Reasons for Amnestying Carlos Boozer
(Photo credit bigstoryap.org)
This is the usual scene in the forth quarter of close Bulls games this season. The two highest players on the Bulls team are on the bench, and they both know they are not playing down the stretch. Derrick Rose is not healthy, but Carlos Boozer has to leave the Bulls immediately because he is healthy and does not play. The 6-foot-9 power forward is the second highest paid player on the Bulls behind Rose, but he is no where near as valuable as the injured captain. With free agency coming up, The Bulls need to jettison Boozer for a few reasons.
He had his worse year as a Bull
Boozer’s points per game fell from 16.2 points a game to 13.7 a game for a Bulls team that finished last in the NBA in points per game. The Bulls needed the constant scoring that Boozer provided. He is a good passer, and he is an improved defensively under Tom Thibodeau’s system. All of Boozer stats have fallen in almost every category. He seems disinterested in playing basketball.
When Boozer first joined the team he was a vocal force. He always lead cheers, and fans watching from home would be able to pick u his constant yells. This year he has toned it down a deal. The lack of playing time has affected his play on the court.
He does not playing in clutch
In the playoffs, he did not get on the floor in the at all. He played 24 minutes a game, and that was the lowest of all starters on the Bulls. His backup, Taj Gibson is looked at as the go to power forward on the team. He plays all the forth quarter minutes, and gives the Bulls an edge on defense that Boozer lacks. Boozer has not gained the trust of the coaches to be able to play inside the scheme of the game without damaging the team’s productivity.
Taj Gibson is a cheaper option right now
The player comparison is similar. but the big difference is that Gibson gets paid $8 million less than Boozer this year. Gibson is better at guarding the pick and roll than Boozer. Gibson’s new found ability to score in the post consistently makes Boozer presence not needed. Boozer was signed for his physical nature, and his ability to score consistently from 15 feet and closer to the basket. If Gibson can do the same their is really no point in keeping Boozer around until his contract runs out.
Fans do not like him
This has been a rallying point for Bulls’ fans since the 2011 playoffs when Boozer came up small against the Philadelphia 76ers. The fans believe that the Bulls panicked after Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh choice to go to Miami. The Bulls offered a max contract to Boozer hoping it would persuade LeBron James to sign with the Bulls. That was not the case, and after the decision was made the Bulls fans realized that their front office missed on another free agent class.
The reason the Bulls have not been able to sign other top tier players is because of Boozer’s and Luol Deng’s contracts. The two players combined accounted for a large amount of the Bulls payroll. That handicapped any big move that the Bulls could potentially make, and if you combine that with the fact that Boozer is a one way player no team wanted to take on his contract.