My Growing Infatuation With Carlos Boozer

Gun For Hire

(Where section214 finds the lure of creating his own far-fetched trade impossible to resist…)

I want to make sure that this post has at least one credible item in it, so I will start with this: The Simpson’s ride at Universal is the greatest ride ever created by man, with the possible exception of Jessica Alba. Now, let’s proceed with the nonsense.

I keep noodling with this idea that we deal Brad Miller with no regard as to what we receive in return, as long as it is expiring contract. I think this because it would make us players in the 2009 free agent market, giving us the jump on the 2010 crowd.

Of course, the problem with jumping into the pool a year early is that it won’t quite be filled yet, and that could cause great injury if you dive in head first. David Lee of the Knicks, Marvin Williams of the Hawks and Paul Millsap of the Jazz will be restricted free agents, and Brandon Bass is an unrestricted free agent. Almost everyone else on the ’09 list is too old or too “meh” to help us shape our future, with the notable exception of Carlos Boozer.

Carlos Boozer is an NBA all-star, a career double-double man (21/11 over the past two plus seasons). He is a low post beast that finishes at the rim with either hand, and he can hit the mid-range jumper. He runs the pick and roll with the best of them, and he is currently 27 years old. He has already told the Jazz that he is opting out of the final year of his contract.

Oh yes, that. Carlos Boozer has the reputation of being a “mercenary,” a gun for hire, a player with no loyalty. This was born out of his nasty exodus from Cleveland. And there is no way to candy coat this – when an agent thinks that you’re too sleazy to work with, well, that’s sayin’ something. Add to that the announcement to opt out and the fact that he has missed significant time to injury in three of his seven seasons, and you have all of the ammunition that you need to call this guy a selfish pr*ck.

Except that his teammates have never really castigated him for any of this. It is the nature of the beast of the modern day athlete. They all play in glass arena’s and none of them will throw stones, as they are all prepared to take a similar path if the opportunity presents itself. Boozer played out the required length of his first contract, as smarmy as the termination of that contract may have been. And now he has nearly played out the second contract, and he will be available to the highest bidder.

Carlos Boozer is on the shelf right now, and with a just announced arthroscopic knee surgery, he will miss at least another month. Millsap has filled in for Boozer admirably, and the Jazz are currently 1.5 games out of their division lead (the rank 9th in the west right now, but only 2.5 games out of the #2 spot).

This brings me back to Miller (and then some). Miller, John Salmons and the Rockets 1st round pick (top 10 protected the first year, top 3 protected the next) for Boozer and Jarron Collins.

Why the Jazz do it: Boozer is gone for the next month or so, and then he is gone again at the end of the season (Jazz owner Larry Miller has already blasted Boozer for announcing his intentions of opting out). Miller and Salmons help the Jazz right now, and Miller provides great insurance to Utah if/when Okur opts out at the end of the season. Why the Jazz don’t do it: They think that Boozer in March-April will help them more than Miller/Salmons in January-April, or they think that they can get more for Boozer from someone else.

Why the Kings do it: It solidifies the PF position for the next 6-7 years, albeit at a hefty price. Boozer’s Bird rights come with him, so the Kings will be able to offer him somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million more for his services than anyone else. He’s a “merc,” right? Why the Kings don’t do it: He’s not where you want to spend max dollars.

So, is Carlos Boozer worth the money? Someone is going to come up with max money for him (see Lewis, Rashard ). Should it be the Kings? Is Carlos Boozer in the hand better than the 2010 crop in the bush? Could Boozer, Hawes and Thompson become a formidable front line rotation? Could Boozer and Martin develop a two-man game? Could an up and coming rookie PG eventually become the missing piece of the puzzle? Or should the Kings check to the raiser and wait for 2010?


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