When the Chicago Bulls signed free agent power forward Carlos Boozer during the summer of 2010, numerous fans, myself included, were incredibly exited. The reason for all the excitement was that Boozer gave the Bulls something that they had been lacking for years: a consistent low-post scoring threat.
As a scoring threat, Boozer has done perfectly fine in his three and half seasons with the Bulls. It has been his inadequate play on the defensive end that has kept him out of some fans’ good graces.
Earlier this week Carlos Boozer did something that no Chicago Bull has ever done; call out head coach Tom Thibodeau. The reason Boozer is upset is that fellow power forward Taj Gibson is playing the entire fourth quarter in the Bulls’ recent games while Boozer watches from the bench.
Taj Gibson playing a majority of the minutes in the fourth quarter is nothing new to Bulls’ fans but Boozer sitting on the bench the entire quarter is a new trend. Personally I agree with the move as I firmly believe that Gibson is turning into the superior player. However, if Boozer continues to grow continually disgruntled, keeping him on the roster for the remainder of the season may prove detrimental to this team’s playoff chances.
The most logical way for the Chicago Bulls to get Boozer’s massive contract off their hands is to use their amnesty clause this offseason. By using the amnesty clause the Bulls will be able to take Boozer’s almost 16 million dollar salary off their books so it will not count against their salary cap. They will still have to pay Boozer the money that they owe him but the cap space they will gain will definitely be worth it.
Ideally the Bulls can get rid of Boozer before the season is over but the likelihood of that actually happening is not all that great.
Any trade this season involving Boozer would probably be very similar to the Luol Deng trade in that the Bulls would receive very little in return. Boozer is undoubtedly past his prime at the age of 32, meaning the only teams that might be interested are those still in playoff contention. Teams would also not be willing to part with very much in order to obtain Boozer because he would probably only be on that team for the remainder of this season.
Unfortunately, the number of teams that would actually be interested in acquiring Boozer for the remainder of this season is very limited. The main reason is that Boozer’s salary would make it very difficult to move him.
In order to acquire him teams would have to give up players whose salaries come close to matching Boozer’s mammoth contract. The most logical option would be to trade Boozer for to the Los Angeles Laker’s Pau Gasol. Both players are about equally in both their salaries and their abilities.
This potential Boozer for Gasol swap has been rumored to be discussed by the Lakers and Bulls in the past. With both the Bulls and Lakers struggling to make the playoffs this season I cannot think of a better time to mix things up and move in from their disgruntled power forwards.