Could Carlos Boozer be next in line to be traded from the Chicago Bulls? With the power forward’s recent statements against his own coach Tom Thibodeau for lack of playing time, the veteran could very well be on his way out of the Bulls camp by trade deadline.
In an extensive interview with the Chicago Tribune, Boozer voiced out his frustration of the erratic minutes he’s getting during crunch time of most of the Bulls games this season.
"It's very frustrating, especially when I've got a great game going or what have you. Obviously as a competitor, you want to be out there to help your team win and especially when the game is close. You can do things that can help your team win. Not being out there, all you could do is really cheer them on," said the 12-year pro who’s having career-low averages since his rookie year with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Booozer has logged in 14.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds in 43 games for the Bulls this season.
Despite the respectable numbers, “Coach Thibs” still doesn’t trust Boozer in the waning moments of the game playing Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah upfront during crunchtime. The decision perhaps comes from the fact that the Gibson-Noah combo is a more efficient pair defensively, something that Boozer has struggled with his entire career.
When asked of his decision to bench Boozer during the vital parts of the game, Thibodeau has always said that “match-ups dictate which players will be on the floor.” Probably just a nicer way of saying that Boozer doesn’t play the defense the Bulls coach demands.
"I think I should be out there," added Boozer.
Out in the court or with another team it’s only a matter of time if the Bulls will indeed trade away Boozer before the deadline.
If the Bulls front office want to continue their semi-rebuild/reload, it would be wise for them to unload Boozer and his rather toxic contract to get some value off the disgruntled player. Via ESPN Trade Machine, here's a deal they can explore:
Chicago Bulls – Houston Rockets Trade
Carlos Boozer ($15.3M) + Future 2nd Round Pick for Omer Asik ($8.3M) and Jeremy Lin ($8.3M)
Logic for Bulls: They get Asik back, correcting their mistake after trading him away before. They get a serviceable guard in Lin, who can either back-up Derrick Rose when he returns or play alongside him
Logic for Rockets: They get a real four that can stretch the floor. The salary is tough, but they are on win-now mode and Boozer completes a potent frontcourt with Dwight Howard.