Carlos Boozer wasn’t (a much bigger) Robin that Chicago had hoped might pair with their “Batman”—Derrick Rose—to lead the team to their first Championship since Jordan’s 1998 curtain call.
This inability to produce in crunch time has led to speculation of how the Bulls might look to trade the All-Star forward, only a year removed from signing on as a free agent.
Boozer helped the Chicago Bulls reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but struggled mightily against the Miami Heat’s forward bruisers Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony.
The native Alaskan averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game during the series. Solid numbers, but not anywhere near what the Bulls’ brass expected after dishing out a five-year, $76 million contract on the powerful forward. Boozer struggled with his defense, failing to stop a reborn Chris Bosh, and a transcendental LeBron James. The Heat defense snuffed out Boozer, and disrupted his chemistry with teammate Joakim Noah.
But could the Bulls trade Boozer? Boozer’s only one year into his five-year contract.A reason for a trade could be to unload his hefty contract to sign younger players who could help the Bulls. Namely, another big-time scorer to help take the load off Rose.
Here are five trade targets that the Bulls could swap Boozer for:
1. Miami Heat:
Although this seems unlikely, it would be a perfect fit for Boozer. With the addition of Boozer, the Heat would immediately improve their low-post scoring, which outside of Bosh, is practically non-existent. Boozer would be better scoring options than Joel Anthony or Udonis Haslem, but is not in the same league as those two defensively.
He’s not as dynamic a scorer as Bosh, and he’s not as good on defense as Anthony. Seems like he’s in a bit of a limbo should he make the jump to Miami.
The final hold-up in this potential deal is Boozer’s hefty contract. He would have to take a pay cut if wanted to accept a trade and join the Heat.
2. Golden State Warriors:
Carlos Boozer to Golden State for Monta Ellis. This trade would be good for the Bulls, as it would give Derrick Rose a running mate on the break, and a pure scorer to turn to with the shot clock winding down. Defenses would have fits trying to contain those two guards from getting into the paint. Kyle Korver would be in heaven, sitting out on the three-point line waiting for kick-outs.
The Warriors already have two other big men, David Lee, and Ekpe Udoh (they paid a lot of money for Lee, and Udoh was their 2010 lottery pick). Suffice to say, they’ve invested in those two, and it would make little sense to bring another big man in to stunt Udoh’s development, and cut into Lee’s touches on the ball down low.
For the Bulls, it would give them one more dynamic scoring guard to complement Rose. Ellis averaged 24.1 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists a season ago.However, the Bulls would lose a solid rebounder, and big post player who can bang around with the NBA‘s best.
3. Detroit Pistons:
How interesting would it be to see Ben Gordon back with the Bulls? Very.
Gordon’s best years were with the Bulls, when he was instant offense off the bench, scoring with abandon in the half-court set and on the break. Rose would jump at the chance to add another premium scoring option in his side. Gordon was a sixth man who provided the scoring off the bench, but now, he could, and should, start. Gordon would complement Rose nicely at the shooting guard.
Throw in Kyle Singler or Austin Daye and the Bulls have a forward in the future to pair alongside Noah.
4. Sacramento Kings:
This might seen far-fetched, but I believe it could work. Here’s why? Power forward (and, like Boozer, a former Cavalier) J.J. Hickson may have not played yet for Sacramento, but is he really a good fit there?
Hickson would be a solid player to complement Noah. Hickson’s season averages were similar to Boozer’s playoff averages, where Hickson averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Considering his contract is a pittance compared to Boozer’s, that’s not too bad in the way of production.
Hickson is only 23, and still has plenty to learn. Bringing him to the Bulls would give him the chance to play with Rose and Noah, as opposed to his current situation in Sacramento, where he has Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, and Jimmer Fredette.
The only thing that holds back Hickson is his hands. Hickson must work on getting his hands fundamentally better.
5. Orlando Magic:
Carlos Boozer for Dwight Howard? Now, that would be intriguing, right? The odds are likely against it.
Howard wants to stay in Orlando, but also wants to win a title. Chicago has more pieces than Orlando—especially after that failed mid-season trade that brought Agent Zero to the land of Disneyworld.
I think Howard would forget about wanting to stay in Orlando once he gets out on the break with Rose.
Howard would have an elite point guard, and two rising superstars in Luol Deng and Noah. The latter in particular would take some of the defensive burden off Howard, and allow him to focus more on his offensive game.
The only question standing in the way of this potential deal is the Bulls’ inability to give up enough value to merit a move. Also, would Orlando want to take on Boozer’s hefty contract?
If the Bulls were to get Howard, they might have to trade Deng too.
What will and what should the Bulls do with Carlos Boozer?
Keep him, trade him? That’s the question.
It’s only been one year since they got him. They’ll probably hold onto him, and see if he can help Rose bring a title back to the Windy City this season, even if there is a season.
What do you guys think?