Be careful what you wish for, don't trade Carlos Boozer

I get it. Carlos Boozer’s lousy on defense. He turns the ball over on offense. He shrinks in the moment. He’s inconsistent. He’s not worth his salary. He’s a bumslayer who only performs against lousy teams, and he’ll let you down in the playoffs. Don’t trade Carlos Boozer.

The anatomy of a Boozer trade is about money

When making a trade, there is a give and take. No team just trades you better players for worse players unless their management is completely incompetent, so usually a trade falls into one of these categories:

Two teams trade similar caliber players with similar commitments financially, but they have different needs and both trade from strength to shore up a weakness. This is actually a fairly uncommon trade, but a Boozer trade does not qualify. The Bulls don’t have an excess of big men. In fact, if they don’t get a big man back in a boozer trade, they’re screwed.

One team trades a player with more immediate talent for prospects that might be better in the future but won’t help as much right now. No one is giving up prospects for Carlos Boozer. In fact, if a trade like this were to be made, the Bulls would be the type of team looking to get better more immediately since they’re close to a title not looking to get considerably worse immediately to get pedestrian prospects later.

One team trades a player with a large salary possibly with sweetners for a player with a lesser salary commitment or lesser salary player that’s considerably worse. In other words, the team trading the large salary player gets considerably worse in either the long or short term in order to save money. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.

Do you want the Bulls to get considerably worse to save money?

Look, I’m not a huge Carlos Boozer fan, but he can score at times. He’s won two games straight for the Chicago Bulls with his offensive effort and one was against the Heat. He’s a guy who likely improves his efficiency once Derrick Rose is back because he plays much better with some space created by someone else.

I don’t want to count on Boozer to play well against the Heat in the playoffs, but I’d rather count on Boozer than Kris Humphries which is likely the best case scenario. The Bulls are going to come out of any Boozer trade saving money and worse on the court.

This isn’t a team that needs to save money. This is a team that needs to show some commitment to its fans. If you take the accumulated earnings of the bottom 25 earners in the NBA and add them together they probably don’t add up to the money the Bulls will make this season. The only two teams in the league that can make more money than Chicago are the Knicks and Lakers.

The Bulls are minting money. It’s the ultimate slap in the face to fans when they look at trades to save money. If the Bulls could move Boozer in a way that makes the team better, then go for it, but that’s not going to happen.

Hamilton trade coming?

It looks likely that a Rip Hamilton trade is in the works. The Bulls picked up Daequan Cook off waivers and have absolutely no need for Cook unless someone else is cleared off the roster. The most obvious person the Bulls would like to dump from the roster is Rip Hamilton who’s owed one million next season if Chicago Buys out his contract and could get the Bulls under the tax this season if they dump him for nothing.

That said, my Boozer theory applies to Rip Hamilton. If the Bulls can dump him to a team willing to take on his salary by the Bulls giving them cash to cover it, then by all means trade Rip Hamilton with some cash to get him off the books, potentially avoid the tax, and avoid the repeater tax later.

However, you can’t give up a 1st rounder just to dump Rip Hamilton. The Bulls have been too good at getting quality players with their late 1st round picks to do that. Beyond their overall drafting ability, if the Bulls want to seriously manage finances going forward than they need a steady stream of 1st rounders to come in and contribute.

Keeping guys like Taj Gibson on cheap contracts for four years is what allows you to balance out your salary. The Bulls didn’t have to pay Ronnie Brewer four million dollars because Jimmy Butler is here making 1 million. In two seasons, they’ll have developed Marquis Teague to the point where they likely won’t need to bring in a back up PG making four million because Teague will be there making a shade over a million.

The Bulls have consistently shown an ability to get rotation players with picks 20+ and in doing so, they are giving themselves an extra five to 10 million in headroom salary cap wise.

Not only would a Rip + a pick for nothing trade weakens the present team, but it also weakens the future team and puts them in a tougher financial position to try and fill in those rotation spots with free agents instead of draft picks.

We’ll see how it goes, but I’m already bracing for management to deliver the ultimate bitch slap to fans by giving up assets and weakening the team further in order to save money on a team that will likely make more this season than the bottom 25 earning teams combined.

Filed under: Trade rumors


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  • Kris Humphries is younger, cheaper, and probably already a little better than boozer. At the rapid rate of boozer's decline, next year Humphries will be clearly better. Why would you not make that trade? Problem is the Nets would be crazy to take on Boozer's contract.

  • In reply to aaaa:

    You're kidding I hope. Humphries gives you about 8 ppg on worse shooting and less rebounding. For a team that already struggles offensively trading Boozer for Humphries would really hurt the team. we certainly don't win our last two games.

  • In reply to dldjr:

    Boozer is a train wreck on D, and despite his decent stats, the bulls offense has been worse with boozer on the floor too despite playing with the starters, and his sub is not known for offense. The Nets offense has been better with Humphries on the floor. It is not at all clear to me that this move hurts the team on offense, and clearly helps on D even though humphries struggles there, just not as much as boozer. They are both very good rebounders, so that is a wash. Biggest advantage is that the bulls would give Taj more minutes, as he is better than both of those guys.

  • In reply to aaaa:

    Whatever it is you're smoking, I would really like some. Not sure how you can say Boozer makes the Bulls offense worse while the Nets offense is better with Humphries on the floor. Boozer "averages" double the scoring, nearly double digit rebounding, and more than double assists. Please let us all know exactly where in any of these stats show how trading Boozer for Humphries is a good move?

  • In reply to aaaa:

    You can't trade Boozer for Humphries straight up...although if BKN is willing to throw in Marshon Brooks (since Boozer is so much better), Im down for that.

  • In reply to aaaa:

    Yeah, thats what we need. Another guy clogging up the lane that cant score.

    Kris Humpries is actually the exact opposite of what this team needs, which is scoring.

    Without Boozer we have virtually no one who can consistently put up points which is the bulls biggest weakness.

  • It seems to me me Bulls coaches and teammates are more than happy to have Boozer on the team. Should we believe them or defer to experts such as Bigway or Reese? I would hate to see Humphries in his place. This season's lighter Boozer seems to have turned back the clock a little, so I think his decline rate might not be as rapid as feared by others..

  • In reply to dreverts:

    If the goal is to win championships, then it doesn't take an expert to know that Bozo never has been, is not now, and never will be part of anything remotely resembling a championship team.

    It is one thing to put up with a piece of crap like Bozo or the baby Bozo (Gordon) when you think that your core is a pile of overpaid mediocrity like Hinrich, Deng and Gordon. But when you are wasting years of Rose's career by deluding yourself into thinking that Bozo gives you a chance to win then you are clearly just another foolish fan.

    As a fan of a big market team, the goal should be to compete for a championship every year.

    I don't expect much more than that from the average commenter on fan forums, I do expect much more than that from Bulls management and to a lesser extent from Doug also.

    I may not be an expert, but I am seldom wrong on my personnel evaluations, and I am usually ahead of the curve. I said that Noah was a double double(if given the chance) player from his first few games with the Bulls when most of you guys said he was a bum and a wasted pick. I said the same thing about Asik. Ben Gordon has been exactly what I said he would be after leaving the Bulls. I said that both Eddie Curry and Tyrus Thomas were too stupid and too lazy to be good NBA players. I was against signing Ben Wallace and dumping Tyson Chandler. I called for the drafting of Taj Gibson(before the draft). Not bad for a guy who just watches people play, not an expert.

    By the way, over the past 2 seasons, Humphries has vastly outplayed the Bozo when they have gone head to head. Humphries is not a long term solution, but he Bulls chances of winning a championship would not be affected by one iota if we traded bozo for the Hump.

    Basically, the Bulls get out of paying Bozo the final year of his contract without having to use the amnesty clause, and we the fans are relieved of the agony of having to watch Bozo fake his way through 2 more years of collecting his lottery checks.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Quite an impressive resume you have there, I think I will take your word over Thib's in terms of Boozer's effectiveness in retrospect. Glad to see you on the Humphries>Boozer train as well!

  • How about a trade where the Bulls give up Boozer AND prospects/picks for an upgrade at PF? That's what we'd like to see.

    The T-Wolves don't seem committed to Kevin Love, would love to hear Doug's take on whether or not Love might be available, how the Bulls could get him, how he'd fit in and mostly, whether or not adding Love makes this a championship team.

  • In reply to Roman F:


    For the Bulls, they get a would-be superstar PF (if Love were playing for a major market team, he'd be one of the faces of the NBA) and a pal of Derrick Rose.

    For the Wolves, they would get a still formidable offensive PF signed for a few more years that would seemingly fit in well with Rubio's game.

    Give the Wolves the Charlotte pick and another #1, and it would be a win-win deal.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Are you serious?

    Boozer and extras for Love? Get real.

    At the VERY LEAST, if MINn waned to trade love to us, the starting package (if you don't want to include Rose or Noah) would probably have to be something like this...

    Deng+Taj+Butler+CHA pick+Mirotic

  • In reply to Roman F:

    the only sweetener that would convince the Wolves to take on bozo's contract is Derrick Rose.

  • This is why trading Boozer and the Charlotte pick for Andrea Bargnani is the right move. We get a younger, bigger, better fit at PF (Making 5 Mil less, thus getting us under the tax), we don't get worse in the process, I actually think with Rose we'd me much better, we also get under the luxury tax. This allows us to keep Hamilton through the remainder of the season. We then still have Mirotic and the 5MM exception to trade for our future SG.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Still a face the basket jump shooting four same as Boozer. Not the post scorer they need to balance the floor. I don't see it as much of an improvement if any other than Barg has three point range however that takes him out of rebounding range a lot of the time.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Post scoring in the NBA is a non factor in todays game. At least Bargnani can spread the floor and hit 3's - plus he can put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. He's a MUCH tougher matchup for a 4/5 than Boozer. Put Bargnani on a team with Rose and he will instantly become our 2nd scoring option.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    TOR right now despises Bargnani and wants them off their team, but I don't think we should give up a pick in any scenario.

    Doug said it right...these later round picks have been gems for us, and it helps the Bulls from spending money as well.

    But I really think what TOR wants is Deng.

  • Rudy gay is available? Should bulls consider giving up assets for him? Would bulls be able to beat heat with a rose gay deng boozer Noah?? Then still consider amnesty boozer later on? Now would leave bulls searching for power forward instead of shooting guard.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    I like Rudy but he just received a massive contract and for that reason I don't think the Bulls should/could take him on.

  • In reply to Chad:

    He is signed to 2015-14. The will not be stuck long contract. 17mil and 19mil final yr. Plus remaining salary for this season. Just wishful thinking

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Perhaps, we're forgetting one minor wrinkle, and that's Rudy Gay is a small forward (same position as Deng). Please also don't reply with "Gay can easily learn to play SG" as these are 2 different positions.

  • In reply to EDouble:

    No I did not forget that gay and deny play the same position. I was actually thinking gay can play the two guard position on offense only or depending on the matchups deng can guard the better offensive player either at the two or three since deng is he better defender. While Rudy is he better offensive player. Im gonna assume nothing in the NBA is easy otherwise everyone can do it. Anyways its not uncommon now. I.E. Joe Johnson and Paul pierce guard each other. Iggy places 2 and the 3.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    MEM is looking around to see if any key has the right package for him.

    What they want is combination of prospects, a comparable SF to replace, and to shed salary...just like the Bulls.

    The Bulls could do a Deng+Pick for Gay, but the that puts the Bulls into the luxury tax which thy would want to avoid at all costs.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Both Deng and Gay are small forwards, and neither is suited to play power forward on a regular basis, even in today's small ball NBA. and where exactly does the Bozo fit on Memphis's front line, he certainly isn't displacing Gasol or Randolph.

    The only way to get Gay is to trade Deng and another salary(Rip)for him. I might be game for a Deng and Rip for Gay and Tony Allen trade, but that would effectively wipe out the 2014 plan, whatever that might be.

    Personally, I doubt that either the Bulls or the Griz is interested in a Gay for Deng swap, and with both teams looking to get out from under the tax there doesn't seem to be a financially feasible way to do it anyway.

  • I tried trading Boozer for Humphries on the ESPN trade machine and it said that Humphries is untradeable. Probably due to some kicker in his contract extension.

    Whatever. The only trades the Bulls should make should result in getting them a legitimate #2 player to play alongside Derrick. Whether that's acquiring a star player like Kevin Love ( Demarcus Cousins...?) or clearing cap room to make YET ANOTHER run at an FA. And there isn't a player on the roster I wouldn't at least consider trading.

    I personally think the only players that are going to be part of a 2014 team that can make a legitimate run are Noah and Taj. (Maybe Jimmy Butler as an energy guy. Perhaps Marquis Teague. And Mirotic whenever his contract allows him to come over. ) And I'd even consider them if the deal was right.

    I can't see anyone wanting to take on Boozer's contract. Unless they were unloading an equally unappetizing contract in return. I like Boozer's personality, love his effort, and he strikes me as a good guy and a great teammate. But those type of contracts need to be given to Core stud players. And #5 is not that.

  • In reply to felzz:

    humphries becomes eligible for trades on jan 15.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I've talked to talk some TOR fans on other forums and they said they'd be willing to do a Deng+Boozer for Bargnani+Ross+Amir+Fields deal.

  • In reply to felzz:

    really, you love his effort, I guess we know which of the seven deadly sins is your favorite.

  • I say we should roll the dice on DeMarcus Cousins. Young with superstar upside. He would be the post scorer that they have always wanted. Good fit with Noah. Word is Kings have flirted with moving him several times after his temper tantrums. Could pay off huge like when the Pistons landed Rasheed. I think the Bulls need to take a big risk as that is the only chance they have of dramatically improving the roster.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Would cost a lot of assets in which the Bulls don't have.

    Also, the Bulls will never take on a super talented player if he has any baggage. Choir boys only need apply.

    Last night's rumor was BOS trying to get him for a worthless package of Lee+JET+Sully+Bradley. And the funny thing is, BOS fans screamed no because they didnt want to give up all that young talent.

    Boston Herald reported SAC wants a combo of a high lottery pick+players who can help them win now (which is probably some proven vets still in their need to be Allstar caliber, but just productive...aka NOT JET or Green).

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Sounds like Deng and Charlotte pick might interest them. We would have to take salary back so we could take on some of their wings to help fill the void of Deng.

    Marcus Thorton + Cousins would be sweet! But yeah won't happen with Dumb and Dumber in charge. And they would probably want to dump Travis Outlaw on us. But if we could nab Thorton and Cousins what a huge get that would be.

  • In reply to Chad:

    So you'd give up Deng and the Bobcats pick for a big who doesn't even shoot 44% and has attitude problems?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I think I've found the screen name Isiah Thomas uses on the internets.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I like Chad's thinking. Bulls need to take some risks and roll some dice.

    I don't care for YouBlewIt's thinking in general, but agree that the Bulls would never roll the dice.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Don't care about my thinking...yet you agree with everything I said.

    Thank you....

  • Doug, I thought you were resigned to the mindset that the Bulls will always operate as a small (or at most, mid) market team and we need to be realistic?

    I'd like for them to not care about money either. Asik should've been retained if that was the case. And amnesty will be a better option than a trade. But I think they'd take a Boozer/Humphries deal immediately to get out of paying him $17m in 2015.

    I do agree with any possible Boozer trade and a Rip dump, some fans will laud the team for being 'smart' when they're just diminishing the on-court product for financial reasons.

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    Asik should NOT have been retained - Asik was retarding the development of Noah, and Noah was retarding the development of Asik. The Bulls should have either traded Noah for a SG and matched Asik, or traded Asik last year for a SG. Per the usual, the Bulls failed on both accounts.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    1. If you wanted to win a title, Asik definitely should have been brought back.

    2. There was no 'retardation' of anything. Noah is being worn out right now because we don't have a good enough backup like Asik. You think Asik would be causing a fuss if he was still backing up Noah right now but got his money? No.

    Obviously if both played major minutes, as they are right now, they'll have better numbers, but that doesn't change the fact Bulls should have kept Asik if they wanted to field the best team they could. But the reason why they didnt...'business decisions'.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Forgot to add, I do agree with your premise of trading onof the bigs for a SG, or a top lottery pick. Examples of this would have been Asik for Mayo. Or Noah for SAC's 5th pick.

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    I would like to have kept Asik but will not get worked up over a bench player.

  • Glad to see that you are on board with my analysis(yesterday's podcast) that trading Rip is about avoiding the repeater tax in the future, and that trading #1 picks to dump salary is a penny wise dollar foolish strategy in this new CBA era.

    Viewed dispassionately, your analysis is essentially correct. I might, however, quibble with your contention that Bozo won the last 2 games for us. He was a contributor, but when the game was on the line in the 4rth, it was role players like Nate, Taj and Jimmy that put the nail in the coffin to close out those wins.

    While, I still believe that trading Bozo is addition by subtraction(a no brainer had we kept Asik), I just don't see any team in the NBA taking on Bozo's 2014-15 money($16.8million).

    I am basically resigned to the fact that we a stuck with Bozo for the remainder of this season and all of next, followed by amnesty in July of 2014.

  • Today's NBA is all about setting up a super big 3 and then worrying about filling up the supporting cast. Listening to some of local sports media, it sounds like the Bulls are looking for a number 2 option wing scorer from either the small forward or shooting guard position.....this would basically push deng out of the equation(one of Deng or Noah has to go). Losing Asik has made Noah part of the Bulls championship puzzle of Rose-Noah-??? blank with Mirotic taking Boozer's scoring four role. Rudy Gay is interesting and I do think he is capable of being that number 2 scorer on a championship Rose led team. I don't see the Bulls trading Boozer now, they will however look to trade him in the summer but probably stick with him until Mirotic comes in 2014. The Bulls need a Durant to Rose's Westbrook and they haven't found it yet.

  • I would trade Deng for Rudy gay straight up. It's an even trade if you ask me. Obviously the Grizz would want a little more, but it works out for both teams. We have another guy who can create for himself and improves our athletism. Deng's contract will be ending soon anyway, may as well plan ahead. try and get something for him before we allow him to walk and get nothing or overpay for another player on the decline. But unfortunately Bulls management doesn't think like that.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    There reason for not pursuing Gay would have less to do with basketball and more to do with not liking his character. smh

  • Big picture-
    Until the bulls have someone who can consistently make a 15-17 foot jumper with under 2 minutes to go in the game, we are not winning a title.

    Every championship game/big time playoff games comes down to this simple fact. As you progress deep in the playoffs, the difference in overall quality of the teams is minimal and it comes down to who can make well contested jump shots in the final few minutes. The bulls do not have this individual on the roster.

  • I don't expect the Bulls to "win" a trade that involves Boozer, but I'd still consider making one.

    The one thing in favour of a Boozer trade where the Bulls lose on "talent": Boozer has had abysmal on/off court ratings his entire time on the Bulls. He's at a ridiculous -15.7 this year! The defense in particular has always gone from great to best in the modern era levels when Boozer is off the court (something that matches up with the eye test).

    I don't believe on/off is gospel, but when it's so continuously strong like that you have to wonder if the Bulls would be better off losing Boozer and replacing him with someone who is worse on paper, but works better with this team. I know it goes against conventional wisdom of the Bulls needing more offense but another defensive minded big? (Of course we wish it was Asik, but alas). You don't need Boozer's offense if you can keep the other team to 80 on a regular basis.

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    How about nate, deng, hamilton and pick (maybe) for eric gordon (who would love to get out of NO) animu.

    I think Eric gordon is a legitimate star that can really help scoring what the bulls need.

    NO have rivers for the future and get deng proven hardworking player

  • Or even better...

    Bulls Get: Love
    Wolves Get: Gordon, Taj, CHA Pick, CHI Pick
    Hornets Get: Deng

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