Well, it appears as if the Los Angeles Lakers have made yet another head-scratching move by winning the waiver auction of Carlos Boozer. Los Angeles appeared to address the lack of front-court depth subsequent to Pau Gasol‘s departure by re-signing Jordan Hill and agreeing to a deal for Ed Davis, so I’m not totally sure of where Boozer fits in to the rotation.
Nine teams had sufficient cap space to bid for Boozer. Lakers put in the highest bid in blind auction to win rights to claim former Bulls PF
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 17, 2014
At the moment the Lakers’ roster is not suited to make a championship run, therefore rookie Julius Randle will likely receive the majority of minutes at the power forward position. Additionally, Jordan Hill was brought back on a monster two-year deal paying him upwards of $18 million with the second year being a team option. Assuming Hill and Randle will be the starting do up front, Boozer’s minutes expected to be drastically decreased compared to last season as a member of the Chicago Bulls. The Ed Davis signing comes into play here as well mainly because of his youth and withstanding potential to become somebody who can have an effect on the game. Davis was buried on the frontcourt-dominant Memphis Grizzlies last season, which played a major role in his lack of playing time. Much like Los Angeles did with Xavier Henry and Kendall Marshall, Davis will be given the opportunity to prove himself as a possible asset moving forward.
Furthermore, there is no getting around the fact that Boozer is a defensive liability. Throughout the entirety of his career, coaches have been hesitant to play Boozer down the stretch solely because of his inability to play quality defensive possessions despite his knack on offense. This was part of the reason why Taj Gibson was on the floor during the final stretch of important games last season, while Boozer sat on the bench observing. Luckily for Chicago though, Pau Gasol expressed his interest in joining the team, leading to Boozer ultimately being released via the amnesty clause just a few days ago.
With all of these odds stacked up against Boozer, I simply do not expect him to be content as a benchwarmer on a team lacking the talent to make a playoff run. As a veteran of the game, Boozer may become fed up in Los Angeles immediately, possibly leading to a potential ugly mutual parting. It really all depends on his personal flexibility and willingness to act as a mentor rather than playmaker.