The Chicago Bulls officially amnestied veteran forward Carlos Boozer to pave the way for Pau Gasol and potentially more moves. Now that Boozer is a free agent on the open market, there’s a number of teams where the former All-Star could fit in well and perhaps contribute off the bench.
Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season, and shot better than 45 percent from the field for the Bulls. Statistically speaking, it was his worst season since he was a rookie in Cleveland, but it still ranked among the top 20 power forwards in the Association.
Boozer will be on an NBA roster in 2014-15. Here are five of the best potential landing spots for him:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are in need of a power forward now that Gasol is in Chicago, so why not replace him with the guy that was replaced?
Perhaps the Lakers can get a year or two out of Boozer, then have his contract expire in time to sign marquee free agents next summer or in 2016. That way he could also be trade bait for Kevin Love.
2. Phoenix Suns
The up-and-coming Suns are starting Markieff Morris at power forward, who posted similar numbers to Boozer last year. So why not give Morris a veteran mentor in Boozer, as well as a backup with similar production to come off the bench?
The Suns lost Channing Frye in free agency, and while Boozer can’t shoot 3s like Frye, he does have a good jumper at this stage in his career.
3. Miami Heat
The new-look Heat signed Josh McRoberts to play power forward and re-signed Udonis Haslem to back him up. However, depth has always been an issue for the Heat front-court, and that’s an issue Boozer can help solve.
Boozer’s 13.7 points per game would certainly help the Heat contend in a weak Eastern Conference, especially as they try to make up for the loss of LeBron James.
4. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks have added a bunch of new faces to the roster this offseason, beginning with Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler and recently Chandler Parsons. The team also-resigned Dirk Nowkitzki, but behind him on the depth chart is Jae Crowder and Greg Smith.
Boozer can spell Dirk off the bench and help pick up some of the front-court scoring in the absence of Shawn Marion. Dallas is a contender, and you can never have too many veterans on board.
5. Indiana Pacers
Neither Scola or Copeland are impact players, but Boozer can step up and be a valuable contributor in the rotation. Not to mention the Pacers have to find other sources of scoring with Lance Stephenson now in Charlotte.