Carlos Boozer is now in the spotlight after being amnestied by his team of four years, the Chicago Bulls.
Teams are allowed to use the amnesty clause one time over the course of the collective bargaining agreement, and the Bulls have chosen to remove Boozer to create their needed cap space. Boozer had been number one on the chopping block to be able to bring in ex Laker power forward/center Paul Gasol and power forward Nikola Mirotic.
Under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, there is a 48-hour waiver process in which teams can bid for Boozer; the highest bidder takes him home.
The Bulls are still required to pay the difference between the player’s current salary and whatever he signs for with another team. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf did not want to have to pay Boozer, and would have preferred to trade him instead, but there were no takers.
All of this has lead to now.
Rumors have been swirling on where 32 year old power forward Boozer should head to next.
Here are the top contenders.
The Charlotte Hornets are one of the top teams rumored to be a perfect fit for Boozer.
They still have cap space flexibility and are actively looking to complete their team. They are looking to win, so they need the right players on their roster.
If they play their cards right, they could end up back in the playoffs again next season. The Hornets made it to the playoffs last season, but were defeated by the Heat 4-0 in the first round.
Boozer would be replacing Josh McRoberts, who just signed a four-year deal with the Miami Heat.
This “on-the-rise” franchise is chasing big-name players.
Like the Hornets, they also have money to spend, and are looking to spend it on someone with the skill to take them one step further.
After their agreements with Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore went through, we have not heard any movement from the Hawks. They were in hot pursuit of Luol Deng, but Deng just finalized his agreement with the Miami Heat.
Perhaps they will have more success in the blind bidding for Boozer.
Undoubtedly the easiest adjustment for Boozer, considering Milwaukee is so close to Chicago.
Ilyasova did not have the hottest season last year, and the other three are still young and growing, so the Bucks would benefit greatly from an experienced player like Boozer.
The Suns have almost $30 million in cap space and are still searching for a starting power forward.
The team lost Channing Frye, their star starting power forward, to the Orlando Magic.
The Sun’s defensive game is nothing to write home about, and neither is Boozer’s, but he could definitely contribute to the team’s offensive game. Offensively Boozer has proven his strength on the court, and he could serve as a teacher to the Suns’ young players.
The Lakers have recently shown us they have money to blow, and nothing’s stopping them from blowing it.
In the past few days they have resigned shooting guard/small forward Nick Young in a four year $21.5 million contract, and center/power forward Jordan Hill in a two year $18 million contract. Both are two of their most promising players.
The Lakers also acquired Jeremy Lin, also known as “Linsanity.”
The LA team is hustling in the anticipation of losing their beloved super-star, Kobe Bryant. Kobe had signed a two-year contract extension at the start of the 2013-2014 season, but knee injuries caused him to lose playing time.
The Lakers might possibly have a better season next season than they did this past season if they can sign Boozer. The team can no longer rest on Kobe, so they need other promising players to help push them ahead.
After the inevitable loss of their star player LeBron James, the Heat have been working hard to rebuild their team, and so far, things are looking good.
But the Heat are not done yet; they are very open with the fact their are looking to build a championship-worthy team, with Wade taking his spot as lead player once again.
Boozer is also rumored to have expressed interest in playing with the Miami Heat.