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Bulls 101 Roundtable: Who is This Man and What Has He Done with Carlos Boozer?

January 21st, 2013 at 11:30 AM
By Caleb Nordgren

With Carlos Boozer celebrating his New Year's with nearly three weeks of much-improved play — so much so that some people seriously think he should be an All-Star — the Bulls 101 staff takes a swing at whether he'll be able to keep it up and what, if anything, should change with regard to his future with the team. Enjoy.

Avi Saini: His play so far is just a mirage. Since Boozer joined Chicago, we’ve seen him play 162 regular season games, 184 games total factoring in playoffs games. During this time, we’ve seen the highs and lows of Boozer’s game but nothing consistent either way. Until recently that is. In the past 10 games, Boozer has posted very efficient double-doubles in nine of them. I won’tlie, that’s impressive. But given his up and down play throughout the season and the poor three games before his recent resurgence, in which he logged single digit points and rebounds, the past games tell me this is nothing more than a hot streak. As much as I’d like for this play to continue I don’t expect it to last too much longer, especially with none of the point guards running the pick and roll correctly (except Teague but that’s a discussion for another time).

There’s really nothing that can be done with Boozer except to keep him, evaluate his worth at the end of the season, and determine if the amnesty clause should be used or not. For as hot as Boozer has been and how teams like the Los Angeles Lakers could use his midrange game at the 4, teams still do not want to take on Boozer’s contract. Like I said in question 1, Boozer has not played consistently well in 174 of 184 games let alone play at a max contract level consistently. GMs realize this and won’t consider trading for Boozer unless this play continues consistently to the trade deadline. And even then the
contract is still a huge detriment.
Brian Schroeder: I think's it more mirage now than man (twisted and evil), but I'm happy to keep taking the new and improved Super Boozer for as long as he's willing to show up. I still think this is his last season with the Bulls, but I'm not convinced that they'll actually amnesty him, not when a trade scenario is more likely than it has ever been.
Caleb Nordgren: I've been saying since we first noticed he was playing well, after the game against the Orlando Magic, that this was just a flash in the pan and we'd get the old Boozer back before too long. Well, we're three weeks in, and he hasn't stopped yet. Admittedly, his play against the Memphis Grizzlies was hardly the stuff of legends, but let's be real here: 17 points and 14 rebounds against a quality opponent is pretty not bad, and he was one of the guys on the floor for the comeback. And every time I say that he's going to slow down, he has another great game, so I'm just going to stop saying anything at all.
Going forward, I don't know what to do with him. If he keeps playing like this, he's a legitimate asset and should probably be kept around. Then again, if I hold to my supposition that he can't possibly keep this up, he needs to be traded as soon as possible and amnestied if he can't be traded. (This trade works, salary-wise, by the way.) But I honestly don't see him being traded this year/at all, and it has always been clear that the earliest he'd be amnestied would be the summer of 2014, if at all. So, I guess we'll see. 
Tags: Carlos Boozer, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA, Orlando Magic

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