In the summer of 2014 the Los Angeles Lakers were attempting to adjust to the loss of starting power forward/center Pau Gasol in free agency. They were able to sign promising young big man Ed Davis, brought back Jordan Hill, and drafted Kentucky power forward Julius Randle. Still, the team was lacking a veteran presence, so when the Chicago Bulls used the amnesty clause to waive former All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer (a move they ironically made in order to sign Gasol), the Lakers submitted a claim and added the Duke product to their roster.
While Boozer’s prime was well behind him, the veteran big man did a commendable job for the Lakers. After some discord in his final season in Chicago, there had been some concern regarding whether Boozer was the right guy to mentor the Lakers’ young players, but from all reports he proved himself to be an excellent teammate throughout the season. Boozer even agreed to sit out entire games in order to give younger Lakers like Davis, Tarik Black (added midseason) and Ryan Kelly more opportunities. In his lone season in Los Angeles, Boozer averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Despite not playing in the NBA last season, Boozer has reportedly decided that he isn’t ready to retire, and has signed with the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (via David Pick):
Source: Former NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer has signed in China. Told he met with GuangDong Tigers coach in U.S.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 30, 2016
While there is no question that Boozer’s effectiveness on the basketball court has declined, he could very well find new life playing in China. Several NBA players have been successful transitioning to the CBA, with Stephon Marbury achieving superstar status there after his NBA career was over.
In fact, Nuggets point guard Emanuel Mudiay, who is considered a rival of Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, played for the Tigers out of high school rather than attend college. The Tigers also have several other former-NBA players on their team, including Ike Diogu, Yi Jianlian, and Will Bynum.
While Boozer’s time in Los Angeles was limited to just one season, Lakers Nation wishes him all the best as he continues his career in China.