Very few agents who can make a difference remain available. One of those few is Carlos Boozer, who is going to end up playing on either the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors or the Denver Nuggets.
Boozer, a 13-year veteran who mostly plays power forward but can be used as a center in today’s popular small ball lineups (he actually played quite a lot of ‘5’ for a couple of seasons) is not far from the end of his career. He is still capable of putting up nice numbers, averaging 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season for the Los Angeles Lakers, but played just 23.8 minutes per game, partially because of tanking, the fewest he’s had on the court since entering the league.
But teams are aware that Boozer can still be of very good use. He’s a bad, mostly lazy defensive player, which makes him a problem for teams looking to win championships and contend, at least in a major role. But someone who is very good with his back to the basket, has a nice mid range shot and is a solid rebounder with experience, who’ll come cheaply? What’s there to think about?
It’ll be interesting to see what’s the most important thing to Boozer right now. Playing on a team that might end up winning a championship (the closest he’s been were the conference finals), getting paid (no one is going to offer him too much money) or simply playing as much as possible.
Warning – Signing for a team like the Nuggets or Knicks, that’s not going to win a lot next season, might not be the best of ideas. Not just because of Kenneth Faried and other players, but due to the tendency of tanking teams to suddenly bench their veterans at some point during the season. He’s not going to get too many minutes playing for the Spurs due to their additions (two power forwards in LaMarcus Aldridge and David West).
So where? The Los Angeles Clippers offer a decent outlet. A team with aspirations but in need of a big man backup to help out DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. The Dallas Mavericks are in between. He’ll get minutes there, but he won’t win anything. The same goes for the Toronto Raptors, although in an easier conference to win in.
Boozer had one more year on his deal with the Chicago Bulls but they (too late) used the amnesty clause on him, releasing him and landing him with the Lakers. He has also played with the Utah Jazz (his best period) and Cleveland Cavaliers, a team he lied to in order to get them to waiver his team option in order to give him a raise, while he bolted to the Jazz.