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Carlos Boozer goes to the Bulls, 5-yrs/$80M


Updated: July 7, 2010, 6:59 PM ET

Source: Boozer has Bulls deal

ESPN.com news services

Carlos Boozer is the latest domino to fall in NBA free agency, agreeing to a five-year deal with the Chicago Bulls, a source close to the negotiations told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher on Wednesday.

Various sources told ESPN.com that the contract will be for between $75 million and $80 million.

Boozer's deal follows agreements by premier free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, Amare Stoudemire with the Knicks and Joe Johnson in Atlanta.

With about $30 million in salary-cap room, the Bulls were looking to make a big splash in free agency after back-to-back first-round playoff exits.

The Bulls are still in the running for LeBron James, who is going to make an announcement Thursday on ESPN. Chicago has enough cap space to take on a max contract, and a source close to Boozer said he is going to reach out to James about joining him in Chicago.

Adding a two-time All-Star in Boozer could make the Bulls more attractive to James.

Boozer averaged 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for the Utah Jazz last season, his sixth with the team. In his eight-year career, he has averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest.

Boozer's name has come up in trade discussions involving the Bulls numerous times over the past few years. They nearly traded for him last summer in a deal that would have sent Ty Thomas to Utah.

Boozer's arrival gives the Bulls a formidable pair in the frontcourt with Joakim Noah, not to mention a good pick-and-roll partner for All-Star point guard Derrick Rose.

There is some irony to the deal. Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson's brother, Jim, was Cleveland's general manager when Boozer left the Cavaliers following the 2003-04 season.

The Cavs, who could have exercised a one-year option after Boozer's second season, thought they had a six-year, $41 million agreement in place and let him hit the market. Boozer wound up accepting a six-year, $68 million contract as a restricted free agent, but Cleveland chose not to match the Jazz's offer.

Jim Paxson is now a Bulls consultant and scout.

Entry #2,833


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