Carlos Boozer, now and through 2015

5 years, $76 million officially, according to KC Johnson.  That leaves us with enough room to sign LeBron to the max (and maybe bring over Asik too), and considering the need to make a last ditch effort for LeBron, and the other contracts handed out this offseason, the signing made most of BaB very happy.

But what do the stats say?  How might Boozer impact the Bulls next season, and from then on?  A bunch of bullet points:



With a career 23.6 USG% and .577 TS%, we know he's an elite scorer.  But how does he score, and what else does he bring offensively?  First, a table of his 82games scoring stats over the years.

(Note:  "J" stands for jumpshots, "In" stands for inside shots.  Att is % of FG attempts that are that shot type.  Astd% is percentage of those field goals made that were assisted.)

Year Jatt JeFG% JAstd% InAtt IneFG% InAstd%
2010 49% 0.448 75% 51% 0.673 74%
2009 53% 0.387 63% 47% 0.605 63%
2008 54% 0.447 72% 46% 0.666 70%
2007 47% 0.395 71% 53% 0.715 69%
2006 50% 0.410 70% 50% 0.688 69%


I'm surprised by that 74 Astd% inside.  When I think Boozer I think "post-up isolation scorer", but the stats say that's not how he gets his points.  To see how extreme that Astd% number is, here is a list of big men who scored over 8ppg on inside shots this year:

Player Shot Att. eFG% Ast'd Blk'd Pts
Andrew Bogut Inside 84% 0.562 52% 0.06 12.5
Dwight Howard Inside 87% 0.665 50% 0.07 11.8
David Lee Inside 51% 0.656 58% 0.12 10.4
Pau Gasol Inside 61% 0.631 58% 0.08 10.1
Andrew Bynum Inside 73% 0.650 62% 0.07 10.0
Amare Stoudemire Inside 49% 0.669 61% 0.09 10.0
Carlos Boozer Inside 51% 0.673 74% 0.13 9.6
Brook Lopez Inside 58% 0.593 54% 0.09 9.4
Zach Randolph Inside 49% 0.578 48% 0.14 9.3
Chris Bosh Inside 46% 0.612 48% 0.09 9.3
Chris Kaman Inside 49% 0.578 63% 0.08 8.9
Shaquille O'Neal Inside 79% 0.623 58% 0.05 8.6
Luis Scola Inside 51% 0.623 50% 0.10 8.5
Nene Inside 74% 0.657 73% 0.09 8.5
Marc Gasol Inside 65% 0.654 64% 0.08 8.0


Boozer's Astd% tops the list, putting him even higher than Nene's.  Weird.  Here's what Synergy Sports has to say about his scoring:

Again, an oddly low amount of Isolation attempts.  Most of Boozer's efficient scoring comes from Cuts and Pick and Rolls.  Here's a look at Bosh's numbers for comparison:

Just two completely different scoring styles.  Bosh is the efficient player in the post and in isolation while Boozer is getting points within the flow of the offense.  Here's one more table, this time showing Boozer's post-scoring PPP (points per possession, which I think is just Pts/(FGA + .44*FTA + TOV) compared to other notable big men.


Bosh 1.09 52.5 16.4 10.0
Nowitzki 1.06 49.8 11.6 8.1
Randolph 1.01 48.6 9.2 7.3
Duncan 1.00 49.5 13.3 7.0
Pau 1.00 48.8 10.7 8.5
Stoudemire 0.99 50.8 13.8 14.3
Horford 0.94 45.8 9.3 8.6
West 0.94 48.5 8.0 12.5
Nene 0.94 47.5 9.8 11.8
Bynum 0.93 48.3 8.2 11.0
Marc 0.93 51.4 9.7 14.1
Jefferson 0.92 47.0 7.6 8.5
Howard 0.91 52.7 17.8 19.3
Aldridge 0.91 44.1 10.0 7.5
Lopez 0.91 42.6 16.2 13.5
Scola 0.91 49.8 6.9 14.1
Garnett 0.90 44.9 8.6 11.9
Boozer 0.87 47.5 9.0 15.8
Shaq 0.85 48.9 11.7 14.7
Millsap 0.83 45.7 10.7 19.7
Noah 0.83 40.7 11.6 8.9
Bogut 0.80 43.3 5.1 11.7
Lee 0.80 44.2 3.1 12.8
Kaman 0.77 41.5 5.7 15.0
Perkins 0.74 44.7 10.3 19.6


Damn this is becoming a long post. The numbers show Boozer's post scoring last year wasn't impressive.  While his FG% was strong, his inability to draw fouls and his high turnover rate in those situations brought his overall average down.


Still, the mere reputation of Boozer as a post threat might be what the Bulls need most, as it'll help spread the floor for Rose.  And besides that threat, Boozer brings another skill that might make him elite in the post overall: his passing.

Statistical APM regressions shows a stronger correlation between AST% and team offensive rating than PER and WS suggest, and Boozer's 15.8 AST% last year ranked 3rd in the NBA behind Duncan and Lee among players that average 9+ reb/36.  That's nice to have, especially with how well Rose/Deng/Noah move off the ball.  Boozer and Noah inside will probably mean we'll see the same great interior passing we saw in Miller/Noah lineups the past two years.


Boozer's 6-year offensive APM (2004-2009) was +1.34
Boozer's 4-year offensive APM (2006-2009) was +3.13
Boozer's statistical APM in 2010 (my regression using 6-year data) was +2.94.

I think it's safe to say we're getting at least a +2 player offensively, and maybe one as good as +3.  In a list of the top bigs by 2010 statistical APM:

Player sOAPM
Duncan 4.10
Bosh 4.10
Lee 3.46
Gasol 3.43
Boozer 2.94
Love 2.76
Nowitzki 2.49
Randolph 2.45
Nene 2.25
Howard 2.11
Horford 2.09

Boozer stacks up as expected.  (Note: Amare is at 1.89, Brook Lopez 1.25).



Defensive ability is hard to gauge, but here's everything I could dig up.

Defensive Tools

Using draftexpress measurements to compare Boozer to similarly-sized PFs:

Player Height Weight Wingspan Reach MaxVert
Boozer 6'9" 258 7'2" 9'0.5" 28.5
Taj 6'9.5" 214 7'4" 9'1" 30.0
Griffin 6'9.5" 248 6'11" 8'9" 35.5
Collison 6'10" 255 7'1.5" 9'0" 33.0
D. West 6'9.5" 226 7'4" 9'0.5" 31.5
Amare 6'9.5" 233 7'2" 9'0.5" 35.5

(Note: I used height w/o shoes + 1" since shoe thickness was all over the map with these guys.)  The consensus here seems to be that Boozer is a bit undersized and lacks the tools to be a good defender, but he stacks up fairly well to some other players who are either viewed as having good size or have a good reputation on defense.

I usually trust DraftExpress' scouting reports, and here's what they say about Boozer's defense:

A solid, but unspectacular defensive player. Has the strength to hold position on the block, but lacks the length and quickness to contest shots and effectively defend the high post. Is prone to stay on his feet defensively, a sign of good fundamentals, but also a characteristic that makes the fact he is a bit undersized that much more pronounced.

Offers little as a shot blocker, but does a great job grabbing loose balls in the paint. Has great hands, strength, and anticipation making him one of the League’s best rebounders on the defensive end. Boxes his man out every play and can rebound a pretty big area. Will close out hard when he has to recover to the ball, and while he gets beat of the dribble sometimes, he won’t take himself out of the play very often. A decent option defensively because of his ability to rebound the ball and not take risks, but limited by his quickness and size.

A couple things worth noting here:

  • Despite being a rock-solid 258lbs with a good wingspan and reach, maybe the combination of lacking quickness and jumping ability is too damning a disadvantage for a 6'9" PF.
  • Boozer is more awesome at defensive rebounding than I thought.  His 26.9 DREB% career ranks 3rd among active players and 6th all-time.  With Deng/Boozer/Noah inside now, we've gone from a 2009 team that couldn't keep the Celtics off the glass to an 2011 team that should be among the best in the league in that category.
  • Boozer sounds like a decent post defender, but mediocre at help defense because of a lack of quickness and shotblocking ability.  Because of that, Utah might have been an awful fit for him defensively, with a plodding SF/C combo in Kirilenko and Okur.  Surrounded by a great help defender in Noah, and a SF in Deng who's pretty good at keeping players in front of him, Boozer may be able to just stick to what he does best.

Overall, Boozer's 6 year (2004-2009) defensive APM stood at -1.80, with a 4 year APM (2006-2009) at -2.02.  (2008-2010 APM numbers coming when I increase my dying RAM supply!!).  Those numbers aren't pretty, but with his okay tools and great defensive rebounding numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts rating a bit better than that with the improved Chicago fit.




Here's his total APM numbers from three low-noise sources and a high-noise 09-10 source:

04-08 5-year (weighted toward 2008): +1.97 on offense, -1.95 on defense, +0.02 overall
04-09 6-year unweighted: +1.34 on offense, -1.80 on defense, -0.46 overall (Boozer had a crappy 2009)
06-09 4-year unweighted: +3.13 on offense, -2.02 on defense, +1.11 overall.
09-10 2-year ( -1.75 overall.
08-09 2-year ( +0.34 overall.

Another indicator of value is looking at 82games net plusminuses over time:

2010: -2.2
2009: -5.9
2008: +1.1
2007: +0.6
2006: -0.5
2005: +2.8
2004: +9.4
2003: -3.1

Each 82games number by itself doesn't mean much, but when a big name player hasn't had a good Net plusminus season in five years that might be telling.  Add in the much more accurate APM numbers, and it looks like Carlos Boozer has been an average NBA player on the Jazz.

That of course could change a bit now that he's a Bull (APM can't adjust for defensive fit), and it's conceivable that he could be a +1, maybe even a +2 player immediately.  But I don't see anything there to say he's worth $15 mil when healthy.


I like using Minutes Per Team Game (MPTG) to put into perspective how much floor time a player is actually giving his team.  The formula is simple, just minutes played per year divided by 82.  MPTG per year for Boozer:

Season Age Tm G MP MPTG
2002-03 21 CLE 81 2049 25.0
2003-04 22 CLE 75 2592 31.6
2004-05 23 UTA 51 1772 21.6
2005-06 24 UTA 33 1025 12.5
2006-07 25 UTA 74 2557 31.2
2007-08 26 UTA 81 2827 34.5
2008-09 27 UTA 37 1197 14.6
2009-10 28 UTA 78 2673 32.6
Career 28 TOT 510 16692 25.4

Boozer's been fairly healthy the past four years, with just one stretch of significant time missed.  But at 25.4mptg played over his career, he's been off court nearly half the time.  Just for perspective, Chris Bosh has averaged 32.8mptg over his career, meaning Bosh has given 130% of Boozer's value from minutes played alone, and it's not like Bosh has been that healthy. is my go-to site for player injuries.  Their list for Boozer includes injuries to his right ankle, left knee, left knee again, right ankle again, hamstring, quad, right foot, calf, and right ankle a third time.  And that was when Boozer was 21-28 years old.

Projecting forward, it's not pretty.  Here's a list of big men who missed about as many games as Boozer has by age 28.  Of them, only Shaq (28.6mptg), Webber (25.7mptg), and Cartwright (25.4mtpg) averaged as many minutes from age 29-33 as Boozer did from age 21-28, and Webber and Cartwright's numbers went way, way down after age 30.  Others like Cliff Robinson (not uncle Cliffy, the other one), Brad Daugherty, Jeff Ruland, Charles Smith were out of the league by age 31.

Obviously using comparables in basketball is inexact, and maybe Boozer holds up like Shaq did.  And if by some chance Boozer's injuries are a thing of the past, there are many star post players who've been effective through age 33.  But because of the way Boozer has missed time (lots of little injuries to his lower body), and considering Shaq was the only player on the comparables list to remain a healthy, impact player through age 31, my guess is there's a really good chance Boozer hits a wall soon.  Even if he doesn't, paying $15 mil/year to a +1/+2 player who will fade as Rose moves into his prime seems like a poor decision.

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