Monday, October 4th, 2010 at 8:00 am  |  58 responses

Top 50: Carlos Boozer, no. 20

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Bryan Crawford / @_BryanCrawford

The first time I got a chance to see Carlos Boozer in his No. 5 Chicago Bulls jersey and uniform at the teams annual media day last week, surrounded by Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng, etc., it finally hit me that he really was a part of this team.

I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t give me a chill and make me that much more excited for the NBA season to start just to see the actual product compete on the floor. When you have a veteran guy wCarlos Boozerho’s an NBA All-Star and pretty much guaranteed to give you 20 and 10 every single night and you team him with a phenomenal young point guard and a still developing, yet vastly improving young center, as a Bulls fan, you couldn’t help but get excited at the potential havoc this team was going to wreak around the League this year.

But that was Monday.

By Sunday, word had come down that on Saturday — a day off for the team — Carlos Boozer had broken the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand; an injury that will require surgery (that he’ll undergo on Tuesday) and put him on the shelf for at least 8 weeks.

 Talk about a buzz kill.

In any case, Boozer checks in at No. 20 in SLAMonline’s Top 50 this year, jumping 12 spots from a year ago. After playing in only 37 games in ’08-’09 due to injury, Booz made a remarkable comeback and played in 78 games during the ’09-‘10 season where he averaged 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. But even more than his play – let’s be honest, Booz puts up numbers like that on the regular – his jump in the rankings is largely based on the fact that everyone with a vote expected him to be a beast in the top heavy, but still much improved Eastern Conference this year. This injury to his hand is certainly a setback to that manifestation.

Carlos Boozer knows he has his critics and acknowledged as much at media day. One of the things he said he was most looking forward to was being able to silence them this season. Of the questions regarding his leadership ability and his attitude, the single biggest knock on him throughout his career has been his health and how seemingly fragile he is (score another one for the critics). It’s worth noting that in eight years in the NBA Boozer has already missed a total of 146 games. Once he does return to action (he’s expected to be out at least 15 games), he’ll have basically missed two full seasons going into his ninth year as a professional, mostly due to injury.

When healthy, Carlos Boozer is one of the best power forwards in the game today. He has good size, he’s a good passer for a big man, he possesses tremendous skills around the basket with the ability to finish with either hand, and when it comes to rebounding, there are few guys in the NBA that can do it like Booz. But Bulls fans already know this and they aren’t trying to hear any of that right now; they want to see it.

In fact, the decision to not go after Carmelo Anthony when the team had the chance will seem even dumber to a lot of people who felt the Bulls should’ve done whatever it took — like trade Joakim Noah who “coincidentally” just agreed to a new extension – to get Melo in a Bulls uniform.

After suffering through suckitude and mediocrity for the past 13 years, this season was supposed to be the beginning of the Chicago Bulls resurgence and the first step toward the team becoming relevant in the NBA again. Most fans thought they would see it happen sooner rather than later but as it stands right now, they’ll just have to wait a little while longer. That shouldn’t be too hard though. Waiting is something that Bulls fans have become accustomed to for a while now.

Player Team Position 2010 2009 2010 2009
Ray Allen Celtics SG 50 36 11 10
Gilbert Arenas Wizards SG 49 34 10 9
Lamar Odom Lakers PF 48 33 14 10
John Wall Wizards PG 47 NR 13 NR
OJ Mayo Grizzlies SG 46 46 9 12
Al Horford Hawks C 45 NR 6 NR
Jason Kidd Mavs PG 44 45 12 10
Joakim Noah Bulls C 43 NR 5 NR
LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 42 39 13 12
David West Hornets PF 41 31 12 8
Monta Ellis Warriors SG 40 NR 8 NR
Andrew Bogut Bucks C 39 NR 4 NR
Yao Ming Rockets C 38 NR 3 NR
Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 37 NR 11 NR
Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 36 NR 11 NR
Stephen Curry Warriors PG 35 NR 10 NR
David Lee Warriors PF 34 NR 10 NR
Brook Lopez Nets C 33 NR 2 NR
Gerald Wallace Bobcats SF 32 NR 6 NR
Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 31 29 7 8
Tony Parker Spurs PG 30 15 9 3
Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 29 13 9 3
Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 28 44 5 9
Josh Smith Hawks PF 27 40 8 13
Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 26 26 6 7
Al Jefferson Jazz PF 25 23 7 7
Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 24 NR 8 NR
Chauncey Billups Nuggets PG 23 19 7 5
Tyreke Evans Kings PG 22 NR 6 NR
Danny Granger Pacers SF 21 21 4 4
Carlos Boozer Bulls PF 20 32 6 9

• Rankings are based solely on projected ’10-11 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jeremy Bauman, Maurice Bobb, Erildas Budraitis, Sean Ceglinsky, Ben Collins, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Manny Maduakolam, Eddie Maisonet, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Charles Peach, Branden Peters, Quinn Peterson, David Schnur, Todd Spehr, Kyle Stack, Adam Sweeney, Dennis Tarwood, Tracy Weissenberg, Lang Whitaker, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    come on SLAM, some mercy, if this stiff is top-20 then SCOLA is top-5….oups, wait, i forgot this is a videogame/fantasy league ranking….my apologies.

  • tavoris

    How does boozer have “good size” as a 6’9″, 250 power forward, when David West is considered “undersized” at 6’9″, 240?

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    by the way….where is ANNA ? (performing “killer crossovers” in…China!! They were characterized illegal for the NBA so they send her as far away as possible!!! ,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!)

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    i’ll even take Andre “got no idea what to do with a basketball but i make millions cause kids can easily comprehend dunks” Iguodala, over him, at least he is more spectacular (none of them is top-100 of course).

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS


  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Oh look, it’s the Greek dude stopping by to share his insights with us all. What did we ever do to deserve such an honor?

  • Furious

    Nothing like ramblings from an idiot to kick off the comments.

  • C-Mac

    Ok so let me get this straight… either Paul Pierce is in the top 20… or you have forgotten about him. Sorry but the truth is way past his tpo 10 days

  • C-Mac

    *top 20

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    Top 50: Bag, no. 19

  • JTaylor21

    Looks like it’s Let The Mental Patients Out of The Asylum Day in Greece.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Maybe I should send the Greek dude an email…

  • Furious

    I doubt he’d respond rationally to that either. It’d be like sending Carlos Boozer an email about loyalty. (See that – moving the conversation back the article)

  • Ken

    “When healthy”…too bad about the broken hand to start this season.

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    @bRYANT CROWFORD……: 23 Anna covers maybe….??? 15 years of ridiculusly unjustified hype that,as Shaq said some years ago, almost destroyed U.S. bball ??? I mean, the guy managed to lead the U.S. natinal men’s team to a loss to Puerto Rico…(by the way: i consider this his greatest achievment ever.Seriously, who else could manage such a thing)!!!! Anyway, doesn’t matter you will never get it, see you in China my little one, Anna is waiting for you!!! Zhu ni lutu yukuai!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Furious: You have a point. So how about I post his email address, giving everyone an opportunity to fill his inbox and tell them how they really feel about his comments which are akin to spam? Not that I would ever do anything like that. But then again…

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Maybe Pierce is gonna be listed as a 2? Or Melo as a 4?
    I wouldn’t do that for either player, but hey.. Ps Vince Carter missed the list. So did Jameer Nelson and Lewis.
    The remaining 5 pg’s are Rose, Rondo, Nash, Deron and CP. Brooks didn’t make it.

  • Bruno

    the slam jinx

  • Furious

    On the actual topic of Boozer, he gets the quietest 20 & 10s in the league except for David West.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    David West has never been a 20/10 guy. Ever.

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    Pierce is still top-10 easily (although he will not get ranked that high here).

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    @Bryan….:Of course he has.Many ,many times. At Furious’ PS3 !!!

  • twinparadox

    Where do I hit the “Report Spam” button?

  • Noel

    Poor, poor Bulls fans ;(

  • Furious

    I didn’t say he was a 20/10 guy. I was saying that, like Boozer, when he gets 20 and 10 its quiet.

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=pan&pcode=BEZ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    (and now everything gets “COSTABODA” clear….)

  • JTaylor21

    Pierce is Top-10 still, HAAAAAAA maybe in your shriveled up mind but not in reality.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Thinking that he would be the 2nd best player on a projected 4th seed in a VERY tough east, I think this is a fair position.

  • a_whiteman

    over rated (clap clap clap-clap-clap). i cant stand this guy ya he might put up 20 and 10 but the guy hes gurding is putting up the same IF NOT better. Not only that but he is clearly as loyal as rico in paid in full

  • mister8

    I think the Greek guy is a bit in your face about the whole thing, but he is right though.
    Basketball was oncourse of becoming a one on one sport, and I think the NBA and it writers saw that too, hence the Steve Nash MVP’s (wich I support).

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Last week I woulda been pumped to see Boozer on here. But this morning…not so much. Oh well, least he won’t be out too long.

  • unrel

    i’m not sold on boozer.. never have been… but you can’t deny the numbers he puts up.. and to the greek guy.. pau gasol is better than everyone you separated with a ” > “..

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    he’s not a good size PF. He’s short for a PF for modern day game and his defense suffers because of that. he’s good for scoring and rebounds but not for blocking shots. if you are going to put a non all around player top twenty… i dunno. no defense = no championship.

  • Big E

    Top 3 point guards…

    CP3 (Saw him at open practice on Saturday and dude is ready)
    Deron Williams
    Steve Nash

    Ya’ll can battle it out amongst yourselves between Rose and Rondo.

  • http://sdjflf.com Jukai

    The bag better be ranked 19

  • SpaceJam

    Yea, @ Egnimatic I’m disappointed too. But I do agree with the ranking b/c he’ll put up similar if not better stats then last year. And he’s expected to put up big numbers unlike last year which is why he is ranked higher

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    I do think the move to the east coast where the 4′s aren’t as big will help a lot.

  • JTaylor21

    HAAA Good one Jukai. The bag better get 80 milli too.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    hes an awfull defenser aside from the very good rebounding, which to me counts as defense too. too high nº20

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    good spot, good write up.

  • Bruno

    good spot??? hell no … he’s way too overrated

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    do any of you have a legitimate reason to say he is overrated, or you just feel that way?

  • Bruno

    I feel that way cause that’s what I see when the Jazz are in the playoffs and I don’t see Boozer playing to the level he’s supposed to

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You should check his playoff performances again then.

  • http://scott.r.carter10@gmail.com Scott Carter

    1) Lebron James, 2) Kobe Bryant, 3) Kevin Durant, 4) Dwyane Wade, 5) Chris Paul, 6) Dwight Howard, 7) Carmelo Anthony, 8) Deron Williams, 9) Tim Duncan, 10) Chris Bosh, 11) Dirk Nowitzki, 12) Derrick Rose, 13) Amare Stoudemire, 14) Joe Johnson, 15) Rajon Rondo, 16) Brandon Roy, 17) Pau Gasol, 18) Paul Pierce, 19) Aaron Brooks

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    @BC: This was a above average write up. Thank you. Credit where credit is due. The SLAM people got it wrong though, there’s no way that Boozer is top 20 in the L. Overrated; good rebounder, pretty good scorer, awful defender and Booz really can’t deal with length. If he was a real gamer he would figure it out as Barkley, young LJ, Landry, Elton Brand did. Good solid player but not top 20 by any means.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Scott Carter = Fail (Steve Nash exists)

  • Groves@UWA

    Get FOTSIS out… hes just going on and on about what, “costaboda” and “anna” ?? since when is iversons nickname or any variaion of, “anna”. if it makes you feel less gay when you stare at his poster at night, fotsis, at least keep it to yourself

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    @Scott Carter: Rose, JoeJohnson and Rondo ahead of Roy?, only if this people were crazy, blind or really dumb…

    and Gasol nº18, just next to Aaron freakin Brooks? dude, you gotta check yourself before I ridicule yourself!

  • Michael

    Greek dude is so annoying. I thought we had lost this clown.

  • Furious

    If Aaron Brooks was in the top 20, I don’t think I’d ever read slam again.

  • bashmo

    without a doubt Paul Pierce is in the top 20, we’ve seen ray allen, and lamar odom, so if we don’t see pierce than i don’t know whats wrong with this list.

    But I like boozer’s position. Not too high, not too low. Really underrated big man. He can shoot, hes got a low post game(which this combination is gettin harder to find in big men nowadays eg.Stoudemire, Bosh, Howard) , and can rebound and pass.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Arek

    this is blasphemy!

  • Mike Mihalow

    I actually went to Boozer’s house the other day to tell him what his ranking would be here, but when I rang the doorbell, he never answered. I just heard a loud thud, and screaming.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Top 50: Rajon Rondo, no. 17

  • JalepinoSausage

    Mike , That was funny i$H !! Arek Niepierdol !:-)

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Top 50: Chris Paul, no. 7

  • matt

    hahaha…it’s either east coast bias or anti-jazz bias that catapulted carlos up these ranks. this is ridiculous.