The three-team deal reported last week by ESPN.com that would have brought Carlos Boozer to the Bulls is essentially dead, but that doesn't necessarily mean Boozer won't end up in Chicago.
During a radio appearance on the "Waddle and Silvy" show on WMVP-AM (1000) this morning, Boozer said he was informed by the Utah Jazz that he will be traded soon.
"If I did get traded to the Bulls, I'd love to be in Chicago," Boozer said. "They've got great talent with Derrick Rose and a lot of good talent around him."
Although the ESPN.com report had the Bulls giving up Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas, the cost of trading for Boozer likely will be a lot less than that.
The Jazz, which already has more than $73 million in salary commitments for the upcoming season, is desperate to unload Boozer's $12.7 million salary and there aren't many teams willing to take on a big contract right now.
The Bulls might be able to swing a deal with an offer of Tyrus Thomas ($4.7 million) and the expiring contract of Jerome James ($6.6 million). That exchange would save the Jazz roughly $1.3 million and get them closer to the luxury-tax threshold of $69.92 million.
Of course, that deal also would put the Bulls over the luxury-tax threshold, but there are other ways they could get under the number before they'd have to pay out the dollar-for-dollar penalty.
That proposal also wouldn't affect the Bulls' flexibility moving forward. Boozer's contract expires after this season, so they still could be major players in next summer's potentially blockbuster free-agent class if they don't believe the power forward is a long-term solution.
But even if they re-sign Boozer, the Bulls still would be capable of getting enough under the salary cap to sign a significant free agent.
"We'll see what happens," Boozer said. "I'd love to be part of the Chicago Bulls, but it's up to the Jazz."