Veteran power forward Carlos Boozer is surprisingly still on the open market.
Boozer had drawn interest from several NBA teams earlier this summer, but nothing else had been rumored since it was reported that the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks were pursuing him late in July. Now, Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that a few Chinese teams are also interested in signing the 33-year-old veteran.
Sportando tweeted out that the Shandong Lions are another Chinese team interested in the unrestricted free agent.
While Boozer’s production has declined the past two years, he was still was a valuable contributor off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Boozer, who made 26 starts, averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23.8 minutes of action. He also shot 49.9 percent from the field and registered a true shooting percentage of 51.7 percent.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Boozer is now solely a jump shooter and a total liability on the defensive end. He registered a career-worst 109 defensive rating and a minus- 1.5 defensive box plus/minus rating, according to Basketball-Reference. Boozer also ranked No. 85 out of 94 power forwards with a minus 4.10 real plus/minus rating.
Despite his declining production, Boozer would be a solid fourth or fifth big man for an NBA team as he has been a good teammate throughout his career, according to Pro Basketball Talk. Boozer made $16.8 million last season with the Lakers, although the Chicago Bulls paid most of it after the team amnestied him. If Boozer does ultimately sign with an NBA team, it will likely be for the NBA minimum.
So, what NBA teams could still be interested in the 33-year-old veteran?
Boozer’s options are dwindling by the minute as teams are filling out their training camp rosters. Plus, few teams have more than the $2.81 million exception available, according to Basketball Insiders.
Dallas is likely not an option as they already have 20 players under contract, although they do have their exception. The Knicks, with 15 players under contract, have the roster space available, but they spent their exception allotment on Kevin Seraphin. Houston is in the same boat as New York, and they will likely want to leave some money to sign Montrezl Harrell.
Boozer and the Los Angeles Clippers were believed to have a mutual interest in each other earlier this summer, but the Clippers only can offer him the veteran’s minimum as they are over the cap.
San Antonio, Toronto, New Orleans, Miami, and the Lakers were once thought to be interested, but they are now unlikely to sign Boozer after the moves they have already made. Denver is looking to rebuild, so they are still an option for Boozer as is Brooklyn.
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