Mere hours after Chris Bosh committed to the Miami Heat, the Bulls secured their consolation prize – locking in Carlos Boozer to a long-term deal.
Carlos Boozer is the latest domino to fall, agreeing to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, a source close to the negotiations told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher on Wednesday.
Boozer follows agreements by premier free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, Amare Stoudemire with the Knicks and Joe Johnson in Atlanta.
The 5-year, $80 million contract equates to an average of $16 million per season. For Boozer, it was approximately $11.4 million short of the maximum.
Boozer represents a nice back-up option for the Bulls. He’s certainly not to be mistaken with a member of the Trifecta, but he’s an ambidextrous scorer at the rim and a fierce rebounder at both ends of the floor. Of course, he’s also a man who has missed the season opener in three of his eight NBA seasons, and one who doesn’t much like to defend.
One can’t help but take notice at how his contact breaks out. It was likely structured with the maximum 8.0% annual raises, which would make his 2010/11 salary $13,793,103. That’s not a random number. The Bulls now have committed salaries totaling $36,644,079, enough, after incorporating roster charges, for a full maximum contract player (with $45,389 to spare at current cap projections).
LeBron’s mind is likely already made up. Anecdotal evidence suggests he has chosen Miami, the third part of the coveted holy trinity. If there remains any doubt, however, the Boozer addition in Chicago could make things interesting.