The Chicago Bulls made some of the most noise in free agency this summer. They acquired enough talent to thrust them into the upper ranks of the Eastern Conference without even playing a single game. Maybe all that praise and talk was a bit premature. It seems that one major issue was completely overlooked. Carlos Boozer is a walking injury waiting to happen. He has never played a full season in his eight years in the NBA and has missed a total of 145 games. He has played 81 games twice in his career most recently during the 2007-08 season. Last year, Boozer played in 78 games, up from his 37 the previous season, but was plagued by nagging injuries late in the season that hampered his play despite trying to play through it. Now, the Bulls know all too well what the Jazz were firmly aware of, Boozer gets hurt easily.
On Saturday (October 2), Boozer broke his hand. He did not even break the hand during practice or any other team activity. No, Boozer broke his right hand, technically the fifth metacarpal bone, after he tripped and fell over a gym bag in his home. Tough break…literally, for the Bulls. Queue “The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow. Boozer is expected to be out for eight weeks placing his return well into December. He will have surgery on the hand on Tuesday and is keeping his arm in a sling and the hand in a cast until then. These are the breaks. Break it up, break it up, break it up!
Boozer was signed this offseason by Chicago this summer to a five-year deal worth approximately $75 million dollars and was considered one of the better free agent acquisitions of the summer. Now, the Bulls will have to wait to see a return from their investment. Breaks to win and breaks to lose. However, what this does mean for the Bulls is that Taj Gibson will see an increased role in the rotation. Gibson was featured in all 82 of Chicago’s regular season games, starting in 70 of them, and played in all five of their playoff games during his rookie season last year. He averaged ten rebounds and twelve points per 36 minutes while shooting over 49 percent from the field. If Gibson can increase his production, even just slightly, during Boozer’s absence, the Bulls should be able to easily manage the first of what is likely to be many injuries that Boozer sustains.