Carlos Boozer: 'I Will Be Traded'
The thrust of Boozer's appearance on a Chicago-based show emphasizes the current conventional wisdom, that the Bulls would be the best depot for the Booz Train to pull into. It will, of course, be tricky, as Utah needs to expunge salary while earning even a minor, minor prize in the swap. The Bulls are well over the cap this season, so a third team must get involved. Who could it be?
Mind you, this is all beyond hypotheticals -- Bulls management has not exactly shown a willingness to take this current roster to the threshold of risk. You may remember a fellow named Ben Gordon, who is now employed by one of Chicago's rivals without so much as a legit offer from the team who drafted and paid the kid for five years. For better or worse, management has cast its lot with 2010 and all its glamorous danger. But for the sake of those extrahypothetical hypotheticals, let's imagine the Bulls do want to capture Boozer now.
The Portland scenario has been discussed, in which the Blazers love Kirk Hinrich as no one but Dorothy Hinrich does. The Blazers, with cap space once Utah matches the Paul Millsap offer, as Utah will almost assuredly do at precisely six days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds after Millsap signed the Portland offer sheet, could take Hinrich, while the Bulls land Boozer and give up the cheapest possible asset (perhaps Taj Gibson, delaying the officiality of the deal until August -- or Anthony Roberson) to either Utah or Portland. That would work ...
... unless you think the bad blood from L'Affair Millsap -- on Utah's side due to Portland's highly cantankerous offer sheet structure, and on Portland's side for waiting until the last minute to sign -- as well as division/conference rivalry will upset the personal balance needed to pull off these sort of blockbuster trades. I think these are men who are professional, and I think it can get done if it needs to get done.
But there are other options for Chicago and Utah to turn toward. Like Sacramento, Memphis or Oklahoma City, who all sit on cap space. Portland's the easiest friend in cap terms, but all three young rosters could be willing to help the Bulls get a post scorer while helping Utah get out of trouble.
You also must wonder what this all means for Mr. Tyrus Thomas, who is the incumbent starting power forward in Chicago, and is eligible for a contract extension (to which Luol Deng and the aforementioned Mr. Gordon offer a hearty guffaw) this summer. Don't be surprised if the hypothetical Boozer trade includes a T.T. eviction by trade.