Yesterday the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers made a franchise changing deal for both teams. Chicago traded away Luol Deng to the Cavaliers for three draft picks and perennially disappointing center Andrew Bynum, who will likely be cut promptly upon his arrival in Chicago. This is the first step of a process to clear salary cap space and rebuild the Bulls to be competitive when their oft-injured superstar Derrick Rose returns from his second season ending injury in the past two years. The next step of the process for the Bulls could be to use their amnesty clause to get the very expensive Carlos Boozer off of their books for next season, which would allow them even more roster flexibility in the upcoming off-season.
If Boozer is amnestied the Knicks should do everything within their power to lure the 32 year old big man to New York. Boozer reminds me of a younger version of veteran players such as Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby that the Knicks have brought in in recent years to provide grit and leadership off the bench. Like them, Boozer is a hard-nosed veteran big man who does his best work at the defensive end of the floor, on the boards, and with intangibles; exactly what the current Knicks roster lacks. The Knicks could also desperately use a big man to spell Tyson Chandler without completely mortgaging the defensive end of the floor, or to play alongside him when they face a team such as the Indiana Pacers, which is not the case when they allow Andrea Bargnani to play the 5 in Chandler’s absence.
Boozer has had a solid career. His career averages of 16.8 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game would be a welcomed addition to many teams, but I don’t think there’s a team that longs for what Boozer can provide more than the Knicks. The Knicks currently sit second to last in the entire NBA in team rebounding and have the third highest shooting percentage against down low. Boozer would be a big upgrade on the glass and around the rim.
Whether or not the Knicks could afford to bring in Boozer for the remainder of the season, or longer, financially remains to be seen because there will be many teams interested in him if he becomes available but for the Knicks to fail to inquire about the former Duke standout would be a huge mistake.
(all stats via NBA.com)