Carlos Boozer has gone from a potential amnesty candidate to the NBA player most likely to be moved by the trade deadline.
Or at least that’s what Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press is hearing:
— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) February 18, 2013
So yeah, there’s that.
Despite averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, it’s hardly a secret that the Chicago Bulls would love to remove the two-years and $32.1 million remaining on Boozer’s contract. They’ve reportedly gone as far as to dangle him to the Toronto Raptors in a deal headlined by Andrea Bargnani, a proposal Toronto has apparently rebuffed.
Though Boozer remains a ferocious rebounder and legitimate offensive threat, he’s 31 and a major defensive liability. That the Bulls are allowing 6.5 points per 100 possessions fewer with him off the court is disconcerting. Chicago ranks third in the league with 91.5 points allowed per game and is usually deft at covering up the defensive deficiencies of an individual, but Boozer sticks out like a sore thumb on crack.
Also worth mentioning is the lack of impact Boozer has had on the Bulls’ offense. His 15.3 points a night are an increase over last year’s posting of 15, but Chicago is actually scoring 6.1 points more per 100 possessions when he’s off the floor. For a team that ranks 27th in points scored per game (93.1), Boozer’s inability to help lead the half-court charge on offense is alarming. He was brought in to score and help the Bulls offensively, not impede them.
Given what we know, I sincerely doubt that there are many teams keen on acquiring Boozer, let alone one that is prepared to do so in the next two or three days. Unless the Bulls are willing to take back a contract of equal value, I just don’t see it. Why would any team want to take an expensive chance on someone who has hindered the Bulls defensively and not had the impact on offense he was supposed to?
It’d be one thing if Boozer had improved his defense or was scoring like a man alive, but he’s not. His field-goal percentage (47.1) is the lowest its been in his career and he still struggles to play 30 minutes a night. At $15-plus million annually, that’s hardly a value.
Boozer’s salary renders any potential deal complex enough, but his tactical struggles make it damn near impossible for Chicago to move him. His pact isn’t immovable (no one’s is), but I struggle to believe that he’s the player “most likely” to be dealt by the deadline.
Are we supposed to be believe he’s more likely to be traded than Josh Smith? J.J. Redick? Or even Bargnani? Some would consider those long shots to be moved as it is. If that’s the case, color Boozer a much longer shot, because it’s unlikely he goes anywhere.
Not unless the Bulls have found a team that has spent the last two years living in the past.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.