Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t play Carlos Boozer much in the fourth quarter of games because… well, Thibodeau likes defense. The combination of Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson plays better at that end of the floor late in games. Boozer only is in when he has a clear interior matchup advantage.
Boozer doesn’t like that, he wants to play more, and he said so in a professional way recently.
Still, Bulls general manager Gar Forman wished Boozer wouldn’t have aired the team’s dirty laundry in public, he said at an event as reported by CSNChicago.com.
“I’m disappointed that Carlos didn’t keep that in-house,” Forman said. “I think we’ve seen Tom does a terrific job managing guys’ roles, managing their minutes. In that situation, Taj has played very, very well.”
I can understand why Gar is frustrated, but Boozer has handled his frustrations with his role professionally, in my opinion.
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It is expected that the Bulls will finally use their amnesty provision on Boozer this summer, freeing up money to go after a free agent (whether that is Carmelo Anthony or someone else remains to be seen).
If/when that happens it will be interesting to see what the market is for Boozer — he can certainly still get you points and boards inside (14.7 and 8.5 a game this season), he’s solid and professional, but he’s not as efficient as he once was and at this point he is a quality role player. Not a guy worth the $16.8 million he is owed next season (although if he is amnestied he still gets that money, the Bulls just have him come off the official books). Boozer is going to be a guy much closer to the league average deal when he goes for his next contract.