The Toronto Raptors aren’t hanging their gloves just yet. After getting a dose of the trading high, landing small forward Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies, the team up north are at it again. This time they’ve taken on the unthinkable: they’re exploring the possibility of trading for Carlos Boozer. Yes, the same Carlos Boozer who was said to be “untradeable.”
With a $16.8 million salary for the 2014-2015 season, Boozer was long considered as unmova-bull (sorry), as Chicago’s franchise player Derrick Rose. Of course, not for the same reasons. The Bulls at least where in a position to amnesty the ex-Utah Jazz―any team taking on his hefty contract wouldn’t have that option―but they have announced that they won’t be pursuing that option.
The rumored trade would put Boozer and fill-in point guard Nate Robinson in a Raptors uniform, and send Andrea Bargnani and ex-Bull John Lucas III to deep-dish pizza mecca. The Raptors have not denied that the deal is ‘on the table,’ but have taken a conservative approach to the remaining padding on Boozer’s contract.
Despite a rejuvenated year from Boozer, and a strong year from Robinson, it’s reported that the Bulls were the ones who offered the scenario. The trade would open a $5 million chunk of room in Bulls salary, which would give them options to reload the roster upon Derrick’s return.
Which takes us back to the amnesty talk. Just as any team who would take on Boozer would be robbed of the possibility of an amnesty, if the Bulls take on Bargnani they wouldn’t be able to ship him off after. That would hurt their chances of taking on any other quality players available on the market down the road, and might impede their chances of keeping Deng.
Bargnani would help the Bull’s three-point shooting woes (slightly), and would certainly open up the floor for Rose to penetrate the paint, but it would boil down to a Deng-Boozer-Robinson trade for a seven-footer who can’t rebound or defend.
Not the kind of moves the Bulls can make if they’re to dethrone the Heat, or if they want to surround Rose with talent that’s on par with his.