The Chicago Bulls have been quite adamant that they intend to keep Luol Deng and re-sign him this season, despite the fact that the All-Star forward has been in a lot of trade rumors in the last year or so. However, with Derrick Rose once again out for the season and the 2013-14 campaign essentially down the drain for Chicago, the team will reportedly look to hit the reset button. New York Daily News report that the Bulls will look into moving Deng and also plan to amnesty Carlos Boozer next summer.
The Bulls’ game-plan for the immediate future is coming into focus. League sources with knowledge of Chicago’s plans say that they’ll definitely be looking to deal Luol Deng before the Feb. 20 trading deadline. Deng is a free agent this summer and the Bulls don’t want to pay him anything close to top dollar. The second part of their house-cleaning: They intend on using their amnesty move this coming summer to part ways with Carlos Boozer. Boozer is scheduled to make $16.8 million next season. As we reported earlier, Derrick Rose has caught wind of the plans and is none too thrilled about being part of a rebuilding project. Tom Thibodeau won’t be very happy with it, either.
This sounds a little surprising but it does make sense on some levels. First of all, Deng is probably going to demand a pretty big contract which will stretch into his thirties. With little certainty around Rose’s future and all the mileage on Deng’s body, it could be a risky move. At the same time, if the Bulls decide that they want to move forward without Deng, they might as well look to cash in on what remains of his value.
If the Bulls amnesty Boozer and get rid of Deng they would have a little bit of cap space next summer, but not quite enough to find quality replacements for their current starters.