Chicago Bulls Rumors: Why Bulls Need Carlos Boozer for a Title Run

Al RiegerCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2012

Boozer's team-first mentality will help Bulls in their quest for a title this year.
Boozer's team-first mentality will help Bulls in their quest for a title this year.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls should not trade Carlos Boozer. Rumors are flaring before the trade deadline, and Boozer has been under scrutiny for his poor defense and injury-prone history.

Latest Trade Rumor

The Bulls are eyeing Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. A deal centering around Boozer would be offered, but Lakers will likely want cheap young talent instead of taking on Boozer’s high salary.

Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times says:

"While the Bulls are keeping the lines of communication open and fielding calls, multiple sources said they are unlikely to make a deal before the 
2 p.m. deadline Thursday."

Instead of losing multiple players for an aging Gasol, the Bulls should keep Boozer if they want to win a title.

The Bulls need Boozer’s productivity on offense. He’s shooting 53 percent and scoring 15.6 points per game this season. That’s second on the team.

Richard Hamilton’s health is an issue going into the playoffs, and Luol Deng has admitted his wrist still hurts. Deng went just 4-for-13 in Wednesday's win against the Heat, tallying 11 points in 37 minutes. Without these scorers healthy, Boozer is critical to help take the pressure of Derrick Rose.

Boozer’s most valuable asset, though, is his team-first mentality. He’s taken a ton of criticism since he joined the Bulls in 2010, mainly for his defense. Still, he continues to play within his role, knocking down shots, grabbing rebounds and creating space for Rose. When he’s benched, like he was last night against the Heat at the end of the fourth quarter, he doesn’t complain like a lot of stars.   

The Bulls are going to need Boozer in the postseason. So far, he’s played a uniquely injury free season. He’s the only starter to play all 45 games this season.

The Bulls will likely stick with their current squad and stay quiet before the deadline. They’re dominating, and Boozer has been a top contributor. His lack of defense is replaced by the defensive artists Ronnie Brewer, Deng, Joakim Noah and Omer Asik. Why sacrifice the identity of this team?