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Bulls release Carlos Boozer using amnesty clause

Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, center, looks for a way to the basket against Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts, left, while Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker looks on. Photo: AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, center, looks for a way to the basket against Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts, left, while Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker looks on.

The Bulls released power forward Carlos Boozer via the amnesty clause on Tuesday.

Boozer, 32, was set to enter the final season of a five-year, $75 million contract that he signed as a free agent in 2010. Chicago will still pay Boozer his $16.8 million salary, but that figure will now be removed from the Bulls' salary cap sheet.

“Carlos epitomized professionalism in everything he did for the Bulls both on the court, and in the community, during his time here in Chicago,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said in a statement. “Over the last four seasons, Carlos’ productivity helped elevate our team to another level.  I have nothing but respect for Carlos, and certainly wish him the best as he moves forward.”

The 2002 second-round pick and two-time All-Star will enter an amnesty bidding pool, in which all teams with open cap space can place blind bids to claim him. If no bids are placed, Boozer would become an unrestricted free agent.

Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 76 starts last season, but coach Tom Thibodeau generally preferred to play Taj Gibson over Boozer down the stretch of games. 

Releasing Boozer will facilitate the signings of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls also released Lou Amundson, Ronnie Brewer and Mike James on Tuesday.

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