It took the Chicago Bulls too long to realize that Carlos Boozer needs to be amnestied. Maybe a year or two too late, the former All-Star power forward has finally been released on that magical clause that keeps him paid but helps the team get rid of cap hit and player they no longer had use for.
Like Ben Wallace, Carlos Boozer wasn’t the free agent the Chicago Bulls wanted or needed. No Dark Knight parallel here. He was simply a guy they were able to afford after not signing the ones they actually wanted.
Like Wallace, he was overpaid. And like overpaid players usually do, he disappointed. Boozer’s four seasons in Chicago aren’t summed up by his numbers: 15.5 points and 9 rebounds per game. Those aren’t half bad. They’ll be summed up by other things.
His tendency to disappear in big games. His inability to find himself in the team defense, which meant getting sent to the bench during fourth quarters. Being unable to become that reliable number two guy for Derrick Rose. Boozer was a beast during his final season with the Jazz: A 19-11 player while shooting 56.2% from the field. But he’s always been about the money, and once he got another big contract – that and another injury that took something out of him, the Bulls never got the player they paid for.
Boozer is going to find a job easily. He might not even have to clear waivers. With so many teams having plenty of cap space, someone is going to sign him to a bigger deal than he deserves because of the need to fill their cap space. That might help out the Bulls, who won’t have to pay him the $16.8 million they amnestied him for.
It’s not Boozer’s fault the Bulls haven’t been able to win during his time with the team. It always comes down to Derrick Rose’s injury in 2012, derailing the team with the best record in the league into a scrappy group of fighters and defenders. Something that was never going to work without talent. Boozer should have given them that extra something. The failure became not just his, but the team’s as well, reluctant to free up the cap space when it was clear they were wasting money on him two years ago.