Carlos Boozer: Should the Chicago Bulls Already Be Shopping Him?
One one hand, Carlos Boozer is one of the best offensive posts in the NBA. Boozer has great strength and can score with either hand. The All-Star power forward would be a welcome addition to any team in the world.
On the other hand, Carlos Boozer is an enigmatic player who is "injured" far too often and refuses to play defense. Watching him play is extremely frustrating, because you can see the great potential he has to dominate both ends of the floor—but he just doesn't want to.
While the truth to Boozer probably lies somewhere in between these two perspectives, Utah Jazz fans firmly believe the latter, while Chicago fans are hoping for the former.
Carlos Boozer was signed last season to be the answer to Miami's new "Big Three."
One injury-plagued season later, many fans and amateur general managers are already looking to trade Boozer away to the highest bidder.
Over the next few slides, we will examine both sides to this argument and what exactly the Bulls could get for him.
Keep Him: He's the Perfect Post for D-Rose
Carlos Boozer is a force in the paint. His elite strength and ability to score with either hand has made him one of the best post scorers in the league. To top it off, he has pretty respectable range on his solid jump shot.
He gelled perfectly well with Deron Williams and seems to be fitting in great with Derrick Rose.
Boozer is a smart guy. He knows that an elite point guard will not only make him look better, but will help him get the most out of his own abilities.
Starting next to a defensive-minded post like Joakim Noah also allows him to focus more on easing some of the offensive load on Rose's shoulders.
With the league becoming more guard-oriented, a big man with the ability to score and shoot like Boozer has, is far too valuable to just trade away.
Trade Him: He's a Liability
Sure he can score 18 points a game, but does that really matter when the man he's guarding is scoring 20?
Boozer's critics are always quick to point out that any advantage Boozer brings to the table with his offensive game is quickly negated by his poor defense.
What makes this argument so frustrating is that Boozer can play defense. When properly motivated, he has the ability to lock up the top posts in the league. The problem is that he just doesn't do it.
Whether it be a lack of motivation or skill, Boozer has made it seem like he's not particularly interested in playing much on both ends of the floor.
Keep Him: He's a Great Rebounder
Boozer has twice finished in the top 10 for rebounding during his career. Optimistically, that number would be much higher if he would have had more healthy seasons.
For his career, Boozer has averaged a little over 10 boards a game.
Even though the Bulls already have one of the best rebounders in the league in Joakim Noah, rebounding is something you can never have enough of.
Opponents' second chance points that Boozer and Noah helped the Bulls cut down on were key to the bulls 62-20 record this year.
Having two posts that can consistently grab 10+ boards a game will most certainly help push their team over the top.
Trade Him: He Will Never Play a Full Season
Over Carlos Boozer's nine year career, he has played more the 70 regular season games just five times. Two of them came in his first two seasons.
Many fans believe that Boozer is soft and needs to play through some of his minor injuries. These same fans think Boozer is a selfish player that only plays hard throughout an entire season when he is in a contract year.
Boozer is going to make $13.5 million this season, with a gradual increase leading to $18 million in the final year of his contract.
For many Chicago fans, this is simply too much for an oft-injured player.
I believe it is far too soon for Bulls fans to start thinking about getting rid of Carlos Boozer. He has only been there for one season and missed all of the preseason last year.
A full season of playing together can do wonders for a team's core players.
If Boozer can stay healthy, and the Bulls can sign a good shooting guard this offseason that can score, the Bulls will be expected to be a legitimate title contender.
Even if the Bulls did try to unload the rest of Boozer's contract on another team, they would get nowhere near equal value for him. They would simply be taking a few steps back to save money.
Before the public starts to demand a major roster shake up in Chicago, I vote that we give Boozer one more season before the trade talks start.
One more season may be all Boozer, Rose, Noah, Deng and (hopefully) their new shooting guard need before they bring the title back home to Chicago.