Free Agent Watch: Carlos Boozer is Chicago’s consolation prize

Here’s the skinny: “Carlos Boozer is the latest domino to fall in NBA free agency, agreeing to a five-year deal with the Chicago Bulls, a source close to the negotiations told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher on Wednesday. Various sources told ESPN.com that the contract will be for between $75 million and $80 million.”

It’s a good move for the Bulls. A very good move. The team has needed an inside scoring threat for years — last season they just needed a scoring threat period — and Boozer fills that need. In my opinion, Boozer was the second-best big man available after Chris Bosh. He’s a proven 20-10 guy with a career FGP of 54 percent and a career PER of 20.8.

So yeah, Boozer is a pretty good basketball player.

What’s more, Boozer’s deal should leave the Bulls with enough cap space to take on a max contract…if, you know, LeBron James decides he’d like to win a few titles in Chicago.

I’m not holding my breath though.

The Bulls certainly could have done a lot worse than landing Boozer. Heck, they could have ended up with none of the big name free agents. But I can’t shake the feeling that the Bulls are coming up a little short. They definitely got better today, and they’re probably going to be a pretty good team next season…assuming they can figure out what to do about their glaring lack of a SG and and three-point shooters.

Yes, they’ll be good. But I can’t shake the feeling they could have been great.

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37 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Carlos Boozer is Chicago’s consolation prize

  1. storm4766@gmail.com'
    Billiam July 8, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Boozer’s definitely a solid player and will provide the inside scoring the Bulls sorely needed, but his injury history and age are a real concern. He’ll be almost 34 when his contract runs out. I just hope he can maintain a high level of performance and play in, say, 80% of all games while he’s wearing a Bulls uniform.

  2. doubleaccord@gmail.com'
    Tony C. July 8, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    Needless to say, the current situation is both complex and fluid, but I believe that the vast majority of Bulls’ fans are missing the forest through the trees. They have already hit the ball out of the park with regards to the most important move that they could make: their new coach.

    That’s right, I firmly believe that Thibodeau will ultimately have a bigger impact on the team than any of the high-profile free agents would (or would have) been individually. Furthermore, a coach like Thibodeau is virtually certain to make a group of excellent team players more dangerous than any collection of outsized egos thrown together.

    I’m not suggesting that it wouldn’t have been preferable, for example, to have landed Bosh (younger, sounder) than Boozer, but I do believe that the Bulls have the potential to be an even better team with their current nucleus, buttressed by a couple of other intelligent acquisitions, than they would have been with two high-profile stars and an inferior coach.

    The big question with Boozer is soundness, but if he basically remains sound for the next three seasons, then I believe that the Bulls will make a serious run at a championship during that period with Thibodeau at the helm.

  3. DipenPatel@Chicagobreakingsports.com'
    BULL4EVER July 8, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Chicago will be good for now,they won’t be great yet,it will be another 3 or 4 years before Chicago reaches it’s greatness they once had in the 90’s because returning to glory will take another 3 or 4 years even if you’re the Bulls.The bad news is Chicago most likely won’t get LBJ from Cleveland or Bosh from Toronto because he will sign with Miami,the great news is they will sign Carlos Boozer no matter what and possibly one more prospect along with Rose,Noah and Boozer in the mix because they will still have some cap room leftover for David Lee if they can grab him from new york. GO BULLS BABY.

  4. RastaBull July 8, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    It would be moronic to simply state “we’re better off without Bosh or Wade.” That lineup would have been SCARY!!! Sure, we could have had the best CORE in the NBA, but realistically, not signing them and missing out on LeBron could be a blessing in disguise.

    First – I’m excited b/c Boozer is the perfectt fit for Rose. Boozer joined Utah for D-Will’s rookie season and helped contribute greatly to his developement. Coming from that system into Chicago is an easy transition and I think he will have profound effects on Rose. I look forward to seeing Rose’s confidence as a destributor rise (Boozer alone will raise his assits to over 8 pg). Furthermore, Rose gets to remain (as Bucher said) the Batman of this team. And come on, what Bulls fan doesn’t want to see Rose become the superduperstar we all optomistically believe he can be.

    Second – Why waste our cap space on ONE max contract that doesn’t even solve our needs. I understand LeBron is one the most talented players to ever grace an NBA uniform and if you get an opportunity to land him you jump at it. BUT, our need is not at SF…Deng is a very solid contributer and showed EXCELLENT form this year. Yeah, he doesn’t have the range but so what, we’ve got 17 mil to spend on sharpshooters now. Let’s pick up a smart vet with lights out shooting like Mike Miller or Ray Allen, and we still have room to add another young 2-guard with great range and solid perimeter D like Wes Matthews or JJ Reddick. Having a solid, trusty core of perimeter players increases Rose’ assits to at least 9 a game.

    Third- We get to keep Gibson. I LOVE this kid and I think Boozer will have great effects on his progress as well. In three years there’s no reason the Bulls shouldn’t have 3 guys averging double-doubles in their frontcourt. This will be the best frountcourt in the East NEXT year.

    When they drafted Rose the front office made the commitment to build around a PG. That is a difficult task, but not unprecedented (circa Detriot and Isiah Thomas). Now is their chance to show it works. If I were GarPax, I’d forget about LeBron now and start working out contracts with at least two of these guys: Miller, Allen, Matthews, Reddick, Korver, Morrow. (Personally, I like that we could still end up with enough cap to bring in Shannon Brown with energy to back-up Rose…he really impressed with his role on the Lakers…Proviso East reppin!!!). Can’t wait to see these Bulls send the Heat packin’ in the 2011 playoffs!

    ONE LOVE

  5. DipenPatel@Chicagobreakingsports.com'
    BULL4EVER July 8, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    Chicago has always been a city of great expectations and pressure when it comes to the Bulls winning or losing because this is the NBA’s Dallas Cowboys where anything short of an ultimate championship is a total disappointment,but at least Chicago will be good for now, they will be great soon.Another thing is Chicago has always been a city of hope, but Chicago no longer even has to hope now that the Bulls will be adding Carlos Boozer to their roster. GO BULLS.

  6. Anonymous July 8, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    I’m happy we got boozer! When I look at Bosh he was not worth all that money. If Lebron goes to Heat, I hope he watches all the video clips of Wade hitting game winning shots then looking at the crowd and pointing to the floor saying “THIS IS MY HOUSE”. I just think it would be better for the NBA if he goes to the Bulls. I would hate seeing Lebron be the 2 guy for the Heat. LETS GO LEBRON! You and the Bulls would make Wade and the Heat sick to there stomach.

  7. TREYDOG July 8, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    BULLS DID WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO. FILL A ROSTER SPOT WITHOUT PAYING TOP DOLLAR. BOSH NOT WORTH THE MONEY? IS IT YOUR MONEY THATS PAYING FOR BOSH. BOSH GOT MARKET VALUE. THE BULLS HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY SECOND ONLY TO THE LAKERS IN TERMS OF PROFITS. THE BULLS HAD PLENTY OF CAP MONEY TO SPEND AND WILL SPEND A LITTLE MORE OF THAT CAP MONEY TO FILL SPOTS. THERE WILL BE PLENTY CAP MONEY LEFT WHICH WILL GO TO REINSDORF. AND HE’LL SAY “WE NEED IT TO SIGN NOAH AND ROSE TO CONTRACT EXTENSIONS IN TWO YEARS” ARE PEOPLE THAT GUILABLE TO BELIEVE THAT THE BULLS HAVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE FAN AND THEY ARE ABOUT WINNING? NOT!!! GO AHEAD AND KEEP FEEDING REINSDORF MORE MONEY.

  8. njcamporese@yahoo.com'
    Nicky C July 8, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    At least it’s not Eddie Robinson. Or Ben Wallace.

  9. CMW the Bulls fan July 8, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    If he goes to the heat his new name for me would be The king servant James. Why does Wade want him down there? I thought he said this is my court. PLEASE MAN UP LEBRON!!!!!!! The Bulls is ready to win and Fans are ready to call you the next Jordan.

  10. adrian.wiegman@gmail.com'
    Adrian July 8, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Now we can fill out the holes on our roster and possibly nab some good players next year as well. I like luol Deng on this team with boozer because he is more comfortable with a supporting role and will undoubtedly be a defensive plus, while getting many more open looks. He also continues to improve his 3 point range. Derrick Roses range will also continue to stretch next season. Is is too late to back out of the kirk Hinrich trade? Probably and its probably a good thing he’s gone because he is not going to get any better, and he is starting to show signs that he is prone to injury. As for the SG situation I say we get one nock down shooter and on defensive stopper who may be a a tweener between sg/sf. So The shooters are Kyle Korver, Ray Allen, Anthony Morrow, JJ Reddick, and a couple others, All of whom are relatively anemic defenders so additionally we must also sign one guys like Matt Barnes, or rasual butler.

  11. not so despicabull July 8, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    haha i guess i overreacted about that wade/bosh news. i was really worried about the nightmares that were going to occur if we didnt get anything today. (texasbearfan you really took my terrible, horrible, no good comment really bad. chill out buddy)
    i agree that boozer does fit our team nicely. i just question his loyalty, he seemed to me like he stop caring in utah. hopefully he gets a nice swig of what joakim is drinkin and gets on the wagon.
    also, i retract my wanting lebron comment. i agree that it would be better to get a solid group rather than putting all of our money in one man’s pocket. aaand i get this disgusting pleasure in watching huge egos fail (even though i did start kinda feelin bad for starbury after he posted that video of him crying). his dancing on the sidelines was pretty unforgivable in my book.

  12. Raevyrn July 8, 2010 at 3:29 am #

    Matt, are there any more details as to what Dwayne Wade was alluding to in reference to Chicago not closing the deal? In the ESPN interview it sounded like we just narrowly missed getting Wade. Bosh decided on Miami convincing Wade to return there as well. Something said during the meetings? With the Hinrich trade and the higher salary cap it would have covered both as max and not too much luxury tax for filling out the rest of the roster. Just curious if there was any more information.

    While it’s certainly good that we got Boozer, I agree that it feels like we just let a chance slip through our grasp for locking down the East.

  13. mikemayer3@hotmail.com'
    thirdsaint July 8, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Interesting thought I didn’t realize:

    I always thought Boozer was injury prone but apparently Bosh has missed more games the last 3-4 seasons that Boozer has. I’m glad the Bulls pulled this off as it still gives them hope for Lebron and, if anything, they are a better team than last year with more of a chance to improve. If they don’t get Lebron then their championship potential in the next 3 to 4 years will hinge entirely on just how great Rose becomes.

  14. LRygh12@yahoo.com'
    Luke July 8, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    Rastabull is the most intelligent person i have read on this site

  15. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Dj July 8, 2010 at 3:57 am #

    BOOZER, PLEASE DON’T DISAPPOINT ME AS A FAN! (HINT: INJURIES) STAY HEALTHY and I will not talk SHIT ABOUT U!!! lol

  16. BullsFan22 July 8, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    I agree with the Thibodeau importance. He is very much like Scott Skiles, IMO. Hard work, tough defense and just fundamentally sound allround play and teamwork. If we can get LBJ and a SG, then we are pretty much a top 3 contender to win a title in the next 5-6 years, guaranteed success, immediate success! Go Bulls!

  17. TexasBearsFan July 8, 2010 at 4:20 am #

    People all the time are saying “Gee, I can’t help but feel it’s a failure that we didn’t sign one of the big 3” (assuming LeBron doesn’t come here). But really, what more could the front office have done? They put us in shape financially to sign them. They made their pitches. They did the best they could; they couldn’t force anyone to sign up.

    I agree with RastaBull, although I would have preferred David Lee to Boozer (younger, no history of injury, etc.). I think we’ve got enough money to assemble quality pieces around our young, hungry core. This team will be solid. And the icing on the cake would be to watch the heart-breaking Heat win 30 games with their 2 all-stars and a team full of scrubs.

  18. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob July 8, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    We are Keeping Gibson, who had a better rookie season than both Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen. Boozer may end up being a backup to Gibson before his contract is up. I see the Bulls as having 1 bonafide star now (Rose) and 2 potential stars in Noah and Gibson. Gibson looks like he can play both the 3 & 4. The Bulls now need to find some guards a backup PG and 2 SGs, 2 backup Cs and 2 Fs. 4 to 5 of these guys need to be able to play 11 to 25 quality minutes a game.

  19. alanlam325@gmail.com'
    Alan July 8, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    I’m a big Gibson fan but all this stuff about him being a future star is out of control. He’s 25 not 19. He’s only 3 years younger then Boozer. I think he can be a fantastic role player off the bench and he’ll bring a ton of energy when he does get on the floor. Boozer WILL get hurt eventually so he’s a nice safety valve to have but he’s never going to be a star. I always kinda hoped the Bulls would try and trade Deng for Al Jefferson or just trade for him straight up but I’m happy with the Boozer signing. LeBron isn’t coming so if I were GarPax I’d start pushing for JJ Reddick. Great shooter, smart player, and a hard working guy. I’m not sure what else they can do at the SG spot. Ray Allen is gone. Maybe try to pull of a trade with a team that doesn’t have cap space. They are gonna have around 17 million in cap space to make some sort of move.

    No one has given any credit to GarPax for the position the bulls are in. They’ve made plenty of poor decisions (Wallace and TT come to mind, how about JJ over DeJuan Blair?) but they’ve put the Bulls in a great position for the future if they can use the cap space wisely. They went for the long shot in LBJ Wade and Bosh and whiffed. I don’t think it’s their fault, everyone wanted to be in Miami. Now if they can manage there cap space in a creative and opportunistic way (think Sam Presti in OKC) the Bulls can continue to build around D Rose and build a team that will be successful in the long term.

    P.S. I’m still pretty bummed that we aren’t getting any of the big 3…this is me being optimistic

  20. PTFC July 8, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    Lebron changed his real estate tax billing with Rachel investments in Ohio to Rachel investments in Chicago on July 7. It’s funny that the one person that may know where he goes is his accountant. Bulls were on a strict radio silence and gag order today not allowed to talk to media all day. Maybe the Bulls org. knows something we don’t.

  21. jth95@cornell.edu'
    Jeremy July 8, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    I’m interested to hear what people think of the prospect of adding JJ Reddick. Personally I think he played great for Orlando in the playoffs and could flourish as the bulls starting SG. Though we’ll also have to see if we can pry him away from Orlando I suppose. There’s also Kyle Korver and Mike Miller but I’d prefer Reddick of those three. Rose, Reddick, Deng, Boozer, Noah. Contender?

  22. Trm378@gmail.com'
    Trm3 July 8, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Good one DJ, lol

    U were actually funny there.

  23. joe.sez@gmail.com'
    joe July 8, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Most commenters here seem content the Bulls Plan B was Boozer.

    Boozer can stay healthy with Taj Gibson playing significant backup minutes at PF.

    Unless you have a Jordan or Bryant, I wouldn’t expect the Bulls to have to spent too much for a decent SG.

    Of the 5 positions, SG is the easiest to fill. Later round picks at SG are most common such as 2nd round Gilbert Arenas, Anthony Morrow and Monta Ellis.

  24. www.dipenpatel@bbth.com'
    BULL4EVER July 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    The Carlos Boozer signing will be a totally different signing than the signing of that loser ben wallace whom shares the same last name of that idiotic punk rasheed wallace because Chicago may even win the NBA title next season and beyond,especially if this team is good enough and if we could get David Lee or even somehow get LBJ if we’re lucky enough then Chicago is winning endless NBA titles no matter what.But the Bulls should be totally happy about Boozer joining forces with Rose and Noah whether LeBron signs with the Windy City or not. GO BULLS BABY.

  25. mikejhampton@yahoo.com'
    Mike_in_Shanghai July 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    The only problem I have with JJ is that he’s small. In a lot of ways he’s like Hinrich (a compliment by the way) and remember the problems the Bulls have had defending taller 2’s over the past decade? I would like to see GarPax target a Mike Miller or Kyle Korver for the starting off guard spot, neither is a lock down defender by any stretch of the imagination but both are big, both shoot well and with Miller you get the extra 5 or so rebounds a game to boot.

    I would love to see JJ here as a 6th man though. Come in, knock down a few jumpers and get in a guys face.

  26. srsh@aol.com'
    srsh July 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    As only a couple posters pointed out, the biggest improvement to this team is most likely going to be the change in coaching.

    As for Boozer, it was an EXCELLENT move. The gap between Boozer & Bosh is not so big but the gap in salary is huge.

    The Bulls have MAX $$ available to sign someone. Even without Lebron, the Bulls have so many options available to them to improve their team.

    With Boozer, the Bulls do not have a lot of weaknesses. They are very close to becoming a championship team & if they spend their $$ smart … they’ll get there. With or without Lebron.

  27. srsh@aol.com'
    srsh July 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Shooting guard & consistent perimeter shooter are the biggest improvements this team needs. Unfortunately, I don’t consider any of the two guards in free agency that good defensively.

    It will be interesting to see how the Bulls decide to move here. If luol Deng can pull a shooting guard w/ consistent perimeter & solid D. They need a shooting guard that can carry the team … just someone who can consistently punish you for leaving him open because your defense is focused on the Bulls big guns.

  28. srsh@aol.com'
    srsh July 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Made a typo … meant to say that they do NOT NOT need a shooting guard that can carry the team.

    arggh!!! Why is there no edit available?

  29. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    reggie July 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    OK HERE IT IS IN BIG PRINT
    1)WE GOT BOOZER LOW POST SCORER NOT JUST A TREAT HE IS PROVIN
    2)WE HAVE MONEY TO ADD MORE TALENT TO AID THE TEAM WE HAVE NOW, MINUS EGO AND SO FOURTH.
    3)WE AS A TEAM WILL NOT ONLY WIN MORE GAMES NEXT YEAR BUT HAVE A GREAT SHOT TO WIN A TITLE DERRICK ROSE IS A TRUE BEAST AND A BIG TIME PLAYER MAKES IT HAPPEN AND HE IS STILL VERY YOUNG (MANY YEARS TO LOOK FORWARD TO WINNING WITH HIM.
    4)IF WE SIGN A GOOD OR EVEN GREAT SHOOTER THIS TEAM WILL BE VERY HARD TO BEAT ALSO VERY SOLID AND STRONG TEAM NOT ABOUT FINESS JUST HARD TO THE BOARD TYPE TEAM.
    5)WE WILL HAVE MONEY TO MAKE CHANGES AS THEY COME UP TO MAKE ARE TEAM EVEN BETTER IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
    LAST BUT NOT LEAST LBJ, WADE WERE LONG SHOTS TO COME TO CHICAGO BOSH WAS MORE OF A REALITY BUT NO TIME TO THINK ABOUT THAT ITS OVER FOR HIM HE IS A HEAT PLAYER, I AM A BULLS FAN I LOVE THE SIGNING OF BOOZER MAKES US A TRUE TEAM TO BE SCARED TO PLAY ANYTIME THEY UP AGAINST THE BULLS, SO TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT DON’T THINK THIS IS NOT GONNA BE A TOUGH TEAM TO BEAT JUST WATCH I AM 100% SURE OUR BULLS NOW AND ANY PLAYERS WE ADD IN NEAR FUTURE WILL BE A HARD TEAM TO BEAT VERY HARD TO BEAT. THE FUTURE IS HEAR AND THE FUTURE IS OURS HERE IN CHICAGO. PEACE

  30. ballout July 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Lebron James to Miami means that the CHICAGO BULLS will be your 2010-11 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS and at least a three seed in the eastern conference.

  31. m_nazabal@yahoo.com'
    Max July 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    At least it’s a better signing than Ben Wallace!

  32. Anonymous July 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Please Chicago sign Anthony Morrow!! You will not be disappointed! This kid can shoot, and play defense!

  33. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    Jason Biggs July 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    I agree with Annoymous, but, is going to be hard to try to steal him away from Golden State, since he is a resisted free agent. =[

  34. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    Jason Biggs July 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    restricted free agent*

  35. RastaBull July 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    I really wish we did not have to wait until 9 for “The Decesion” (it’s these kind of shinanigans that make me really dislike LeBron). That said, there is still a chance he lands here, however, I don’t care either way. I’d feel perfectly comfortable if he wasn’t with the Bulls for reasons I already laid out in the earlier post. BUT what happens if he does come??

    You can’t start both he and Deng, so we still need to find a shooter or two. Deng’s contract is a pretty tough one to move at this point, but what about Johnson. Could that free up enough cap to sign any legit shooter?? I know after signing LeBron we’d be able to offer minimum contracts and go over the cap, but are we going to get anything of quality with that? Can you think of an sharpshooting vets that would come on for the minimum? As much as I love Deng if we moved his contract after bringing in LeBron, used that money on Reddick, Miller, or Wes Matthews…then this team is easily favs in East and prepared to confront the Lakers and save the Jordan Legacy. The biggest reason I’d be happy to see LeBron on the Bulls is how terribly fierce this defense would become. We already know they’ll be good, but LeBron with Thibs system would turn them beyond great. Plus, if LeBron signs here it means he doesn’t sign in Miami (and I REALLY don’t want to see that happen).

    God I wish this wait was over and the front office could just move forward!!

    PS ~ Why all this talk about bringing in David Lee still?? I’ve seen it from several people…would we really waist the rest of the cap we have on someone to come off the bench.
    Also, Alan makes a good point on Gibson’s age. Although his number look like Bosh’s rookie season, he’s never gonna be Bosh. I don’t believe he’s an All-Star ever, but it’s his age that made him such a great draft pick. He’s disciplined, and a great student of the game. He’s matured already and consistent. I hope he’s a Bull for life because he’s going to be OUR star off the bench, the X-factor, for years to come.

    ONE LOVE

  36. ballout July 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Bulls have a good chance of signing the 6-5 inch A.Morrow becuase Golden State already has Monta Ellis and S. Curry in the backcourt. Morrow did start for GS on numerous occasions, but not only at SG but at small forward. The Bulls can make a good enough offer for which GS will not want to match.

  37. abormet@hotmail.com'
    Aaron July 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    I have to admit, Anthony Morrow was completely under my radar.
    Already on roster: Rose, Deng, JJohnson, Boozer, Gibson, Noah

    Sign Luke Ridnour to back up PG and off bench shooter.
    Sign Morrow to back up SG and SF
    Sign JJ Reddik to play SG
    Sign Brad Miller to back up C
    Bring back Chris Richard, Flip Murray and AC Law on the cheap
    Bring in Omer Asik
    Bring in 1 more hustle/big body for the fouls emergency

    This all goes out the window IF the Bulls sign Lebron, but I’m not holding my breath.

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