Bulls player reviews: Carlos Boozer
May, 8, 2014
By Nick Friedell
AP Photo/Michael ConroyCarlos Boozer found himself on the bench late in games last season under Tom Thibodeau.
2013-14 salary: $15,300,000 | Age: 32 | Season stats: 13.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG
Season recap: Boozer had his worst season as a Bull. He became mostly a two-quarter player under Tom Thibodeau -- playing the first and third quarters -- then sitting on the bench in crunch time. After his best season as a Bull last year, Boozer's numbers regressed and he became the first player to openly question some of Thibodeau's decisions.
Season highlight: Boozer had 27 points and nine rebounds as the Bulls destroyed the Miami Heat on Dec. 5.
"I think I should be out there," Boozer said. "But it's [Thibodeau's] choice. He makes the decisions out there, so I play. I don't coach. He coaches. So he decides that.
"But honestly, he's been doing that a lot since I've been here, not putting me in in the fourth quarter. Sometimes we win; more times than not, we don't. But that's his choice."
Boozer's words angered many within the organization, especially Thibodeau, and likely marked the beginning of the end of his tenure in Chicago.
Final grade: C-.
Notes: For the third year in a row, Boozer played in a majority of the Bulls' games. He averaged 28.2 minutes a game in 76 contests.
Quotes: Bulls GM Gar Forman addressed Boozer's future and the possibility of using the amnesty clause on the final year of his deal during last week's season ending media session.
"We know there’s been a lot written about that. We have valued Carlos. And I think Carlos has had a big part of our success the last four years. Obviously, we still have amnesty as an option that we haven’t used that a lot of teams have. That’s something as we go into July, we’ll have to evaluate. If it’s something that makes sense as far as getting our team stronger, we may go that way. But we also may not go that way. And you guys know us: We’re not going to make decisions until we have had a chance to really go through the process, study what the pluses are, what the minuses could be and then make whatever we think is the best decision for our team."
What's next? Boozer has likely played his last game as a Bull. He seems to know it and the Bulls seem to know it. The writing is on the wall. Whether the final year of his contract is amnestied or he is dealt in another deal, Boozer's days with the Bulls are numbered.