With no Derrick Rose, expectations for the Chicago Bulls are pretty low overall for the 2012-2013 season. Doing nothing for those low expectations is the poor performance of Carlos Boozer in his two full seasons in the Windy City.
Boozer has posted some decent numbers in his time with the Bulls, after signing a monster deal in the summer of 2010. But he’s been inconsistent at both ends of the court, particularly on the defensive end. His penchant for disappearing, especially in big games, has been extremely frustrating to watch for all involved.
Not that this comes as any surprise. Boozer’s solid performance on offense and questionable defense has been his trademark over the course of his career. At this point, no one is expecting him to come in and be the x-factor for the Bulls this season. But that may be just what he is.
Boozer is a complete and total wild card heading into the season. With no Rose, Boozer (among others) is going to be relied upon to shoulder the load, particularly on offense. Can he do it? That’s the $75 million question. The Bulls will need him to if they hope to contend for a playoff spot.
It’s a possibility that we could see a new and improved Boozer. He changed up his training regiment this summer, and if he has the awareness about where and how he needs to improve, we could see him put forth his best season as a Bull.
But that’s thinking optimistically. What many are probably expecting is something more similar to what we’ve seen in the past two seasons: Boozer will continue to under-perform, Taj Gibson will push him for playing time, and following another disappointing season he will be involved in more trade rumors that probably won’t happen.
Another disappointing season could spell the end of Boozer in Chicago. But that contract with that performance could make him difficult to move. The Bulls are navigating in difficult waters with their financial situation, especially with Taj Gibson up for an extension soon. That makes Boozer’s performance in 2012-13 all the more critical.
The optimist in me thinks that we’ll see an improved Carlos Boozer. If he’s healthy, he can be a very effective player and an offensive force inside for the Bulls. But given what we’ve seen in his first two years, it’s difficult to go “all in” with that type of prediction. Either way, Boozer is a total wild card for the Bulls in the new season. No one is quite sure what they’re going to get.