- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CHICAGO | Carlos Boozer is headed to the Chicago Bulls.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the two-time All-Star forward agreed to a deal on Wednesday and is leaving the Utah Jazz after six seasons. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the contract doesn’t become official until Thursday, did not reveal the terms.

Boozer becomes the latest chip to fall on a day when Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh confirmed they will play in Miami next season.

The jewel of this star-studded free-agent class, LeBron James, is still out there. While everyone awaits his announcement on Thursday night, the Bulls at least know they’re not coming away empty-handed after landing Boozer.

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.

Adding Boozer strengthens their standing in the Eastern Conference and maybe makes them more attractive to James.

Boozer averaged 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds last season. His 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 this. 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.

Cleveland, which 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 dollar contract as a restricted free agent that Cleveland chose not to match.

Jim Paxson is now a Bulls‘ consultant and scout.

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