At this point, the criticism directed toward Boozer has become almost unwarranted, to the point that he could be considered underrated.
His weaknesses, specifically on the defensive end, are well documented and yes, his salary is excessive in relation to his ability — keep in mind, the Bulls’ other power-forward options the summer they signed Boozer included the oft-injured Amar’e Stoudemire and David Lee, a similar player — but he remains on the cusp of being a top-10 player at his position in the league. A solid rebounder and underappreciated passer, Boozer is also the closest thing the team has to a consistent back-to-the-basket scorer, though he has evolved into more of a mid-range jump-shooter, another aspect of his game where he’s more dangerous than most.
More durable than given credit for and a solid teammate, with the whispers that the organization will use the amnesty clause on him following the season, expect Boozer to be highly motivated, and it’s been said that he’s in excellent shape, knowing that he’ll have to be in top condition to run the floor with Rose returning. While he didn’t live up to perhaps unrealistic expectations that he’d be a nightly 20-point, 10-rebound force (although he hasn’t been too far off that level and has enjoyed stretches where that has been the norm) in Chicago, he’s also been a solid teammate whose needle is moved by winning, not personal achievement.
Make sure to check out all the Bulls previews, each spotlighting this season's expectations for individual players and head coach Tom Thibodeau: