Apr 30, 2014, 11:07 AM EST
Does Carlos Boozer hold positive or negative value?
By that, I mean would any team absorb Boozer and his contract ($16.8 million next season and then expires) if the rules allowed? If yes, he has positive value. If not, he has negative value.
The answer could determine how the Bulls handle Boozer this summer.
You continue to hear rumbles that Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is adamantly against the idea of setting Boozer free via amnesty
Sources briefed on Chicago’s thinking say the Bulls are going to do everything they can to try to find a trading partner for Boozer before seriously considering the amnesty option.
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If Boozer has positive trade value, it shouldn’t be hard to find a taker – maybe even the Knicks in a sign-and-trade – if Chicago wants to free the cap room for Melo or any other free agent.
But if Boozer holds negative trade value, the choice becomes much more complicated.
Amnestying Boozer, if done to improve the team,* would be expensive. Reinsdorf would have to pay Boozer his $16.8 million salary and spend that freed money on a replacement. Essentially, he’d be paying double for one roster slot.
*Even if amnestied, Boozer’s salary paid by the Bulls would continue to count toward their salary floor. So, theoretically, they don’t have to spend money on a replacement. But then what’s the point? Why not just keep Boozer?
The alternative would be attaching a sweetener (a draft pick or player with positive value) to entice another team to take Boozer off Chicago’s hands.
The Bulls’ basketball people would surely prefer to amnesty Boozer. They don’t want to lose an asset to avoid paying him. His salary doesn’t come out of their checks.
But the bean counters might see it another way, preferring to save $16.8 million – and maybe even a little more by trading a first-round pick in the process.
If they can’t trade Boozer without attaching a sweetener, it might be up to the Bulls’ basketball people to persuade the bean counters the move is worthwhile despite the immediate added cost.
Maybe a marketable player like Melo helps the Bulls recoup that money.
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