For years, fans of the Chicago Bulls have been calling for the team to find a way to be rid of inconsistent power forward Carlos Boozer. Now after three seasons with the Bulls and two more years left on the huge deal Boozer signed a few years ago, the time may have finally come to part ways with the veteran big man.
Chicago signed Boozer to a questionable five-year, $75 million contract when the 6’9″ former second round pick was a free agent in 2010. Statistically at the time, Boozer was putting up numbers that somewhat justified the deal, as he averaged 19.3 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting .544 from the field in six seasons with the Utah Jazz.
His play in Utah earned Boozer two all-star selections as well as him being named to the All-NBA third team for the 2007-2008 season, where Boozer averaged a career-high 21.1 points and 10.4 rebounds.
But so far in three seasons with the Bulls, Boozer hasn’t appeared to be near the same player that he was with the Jazz. Boozer has yet to average over 18 points or double digits in rebounds in his three seasons in Chicago, as well as all to often settling for mid range jumpers in favor of grinding for buckets in the post area, where the Bulls need him most. Boozer’s averages with Chicago have been down across the board to just 16.2 points and 9.3 rebounds.
While Boozer isn’t a complete bust as a highly-paid player, his production leaves a bit to be desired for player that is due to make $32.1 million over the next two seasons where he will be 32 and 33 years old. Not to mention that Boozer’s contract coupled with those of a few other Bulls’ players could potentially handicap Chicago from truly improving their roster in free agency over the next two summers.
It may be time for Chicago to seriously consider amnestying Boozer if they can’t find a trade partner willing to take on his hefty contract. Taj Gibson can most likely step in for the short term until the Bulls can find a better option, but ridding themselves of Boozer’s contractual weight would do Chicago a lot of good in the short and long term.