One team's trash is another team's treasure apparently, as the Bulls' decision to upgrade its frontcourt by amnestying Carlos Boozer and adding ex-Laker Pau Gasol, has in turn prompted the Lakers to replace Gasol with the less-costly Boozer, as Los Angeles was awarded the contract of Carlos Boozer on a partial waiver claim, it was announced Thursday by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
“Carlos is an established veteran and a proven All-Star, who will be a welcome addition to our team,” said Kupchak. “We’re very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season.”
Other outlets have reported that the Lakers put in a bid of approximately $3.25 million for Boozer.
Boozer had been waived by the Chicago Bulls pursuant to the amnesty provision of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, meaning he will not count against Chicago's salary cap, but the Bulls will still have to pay him roughly $13.6 million.
The drop from Gasol to the shorter Boozer is significant, but as a last-minute affordable replacement, LA got a real bargain.
Boozer is an average defender and a poor shotblocker, who often was benched in crunch time with the Bulls for the more active and athletic Taj Gibson. The Lakers are quite familiar with his shortcomings, having faced him over the years during his Western Conference days with the Utah Jazz.
Nevertheless, Boozer can score in half court pick-and-pop plays with his nice, consistent mid-range jumper. He also can rebound and occasionally score on the block -- two assets the Lakers will desperately need next season. At the least, he instantly becomes the team's third option on offense behind Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin.
Boozer, a 12-year NBA veteran and two-time NBA All-Star who has appeared in the postseason eight consecutive years, started and appeared in 76 games for the Chicago Bulls in 2013-14, averaging 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. In his fourth season with the Bulls, the 6’9” forward posted 25 double-doubles and led the team in scoring 13 times.
The Lakers frontcourt picture now looks significantly better than a week ago when the team only had rookie Julius Randle and journeyman Robert Sacre. Since then, Los Angeles has added Boozer, scrappy Jordan Hill, and former lottery pick Ed Davis, all on short term deals.
Expect Boozer to be the starter at the 4, with Hill likely starting at the 5. Talented youngsters Randle and Davis will likely get most of the back-up minutes.
Originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round (35th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Boozer has averaged 16.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 790 career NBA games (749 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, and Bulls while shooting 52.3% from the field.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services