Bulls GM Gar Forman on Carlos Boozer amnesty: Maybe or maybe not
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter April 30, 2014 9:46PM
Updated: May 16, 2014 11:37PM
Maybe it was an oversight by coach Tom Thibodeau after the first-round elimination by the Wizards late Tuesday night, but he spent almost three minutes raving about the Bulls’ fight and singling out all the performances that went above what was asked.
But Carlos Boozer wasn’t mentioned.
Boozer again refused to talk to the media Wednesday at the Berto Center after meeting with general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson.
His silence comes at a time when talk of an impending amnesty is heating up. Boozer is set to make $16.8 million next season, so the roster flexibility Forman often speaks of would start with getting Boozer’s salary off the cap. The Bulls would still pay Boozer but not take the cap hit.
“There’s been a lot written about that,’’ Forman said. “Carlos has had a big part in our success the last four years. Obviously, we still have the amnesty as an option that we haven’t used that a lot of teams have. That’s something, as we go into July, we’ll have to evaluate. If it’s something that makes sense as far as getting our team stronger, we may go that way. But we also may not go that way.’’
Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in the regular season but came up small in the playoffs (9.6 points, 7.8 rebounds), so if he’s back in a Bulls uniform next season, something likely went terribly wrong in rebuilding the roster.
“Those decisions, you know, they haven’t been made,’’ Thibodeau said.
When asked about Boozer shrinking in the playoffs, he said, “You’re not going to put it on any one guy.’’
The Bulls admitted that Derrick Rose started taking contact in practice the last week, but D.J. Augustin downplayed how much contact was actually taking place.
“He did a little offensive stuff with us,’’ Augustin said. “It wasn’t like a real practice, but he looked good.’’
Forman wasn’t ruling out that free agent-to-be Kirk Hinrich could return next season. “There are so many different ways this summer can go, depending on some of the decisions we make,’’ Forman said. “We value Kirk. . . . So it would be our goal that we have Kirk back, also.’’
Joakim Noah said his right knee was good and would be re-evaluated, and Taj Gibson’s left ankle injury didn’t appear to be serious.