Bulls set to clear around $13m in cap space as star duo join up with the team.
The Chicago Bulls have waived forward Carlos Boozer using the amnesty provision in order to clear cap space to sign both Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic.
While the Bulls had until midnight on Wednesday to notify the 32-year-old, they informed him of their decision on Tuesday and will now still owe him the $16.8m left on his salary this season.
Although it won’t count against their salary cap, it was believed that franchise owner Jerry Reinsdorf was keen to avoid such a situation, but it is clear that if the Bulls are to be competitive next season then they needed to reshuffle the roster.
Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, and while that is still respectable production, he received criticism from fans and rarely played in fourth quarters with coach Tom Thibodeau preferring to utilise the much-improved Taj Gibson.
As a result, the writing had appeared to be on the wall for some time, but he remained respectful in his message on Twitter: “Wanna say thank you to the Bulls organization!!! Thank you for the last four years!!!”.
By adding both Gasol and Mirotic the Bulls appear to be genuine contenders next season, with Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Gibson forming the core of the team as their front-court is arguably one of the strongest in the league as a whole.
There is also the hope that point guard Derrick Rose will remain healthy after successfully recovering from a second serious knee injury in the past three years, while rookie Doug McDermott, Tony Snell and veteran Kirk Hinrich will all contribute next season.
Meanwhile, Gasol is expected to sign a three-year deal worth more than $22m and Mirotic will likely put pen to paper on a three-year worth over $18m.
As for Boozer, teams with salary-cap space can bid to acquire the veteran in a blind auction, and the highest bid will sign him with the bid amount deducted from what Chicago will have to pay him.