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Bulls Grabbed Carlos Boozer Without Giving Nets A Chance To Match

This morning’s breaking news that free agent power forward Carlos Boozer would be a Chicago Bull caught a lot of fans by surprise, given how quickly it came down after Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh announced they were headed to the Miami Heat togther.

Turns it, it wasn’t just fans who were caught off guard. So were executives for the New Jersey Nets, who were in competition with the Bulls for Boozer’s services.

Dave D’Allesandro of explains that Nets president Rod Thorn made a $75 million offer for Boozer on Wednesday afternoon and was expecting a call back from Boozer’s agent to continue negotiations. But the call never came.

Two hours later, the Nets learned — with no warning and no recourse — that Boozer signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Chicago Bulls.

"They never gave us a chance to match, which we probably would have done," said the official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for the team. "We didn’t even get a chance to meet."

New Jersey’s loss is Chicago’s gain. Boozer ensures the Bulls do not leave 2010 free agency empty-handed.