The Los Angeles Lakers were surprised to learn that they had placed the winning bid on Carlos Boozer, securing the power forward for one year at a relatively low price. Boozer’s talent and numbers have been on the decline since he signed a huge contract with the Chicago Bulls, but he still remains an effective player. The Lakers need veteran leadership, something Boozer can provide, and he is still a double-double presence on a nightly basis. He might not be the impact player that he once was, but he can be a solid rotation player for the Lakers as they look to compete in a difficult conference.
A smart move for the Lakers would be to bring Boozer off of the bench, where it will be easier to hide his defensive deficiencies. He can match up against weaker players and help lead the second unit. He is still a good offensive player, with a variety of low-post moves as well as a reliable mid-range jumper. His scoring will be much needed as he constantly looks for high-percentage opportunities. He is also a very good rebounder, and will give the team a reliable big man down low.
Boozer has been able to stay relatively healthy the past two seasons, and was able to accept a decreased role on the Bulls. He might find himself once again playing less minutes, but should be able to maximize his time and play efficient basketball. Playing alongside Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant should create more scoring opportunities for him, and his veteran presence will fit well in the locker room.
The Lakers do not expect to him to return to All-Star form, but Boozer will be a key role player for the organization next season.