The Chicago Bulls are still alive in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, but the team's abrupt injury-induced fall from the top overall seed in the postseason to the brink of first round elimination has kickstarted speculation among fans about what to expect in the coming offseason. With reigning MVP Derrick Rose and fellow All-Star Luol Deng slated to miss time at the beginning of the 2012-2013 campaign due to the same injuries that have helped bury Chicago's championship aspirations this season, the Bulls won't be expected to be the same juggernaut they proved to be during head coach Tom Thibodeau's first two years in town.
One often discussed strategy for creating cap space to add another high-level player has the Bulls exercising their amnesty option on beleaguered power forward Carlos Boozer, who signed a 5-year, $75 million contract in the summer of 2010. While fans may be hoping it's true, Chicago Tribune beat writer K.C. Johnson told WSCR 670 there is "zero percent chance" the Bulls will cut Boozer after this season.
On Game 5, Johnson added:
"I've never seen anything like this: just the feeling of [going into the playoffs after an injury-ridden season as the top seed] and to fall in such a short time," Johnson said. "We all know this has a funeral feel to it, but I'm really fascinated to see this game because you can't get past the fact that Philadelphia isn't that good.
"I know the Bulls look like they are done and it feels like they're done and they're acting like they're done, it'll be interesting to see what they come with Tuesday night because, no matter what they are trying to do in terms of how poor they're playing, Philadelphia can't run away and hide."
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