The Time Is Now for the Chicago Bulls to Trade Carlos Boozer

Sander Gill@@SanderGillContributor IIIJanuary 30, 2013

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 14:  Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 14, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.   The Bulls defeated the Suns 112-106 in overtime.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Carlos Boozer is averaging 15.8 points and 9.7 boards for the Chicago Bulls and leads the Eastern Conference with 24 double-doubles.

It is pretty clear that the Bulls need to trade Boozer while he is a hot commodity. 

Instead of waiting to amnesty Boozer during the offseason to avoid committing to his $15.3 million contract for the 2013-14 season and $16.8 million contract for the 2014-15 season, the Bulls should trade Boozer and receive some value in return for the player who seems to play his best ball when money is on the line.  

Power forward Taj Gibson has been waiting patiently in the shadows, making his defensive presence known and showing much improvement and willingness in his jump shot.

While Boozer is a soft finger-roll layup, Gibson is a two-handed power dunk waiting to happen. It is no secret why Gibson has become a Chicago fan favorite coming off the bench.

Trading Boozer now means that Gibson, who recently signed a four-year, $38 million dollar contract to stay in Chicago, would be able to showcase his talents in the starting lineup. By being comfortable in a starting role due to team chemistry and playing more minutes, Gibson should average Boozer-type numbers instantly. And if you were able to watch Wednesday nights game against the Bucks, he nearly did, shooting 7 of 12 with 14 points and 9 boards. 

Being able to trade Boozer for a young shooting guard or shopping Boozer in a package deal with Richard Hamilton, who has underperformed for the Bulls, makes a lot of sense for the front office and Chicago's roster. This is especially true after the fire-red-hot play of Jimmy Butler. Who over the past 5 games has been averaging 16 and 7.8 stepping into the starting rotation for the injured All-Star Deng.

For example, J.J. Redick would be an excellent trade candidate if the Bulls were interested.

If the Bulls were to include Hamilton in a deal, that would mean the Magic would need to also include someone else. Whether that be a backup big-man like young power forward Andrew Nicholson, a draft pick, or a third team would get involved to help fill lack of depth at power forward when Gibson steps into the starting rotation. 

Redick is having his best year with 15 points a game in Orlando's starting rotation. He would be a perfect match for the Bulls.

The trade would also fill the void left by Kyle Korver's departure to the Hawks during the offseason. Redick would provide another consistent deep threat next to Marco Belinelli. According to, the Bulls are dead last in three-pointers attempted, and you can only ask John Paxson how important it is to have a threat from deep range.

The trade would also help out a struggling Orlando front-court. Moving Nikola Vucevic to the bench and putting Glen Davis at center means the Magic would have two players up front averaging at least 15 points a game. Giving them better offensive firepower, and leaving shooters like Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson more room on the outside.

With Derrick Rose now taking full contact in practices, it is only a matter of weeks until his anticipated return to the lineup. With the returning Rose, All-Stars Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, a defensive-minded Gibson and a sharpshooter like Redick, Chicago's improved starting five could do some serious damage in June.