Lakers Rumors: Carlos Boozer ‘Unlikely’ To Return Next Season With Team
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers were forced to explore secondary options in NBA free agency after failing to sign Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. One of those options turned out to be veteran power forward Carlos Boozer who was amnestied by the Chicago Bulls.

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The Lakers were able outbid the competition in an amnesty auction Boozer and as a result were able to add another veteran to the roster. Although Boozer played well at times during the 2014-15 NBA season, all signs appear to be pointing to his departure this summer.

According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Boozer will likely be headed elsewhere once officially a free agent:

Yet, it seems unlikely Boozer would return amid the Lakers’ quest to develop rookie Julius Randle and Boozer’s possible hope for a bigger role.

“That’s another one of those questions we can’t answer right now,” Scott said. “A lot of it depends on the draft and free-agent market.”

The direction and future plans for the storied franchise have yet to be determined. Boozer may ultimately end up returning, but that may only be due the team’s offseason plan failing apart.

On May 19, the Lakers direction will become more clear following the results of the NBA draft lottery. If the team is able to hold onto their pick, and that will most likely happen, Los Angeles will have a draft position between one and five. The higher the pick, the more likely a frontcourt player like Jahlil Okafor (Duke) or Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky) will be taken. The closer to the fifth pick, the likelihood of the Lakers with D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Emmanuel Mudiay (China) or Justise Winslow (Duke).

With Randle in the team’s long-term plans, a potential high draft pick being a frontcourt player and the team possibly targeting pending free agents DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe or even Kevin Love, Boozer likely won’t be back with the team.

In 70 games with the Lakers this season, Boozer has averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Both of these averages are career-lows for the veteran forward.

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