After being amnestied by the Chicago Bulls, former All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers. Boozer was placed on amnesty waivers and only teams with available space under the cap are able to bid on for a player on waivers. The Lakers, among a handful of teams placed bids on Boozer and ultimately snagged the 32-year-old for $3.25 million for this upcoming season.
With nearly a third of the NBA holding enough cap space to biz on Boozer and keep him off open market, chances slim he'd ever clear waivers— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 17, 2014
For the Lakers, they’ll be unable to trade Boozer for the duration of the season adhering to amnesty rules policy – no player claimed on amnesty is allowed to be traded the following season. The $3.25 million bid will cut into the portion of what the Bulls owe Boozer as a strict payment for his $16.8 million on the final year on his contract. So the absolute payment the Bulls owe Boozer comes to $13.6 million.
Boozer landing in Los Angeles is a quasi-swap for former Laker Pau Gasol who is now a Chicago Bull. Before ultimately exercising the right to amnesty Boozer, the Bulls reportedly attempted to work a sign-and-trade agreement with Los Angeles in an effort to unload the totality of Boozer’s contract.
Instead, Boozer is now in L.A. serving as the fourth power forward on their roster along with rookie Julius Randle, young Ed Davis, and veteran Jordan Hill. Hill can play either the four or five positions, but the move to acquire Boozer seemingly cuts into the minutes Davis and Randle were anticipating receiving.
While Boozer is far from the All-Star form of his days in Utah, he’ll still be useful in teaching the young tandem of Davis and Randle how to play in the post at the NBA level. Both Randle and Davis are raw, equip with athleticism, but neither is polished in their post footwork and could stand to gain plenty from the savvy Boozer.
It’s hard to look at this move by L.A. as anything other than conceding to endure another difficult season for what is the most storied franchise in NBA history. Also of note, the Lakers still have a first round draft pick hanging in the balance depending on how they finish in 2014-2015 with the Phoenix Suns stemming from the Steve Nash trade. The worse L.A. does record-wise the better chance L.A. protects the pick, but they must finish in the bottom five of the lottery, as the pick is only top-five protected.
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