Editor’s Note: “A Decade Back” means just that. We’re looking ten years into the past at major events in the basketball landscape to relive the history. We should learn from the course of time and not soon forget the moments that brought us here.
In 2010, the Bulls needed a big man to help propel them to the top of the NBA. Carlos Boozer had been rumored a Chicago target many times before, but it finally happened that summer with a sign-and-trade from Utah, with the Jazz also adding a 2011 second-round pick. Utah also received a traded player exception (TPE).
The offseason before, Chicago let Ben Gordon sign with Detroit as a free agent, then traded John Salmons during the 2009-10 season. Then, the Bulls dumped Kirk Hinrich and his $9 million contract onto Washington, opening up extra salary for free agency. Chicago had $30 million in cap space and seemed primed for a major signing or two to bolster its good-not-great roster.
The move left Utah without its leading scorer and a series of questions heading into a new era without Boozer.
Boozer joined Chicago on a five-year, $76 million deal after averaging a double-double on 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game in the last season. Let’s look back at the reactions when the news dropped:
“Carlos Boozer is keeping busy as the first day of NBA free agency unwraps.
The former Jazz forward met with Utah and the Miami Heat in South Florida on Thursday and was scheduled to meet with the Bulls in Chicago on Friday, a league source told ESPN.com.
According to a source, Boozer will also meet with the New Jersey Nets over the weekend …
Boozer is viewed as alternative to fellow max-contract big men Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire.” – ESPN.com
“Boozer was a notable free agent floating around this summer, holding meetings with the Jazz, Heat, Knicks and Nets before signing with the Bulls Wednesday afternoon.
Chicago took fast action on Boozer after free agent Dwayne Wade agreed to stay with the Heat on Wednesday morning. It was heavily speculated earlier in the week that Wade was looking to play in Chicago, because he had family issues to settle there, but in the end, the guard made the decision to stay in South Beach.” – Jill Seward, NESN
“The two-time All-Star forward is going to Chicago in a sign-and-trade with the Utah Jazz, giving the Bulls the dominant big man they’ve craved for years …
The deal gives the Jazz salary-cap flexibility while the Bulls get a major presence inside …
Boozer’s arrival gives the Bulls a formidable pair in the frontcourt with Joakim Noah, not to mention a good pick-and-roll partner for All-Star point guard Derrick Rose.” – ESPN.com
“We are confident that his skill set, toughness and leadership are all qualities that make him a great fit for the Bulls, and he will add a low-post element to our team that we have been searching for. Post players, with the skills that Carlos possesses, are at a premium in the NBA and we believe that we have landed on the best big men in the NBA.” – Bulls general manager Gar Forman
“Boozer is a terrific pick-and-roll player and has been masterful running that play with Deron Williams. It finally gives Rose a big man who requires a double and can make a jumper.” – Sam Smith, Bulls.com
“Boozer gives the Bulls a legit second scorer and now Luol Deng becomes a very-legit third scorer.
Boozer also gives the Bulls a true threat in pick and roll situations. Last season, they ran the pick and roll with Noah, and defenders would back off and let him shot (sic). But with Boozer, teams will respect his jump shot and Rose will not be double (sic) as much – or as quickly – after the screen. It also allows Noah to and (sic) Deng to cut to the whole (sic) for easy buckets and rebounds while teams focus on Rose breaking down his defender.
Last season Noah averaged 11 rebounds a game, Taj Gibson and Deng averaged 7.9 and 7.3 rpg, and Boozer averaged 10.2 his entire career. The Bulls are going to be one of the better rebounding teams.” – Unknown Timberwolves fan on Fansided
“The Bulls are still in the running for LeBron James, who is going to make an announcement Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN. Chicago still has enough cap space to take a max contract, and Boozer said that shortly after signing his contract he texted James to recruit him to come to Chicago.
‘I think there is a chance until it’s done,’ Boozer said Thursday on ‘The Waddle & Silvy Show’ on ESPN 1000. ‘Until [James] decides where he is going to go, I think we have a chance to get him in a Bulls uniform. I’m going to text him again [Thursday] morning and see what his reply might be.’
‘I tell you one thing, if we get him we can rival one of the best teams of all time and have championship after championship. If we don’t get him, then we’ll bring it to him.’
Adding a two-time All-Star in Boozer could make the Bulls more attractive to James.” – ESPN.com
“LeBron James is set to announce his plans Thursday in a prime time address on ESPN. The speculation has been he’ll return to Cleveland. There were rumors Wednesday James might go to Miami or New York, though both seem like long shots, as in Miami James would not be the so-called ‘Man,’ and in New York, the roster doesn’t seem made for seriously competing.
But don’t count out LeBron for the Bulls quite yet.
The addition of Boozer to Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng appears to put the Bulls in position to be on a competitive footing with anyone else in the Eastern Conference, if not as glamorous a fit …
With Bosh and Wade teaming up in Miami, now that the Bulls have Boozer, the Bulls can make the strong case they have ample cap room to pay James a full max salary for five years and he can join Rose, Deng, Boozer, Gibson and Noah, a far stronger roster than anyone else can put on the court now.” – Sam Smith, Bulls.com
“I don’t see us as having a glass ceiling. I feel like we have a team that can contend and I think that’s something we’ll learn if we get out on the court. But the talent is definitely here. We’re certainly not done yet making this team up obviously. We’re gonna add some pieces to our team whether it’s players that played here already or new players coming in like I am. Our pursuit is a championship and we’re not gonna stop till we reach it.” – Carlos Boozer
“Now Boozerless, where in the world do they go from here?
It’s a question weighing heavily on Jazz minds, especially that belonging to Kevin O’Connor.
‘It’s free agency,’ the Jazz general manager said, ‘and we have to bang around and see what we can come up with that.’” – Deseret News
“But it is clear that two-time NBA All-Star Boozer won’t have any more money or an extra year added to his original agreement with Chicago, which signing with his former team would have allowed.
The Bulls, in other words, essentially gave Utah a gift – the TPE.
‘I appreciate the cooperation of (Bulls basketball boss) John Paxson and the fact (Boozer) was willing to sign participate in the sign-and-trade, because neither of them had to,’ O’Connor said at the Orlando Pro Summer League here.”
‘It gives us an opportunity to investigate other rosters and see if there’s a player that maybe teams with luxury-tax issues or teams looking to go in a another (sic) direction (would trade). We’ll try and be aggressive with it.’” – Deseret News
“Paul has waited, and waited patiently. And good things come to those who wait. He was (Boozer’s) backup for three years, and he learned a lot from Boozer, and now he has a chance to pave his own way right now.” – DeAngelo Millsap, Paul Millsap’s agent and uncle
“My initial response was I was happy for Booz, and glad to see him collect the money. I’m happy for him and his family. And then it was, ‘It’s about time.’
It was kind of a sigh of relief, knowing I get a chance to do what I want to do, and that’s start. I’m ready to take my game to another level.” – Paul Millsap
“It was early Wednesday afternoon that Rod Thorn called agent Rob Pelinka and offered his client, power forward Carlos Boozer, a contract worth $75 million to play for the Nets for the next five seasons.
Pelinka, who originally asked all bidders for $85 million – that’s just $7 million shy of a maximum-salaried deal – thanked Thorn and said he would get back to him at the end of the day, according to a Nets official familiar with the negotiation.
Two hours later, the Nets learned – with no warning and no recourse – that Boozer signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Chicago Bulls.
‘They never gave us a chance to match, which we probably would have done,’ said the official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for the team. ‘We didn’t even get a chance to meet.’
Throughout the morning, the Nets were trying to arrange a meeting between Boozer, who as (sic) at home in Miami, and coach Avery Johnson, who is with the summer league team in Orlando. They only spoke by phone.” – Dave D’Alessandro, The New Jersey Star-Ledger