When the Los Angeles Lakers won the amnesty claim on Chicago Bulls’ veteran power forward Carlos Boozer, many were surprised. Although paying a player like Boozer just $3.5 million seems like a no-brainer, the Lakers had previously re-signed Jordan Hill to a two-year, $18 million deal and signed Memphis Grizzlies’ big man Ed Davis to a two-year, $2 million deal.
Steve Kyler believes acquiring Boozer may be about finding a locker room leader and a mentor for rookie power forward Julius Randle as anything else.
For Laker fans there was immediate concern that Boozer would eat into the valuable playing time of rookie Julius Randle, which may be true in a small way. However Boozer’s impact in the locker room was real for the Bulls which is why they waited so long to remove him. Both Bulls’ guard Derrick Rose and Bulls forward Taj Gibson credit Boozer for helping them find their way in the NBA as a “big brother” of sorts.
Given whats on the Lakers roster, especially in the front court having a proven operator like Boozer to help ease Randle into the NBA was a wise investmen
Boozer, 32, averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 45.6% from the field and 76.7% from the free throw line last season.
Randle, a former Kentucky Wildcat, was selected with the seventh-overall pick in the first round of last month’s draft. He was ranked as the draft’s fourth-best prospect according by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. He measured in at 6’9″ and 250 pounds with a wingspan of 7’0″ at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. Last season, he put up 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0% from the field and 70.6% from the charity stripe.