Carlos Boozer, a Free Agent Steal

There has been much talk about the recent acquisition about Jeremy Lin, and justifiably so.  However, Lin isn’t the only great pick up by the Laker front office.

Carlos Boozer is a former 20 point per game, 10 rebound per game player at the power forward position.  While he has been hit with a few injuries earlier in his career, recent seasons of 79 and 76 games played show some level of durability.  The Chicago Bulls play high intensity defense and transfer that intensity to paint play.  Considering how well Boozer played in that system, he’s ready for a comeback year.

The Lakers require a power forward with triple threat skills.  Carlos Boozer has that skill level.  He’s able to attack players from the high post, hit jumpshots out to 20′, and survey the floor to hit cutters and shooters for open shots.  More importantly, he adds strength in the painted area.  Gone are the soft screens set by Pau Gasol.  Pick and rolls can be made more effective with Boozer’s base used to screen defenders off, essentially creating a two-on-one play; the point of using a pick and roll.

FoxSportsNet did a small video with Coach Dave Miller on other aspects Carlos Boozer brings to the floor.

[youtube="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iga8PYR8UCU"]

We all love Pau Gasol.  He was critical to two championship seasons and brought a fire and intensity with grace and skill level.  Boozer brings a more physical presence in the paint.  He’s stronger, healthier, and has a great foundation of skills similar to what Pau Gasol provided for the Laker team.

Much of the criticism of Carlos Boozer has stemmed from his contract.  That shackle is gone forever now.  He can play, free from the burdens of criticism and get back to an All-Star caliber level of play.  At age 32, his skills haven’t declined.  He has only gotten smarter.

Best of all, he can be a great mentor to Laker lottery pick, Julius Randle.  Both players are similar in size, strength, and wingspan.  What Boozer has in skill-level, Randle makes up for with aggression and athleticism.  There may even be chances for both players to play in the front court, running a dual power-forward set up.  The last time Kobe Bryant had that kind of young talent in the front court, it was with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

We know what Kobe Bryant was able to do with that front court.  It’ll be just as interesting to see what he can do with this one.

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