10 Worst free agent signings in Chicago Bulls history

Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)
Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls, Bulls worst free agent signings
Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

1. Carlos Boozer (2010)

Contract: 5 years, $80 million

First and foremost, let me be very clear when I see this. Just because Carlos Boozer was the worst signing in Chicago Bulls history, does not mean in any shape or form that he was the worst player. There’s a very clear difference here, and I’d just like to distinguish the two before the outraged responses in the comment section begin piling up.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take a trip to the past. The year is 2010. A collection of NBA superstars including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Amar’e Stoudemire, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, and Tracy McGrady are all available on the free agent market. The Chicago Bulls — fresh off winning 41 games in two consecutive seasons — have signed new head coach Tom Thibodeau and have in excess of $30 million to spend in free agency.

Sounds like a recipe for success, right?

Wrong. It was a disaster. Having assembled a core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and Taj Gibson, this should have been a smash-hit summer that saw the Bulls sign a pair of max contract players to build a legitimate dynasty. Instead of picking up LeBron and Wade, however, Chicago signed Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer.

As a two-time All-Star in Utah, it makes sense why Chicago would be interested in acquiring him. What doesn’t make sense, is that they went ahead and signed Boozer just days before LeBron had decided on his ideal destination. In the end, James opted to join forces with Miami, as they maintained the flexibility to add the two long-time friends to the same roster.

Boozer averaged 15.5 points and 9 rebounds in four seasons with the Bulls, which was solid production but not quite the max-level player they were looking for. He’d never make another All-Star appearance again after joining the Bulls, losing his explosiveness with age. In the end, Chicago would have to use their one-time amnesty clause just to get off of his enormous contract.

Much like the aforementioned Felicio, I do not blame Boozer for taking the money offered to him. I blame the Chicago Bulls for even offering it in the first place. This signing inhibited the Bulls’ ability to improve during their best window to contend with Rose, Noah, and Deng in their prime years, and is ultimately the reason this was the worst signing in Chicago Bulls history.

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