It’s time: the Chicago Bulls should bite the bullet and trade Carlos Boozer for Amar'e Stoudemire this offseason.
The trade would be a swap of massive, unpalatable contracts that were given out in the summer of 2010 to two dynamic players who were expected to become stars in their new homes, but never quite lived up to expectations.
It would also give the two stars a chance to perform better in places where their respective styles would fit much better within the overall team dynamic.
Carlos Boozer came to Chicago as a two-time all-star power forward who averaged close to 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Utah Jazz in 2009-10. The Bulls signed him to be the post force they had lacked for over a decade and to complement young superstar Derrick Rose in the pick-and-roll offense.
In two years, Boozer has been an important part of Chicago’s success, starting for a team that won the Eastern Conference regular season in 2010-11 and 2011-12. But he struggled with injuries last season and this year, although healthy, his averages dipped to 15 points and eight rebounds.
He also lacked aggression in the post, became more of a complementary mid-range shooting forward and refused to buy into the team’s all-out defensive philosophy.
In short, Boozer has not been a total flop, but he has also failed to live up to expectations and never became the tough post banger the Bulls need to contend for the NBA Championship.
For his part, Stoudemire now needs to get a new start out of New York.
He has struggled since Carmelo Anthony arrived in a trade last year.
That is hardly coincidental: Stoudemire and Anthony are both me-first offensive players who like to run isolations against defenders and work in the post.
Anthony has established himself as the alpha dog so Stoudemire’s presence now disrupts the team’s offensive flow. After a season and a half, it’s become clear that the two cannot thrive together on offense.
Stoudemire’s contract is so large that he is virtually untradeable.
Only the Bulls have a similar player and contract (Boozer), the need for a true post threat who wants to be the offensive force in the post and the amnesty clause to protect them against the possibility of a drastic drop in Stoudemire’s production.
As a Bull, Stoudemire would have a great chance to fit into a better dynamic and take Chicago to the next level. The team desperately needs another offensive creator; a player capable of getting the ball and creating his own scoring.
Stoudemire can do that while Boozer has become a complementary mid-range shooter.
The Bulls also need a true post force, a star who wants to be the main option in the post and finish strong against defenders. Stoudemire relishes that and will thrive with superstar point guard Derrick Rose feeding him the ball.
Equally important, Stoudemire’s slightly below average defense will actually be a notable improvement over Boozer’s unspeakably poor defense and the system will actually hide many of his weaknesses.
As for the Knicks, Boozer is the type of complementary post player who can work next to Anthony without stealing his thunder. He will find his place in the flow of the offense and Chandler can hide some of his terrible defense.
So, it’s time: the Bulls need to roll the dice and get the player who could make them future contenders for the NBA Championship.