First of all, Boozer was a starter a few years ago. When he signed with the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2010, he was projected to be the next big thing in Chicago. His game did have some limitations, but in overall, he was considered as one of the top power forwards in the league.
His performance gradually dipped in Chicago, and last season, with no Derrick Rose around, he averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 45.6 per cent shooting from the floor. Those are no superstar numbers of course and considering the fact that Boozer even lost his central contributor role in Chicago’s frontcourt from Joakim Noah, it becomes apparent that he was a star in decline up to last season. Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau ended up benching Boozer in favour of Taj Gibson, who gave more energy to the team when he stepped foot on the court.
Now, however, in LA, he will have a unique chance to revamp his career. Playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin, in a team which desperately needs some star power, Boozer will be able to prove that he has some basketball left in his tank. He will instantly take over as a starter for the Lakers, and he will most probably see much playing time.
The Los Angeles Lakers now already have three power forwards, Boozer, Ed Davis and the rookie Julius Randle. Jordan Hill was also re-signed, and he will eat up some minutes from the other big men. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers will handle the playing time of each player of their front lone, as they will have to balance the minutes of both the younger guys and the veterans.
In overall, Boozer’s addition is a great one for the Lakers. LA didn’t manage to land a superstar like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony this summer. And with no trade chips to initiate a trade for Kevin Love, the Lakers had to turn their interest into other players and of course, take some risks. That’s what they did when they agreed to acquire Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets, and that’s what they did now in the case of Boozer. The 32 – year forward will hopefully play better than the previous season and hopefully provide much help to the Lakers next season. The puzzle is gradually taking shape in LA. Chris M.