CHICAGO (WSCR) Last summer, the NBA saw the best free agency class they’ve ever had, hit the open market. The Eastern Conference finals featured some of the big names from that class, and some of those players played up to their free agency hype.
The biggest player the Bulls brought in was forward Carlos Boozer. And down the stretch, when the game was on the line, Boozer was on the bench.
“The Boozer issue is an issue,” K.C. Johnson, of the Chicago Tribune, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “I mean it’s actually, to me, a big issue, because he’s got four years left on this deal, he looks like he’s out of shape, he doesn’t defend, and, you know, you rally have to address that situation in the offseason, whether it’s conditioning for him, or exploring some trades from management’s perspective.”
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Boozer missed 23 games in the regular season with a broken hand, and over the 59 games he did play, he averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. However, in the playoffs his scoring average dropped to 12.6 points per game.
As a defensive liability, and due to ineffectiveness, Boozer player only 31.7 minutes per game in the playoffs. So it’s no surprise that as the dust still settles on the 2011 season, there is some clamoring from fans to see Boozer traded.
“Again, what’s complicating things here is the work stoppage that’s coming,” Johnson said. “Because, you know, nobody knows what the new rules are. From my perspective, I’d be shocked if any major moves get done at the draft in late June…There are two times, historically, in the NBA that big moves get made: the trade deadline in February and the draft in June. But I just don’t see a team making a major move, you know, five or six days before the CBA expires and you’ve got an unknown, new CBA coming in and a work stoppage.
“I mean, last summer was their time to spend money. And they spent it and they had a great season, but the Boozer situation, I think you’re stuck with the guy. I think you need to get him in shape and committing to conditioning, because I think it’s been a big issue all season. The problem is, even conditioning is not going to help at the defensive end, and that, to me, is a problem that’s not going away.”