick Rose, once Rose makes his expected return from knee surgery after the All-Star break….

Although Toronto’s desire to upgrade its front line is an open secret — as confirmed by their long-running interest in trading for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol before Gasol’s foot injury this week — it’s believed the luxury-tax implications of trading for Boozer could ultimately dissuade the Raptors from such a deal, even if Chicago proved willing.

Can you picture Tom Thibodeau trying to coach Bargnani? And doing it without committing a capital crime?

The Bulls are likely to amnesty Boozer this summer, so from a financial sense this trade makes some sense. The Boozer and Bargnani deals run the same length of time so the Bulls would save money going forward. But if this is really about saving money, why not just amnesty Boozer.

But the money is the only way, because on the court this is a huge Raptors win — Boozer is playing much, much better than Bargnani. Boozer is scoring 15.7 points a game with 9.6 rebounds a game, he is shooting 47.2 percent and has a PER of 17.3. Boozer was discussed as a possible All-Star. Bargnani is scoring 16 points a game but is shooting 39.8% percent and 31.9% from three. His PER this season is 12.4. He gives you no rebounding or defense.

If Bulls fans are frustrated with Boozer, wait until they get a load of Bargnani up close.

To me this deal doesn’t make a lot of sense either way — Toronto can’t afford it really (or shouldn’t) and the Bulls get measurably worse when they are still a potential contender with a healthy Derrick Rose.

But stranger things have happened. Bargnani was the No. 1 overall pick, overall.

  1. cantonbound13 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Boozer is having a good season, but why would you want that contract?

    • lmoneyfresh - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      Bargnani can shoot but can’t stay healthy or rebound. Seems like a weird trade scenario.

  2. dgilet1 - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    As a bulls fan ill take it only because we have taj Gibson who I feel is better than boozer. Plays better defense and can shoot a bit. Bargnani coming off the bench would be good but the keyyyyy is getting rid of boozers salary. We don’t have to amnesty him and we get a shooter on the bench. I wanted us to amnesty him last year and get nothing so a guy that can spread the floor isn’t a bad option considering

  3. michaeljordanseviltwin - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    As a Heat fan who feels threatened by the Bulls… PLEASE PLEASE make this deal. Get Bargnani and play him 48 minutes. That’ll definitely make you better Bulls. He plays greaaaat defense and rebounds allll the time.

  4. cfos00 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    As a Bulls fan, I would flat out hate this deal. This season hasn’t been the throw away season I thought it would be coming in, and Boozer not playing like the Boozer we had been used to seeing is a big reason why. He’s been really solid this season. If it’s just a cap dump, why bother? Just amnesty him like everyone expects. It makes no sense as a basketball move. This trade would just hurt the team.

    • bougin89 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      I absolutely agree with you. I’m not a Bulls fan but why take on Bargnani’s “better contract” when Boozer is playing well and you can amnesty him this offseason if needed?

    • mckaymatt - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      I think the problem with amnestying Boozer is the fact that they would have to pay the remainder of his contract minus whatever he signs on to another team with (with could be the minimum).

      I’m pretty sure I have heard reported before the reason they haven’t done it yet is because of not wanting to pay his contract and use the space to sign another high priced player.

      Not sure but I think that’s the reason they would rather trade Boozer than just amnesty him, and his value hasn’t been higher in Chicago which is why I don’t understand their interest in Bargs…I thought he would be a better fit in LA with D’Antoni’s offense rather than Chicago’s D styled team…

      • bougin89 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        I agree with what you said but I believe whatever contract Boozer gets(if he is amnestied) is on top of what his Bull’s contract was. If the Bulls amnesty him they owe him the full amount, not minus his new contract.

      • mckaymatt - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        Ok, yeah so either way Chicago doesn’t want to pay him and fill his cap space with more players (from multiple articles I read during the offseason on why the Bulls might not amnesty him). I guess they would probably only do it in a last resort type of situation but I think he has played well enough to stay.

        Chicago has a chance at doing well in the playoffs if Rose comes back and offers them anything, they have been playing extremely well and have had some guys step up. Trading Boozer for Bargs I feel would pretty much end those chances.

  5. mcjon22 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    To everyone saying ‘Just amnesty Boozer at the end of the year’, you have to pay him his contract in FULL, he just comes off the books. You get absolutely nothing in return for him. And the owner is CHEAP. You think he’s gonna cut Boozer a $30 mil check and than give Pax and Gar the green light to spend away? Nope.

    Make the trade, save the cap room, get a player & a pick in return. Taj is more than capable of picking up extra minutes and play defense

  6. escoboltsfan - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    They should trade Boozer to the Rockets for the expired contract of Steve Francis and a trade exemption and the future draft rights to a player from the Congo yet to be named.

  7. glink123 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    This is ignorant talk. Boozer has two years and $32 million left on his deal. Bargnani has two years and $22 million left on his deal. That’s a difference of only $5 million per year. Bargnani is averaging roughly 16 points and 4 rebounds per game, and shoots 39 percent from the floor. Boozer averages 16 points and 10 rebounds, and shoots 48 percent from the floor. The Bulls have ZERO interest in a 7 footer who shoots 29 percent from the 3 pt line, and won’t rebound. Morons. Exactly how many players in the league are averaging 16 and 10 and are shooting 48 percent or better? From that list, how many are making more than $14 million per year? That’s right. All of them. Boozer gets a bad rap, but the guy is guaranteed for 16 and 10 every single night. Plus you are forgetting that Reinsdorf will N-E-V-E-R pay someone $32 million to just walk away. There is NO way Boozer gets amnestied. None.

  8. glink123 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Every time I hear someone say Boozer’s contract is huge, I laugh. Here are some players averaging 16 and 10. Zach Randolph. David Lee. Josh Smith. LaMarcus Aldridge. They ALL have higher salaries than Boozer.

    • greenjade816 - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      you gotta be kidding me…
      of the four you mentioned only randolph has a higher salary than boozer.
      check espn player profile page bruh

    • abchome - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      Honestly I never understand the hate on Boozer. Heck! Pau Gasol is making $19m and more next year…

  9. glink123 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    by the way, best source of player contracts ever.

    • badintent - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      thanks , you da man !!

  10. 00maltliquor - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Makes hardly any sense for the Bulls.

  11. money2long - Feb 8, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    bargnani is better than everyone thinks.

    • mckaymatt - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      Um, no I don’t think he is. He probably isn’t as bad as some people think either. He is a pretty limited player though…He doesn’t really get to the line much, plays on the perimeter, has a good jump shot and range, but doesn’t rebound, defend or really make anyone better.

      If you are looking for a guy to contribute and offer scoring, he is basically a sixth man.I don’t think him being one of your three best players would equal you winning a championship. Top 10 scoring talent? Some years but when you don’t offer anything else you’re one of many…If the Raptors could make this trade they would be ecstatic, and if they hadn’t already traded for Gay’s contract I imagine they would be pushing to get this guy out of town so they could watch him go to another team and be their problem. I don’t think he sucks but he definitely is not a difference maker.

  12. wallyschwetz - Feb 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Bottom line is how does Boozer play when DRose is on the floor? Pretty bad. Always in the way. At least Bargnani will be in a corner spotting up for a 3 and not clogging the lane. No D Boozer to no D Bargnani, but I dont think there is a worse defender than Boozer and this is a defensive team. So tired of this 6’9 should be thumper power forward flinging up those rainbow jumpers and laying up the ball and not dunking around the rim.
    Boozer was a bailout for Paxson for believing he had a shot at Wade, LeBron and Bosh. Nobody can say he ever really worked out and definitely has not been worth a max contract. This might be the only chance to get rid of him without paying him his amnesty. Once Rose returns, his value is gonna fall because he will be back to averaging 12 and 6.

  13. dna5ty - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    lets give former #1 picks a chance…bogut, bargnani…dhow……oden…..errr..uh oh.

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