Boozer speaks highly of Bulls' brass

Updated: July 9, 2010, 2:36 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Carlos Boozer, the newest member of the Chicago Bulls, is confident in the team's future.

"Gar [Forman] and [John Paxson] know what they are doing and are going to put together the best pieces for us to be successful," Boozer said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000

Boozer joins the Bulls after six seasons with the Utah Jazz. The teams were able to work out a sign-and-trade with Utah signing Boozer to a five-year, $76 million deal and trading him to the Bulls with a protected second-round draft pick for a traded player exception, a source familiar with the situation confirmed. The Jazz have one year to use the exception, which gives them cap flexibility.

Boozer said returning to the Jazz was an option for him -- and coach Jerry Sloan said he would have liked to see Boozer back -- but if he left, Chicago was the choice.

That feeling was validated after Boozer met on July 2 with the Bulls contingent of owner Jerry Reinsdorf, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman and new coach Tom Thibodeau.

"I walked away from that meeting, and I told my agent that it just felt right to be there," said Boozer, who will be introduced at a Friday news conference. "I'm just happy it worked out and happy to be a part of the Bulls.

"I really enjoyed my time in Utah. If I left Utah this was the top of the list for me. I told Jerry Reinsdorf, I told Pax, I told Gar, I told Coach Thibodeau that in the meeting. I'm just happy it came to fruition."

With Boozer in tow and LeBron James heading to Miami, the Bulls will have plenty of money to spend to round out the roster. A shooter such as Kyle Korver, Mike Miller or J.J. Redick could be an option.

"Kyle can shoot the heck out of the ball," Boozer said of his former teammate with the Jazz. "He's 6-7, 6-8 with real size and can shoot the ball. In practice he doesn't miss many shots and then in games when he's on, he's as good as anybody. I would definitely recommend Kyle Korver.

"I also like Mike Miller a lot. I think he's a very versatile 2-3 guy, and he has the same size, can dribble the ball, moves around really well and be a playmaker. I also like Ronnie Brewer. He can play defense, rebound and is an athletic force out there."

When healthy, Boozer was productive for the Jazz. But he played in at least 74 games in just three of his six seasons in Utah. Those were also his three best seasons, when he averaged almost 20 points and more than 10 rebounds per game.

"You can't control injuries," Boozer said. "Sometimes I've gotten hurt and had bad injuries but there's nothing you can do about that. I'm completely healthy, been healthy all last season, healthy this season, and I'm looking forward to many, many more healthy seasons.

"Injuries are a part of the game, the wear and tear we take on our bodies, we go out there and give everything we have and sometimes you might do something that [forces] you to sit out which is the worst part for any athlete to go through."

Before James announced he was heading to the Miami Heat, Boozer put in a last-minute pitch.

"He was weighing between a few different teams, and he [texted he] would make a decision [Thursday night]," Boozer said. "If he comes we'll be so excited ... but if he chooses to go someplace else, this team will be ready to play."

Bulls center Joakim Noah is excited to have Boozer on board and isn't ready to concede the Eastern Conference race to the Heat or anyone else, despite the news that James is headed to South Beach to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"To me personally, I think it's perfect," Noah told ESPN's George Smith after James' announcement. "I think everybody's going to be talking about that team down there and it's going to be real Hollywood down there. But at the end of the day, you got to go out there and you got to play. And I think we have pieces over here to compete against everybody and I think that the organization did a great job in locking in [Carlos Boozer] and I think with Booze we're going to be able to fight and that's a good feeling."

Information from ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell was used in this report.

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