He’s not the All Star-caliber power forward that the Houston Rockets are seeking. Not anymore.
But Carlos Boozer, who according to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski will be amnestied Tuesday by the Chicago Bulls, does make for an attractive in-the-meantime option in the low post next to Dwight Howard.
Boozer, 32, is a diminished player. The two-time All Star averaged fewer points, rebounds and minutes per game last season than any since 2002-03 as a rookie.
But with Derrick Rose hurt, some of Boozer’s struggles on the offensive end have to be pinned on the Bulls lack of weapons. And whatever his limits as a scorer, Boozer is still a force defensively — he ranked 13th on the NBA’s defensive win shares list, one slot above Blake Griffin and two above Howard.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system surely helped, but Boozer appears willing to give effort on defense, something you can’t say about many current Rockets under head coach Kevin McHale.
And with GM Daryl Morey telling Nick and Lopez In The Loop on Monday that Houston needs to be a top 10 defensive team to contend for a title, Boozer would figure to be a step in that direction.
Many players have enjoyed success after being amnestied. Mike Miller (Heat) thrived with the Memphis Grizzlies last season. Chris Anderson (Nuggets) was vital to Miami’s two titles. Even Louis Scola, waived by the Rockets in 2012-13, eventually played a pivotal role off the bench for the Indiana Pacers.
Whatever the Rockets expectations for year three of Terrence Jones, and whether Jones emerges into the dynamic stretch-four that the NBA now requires, Boozer’s skill and experience makes him a fit.
After signing Joey Dorsey and Jeff Adrien on Tuesday, Houston has about $8 million in space under the NBA’s $63 million salary cap, something they’ll want to stay under to keep their mid-level exception at $5.3 million.
Some details, per Woj:
If Houston can land Boozer on a team-friendly deal for no more than two seasons and $4.5 million per, he’s an option they should consider. Strongly.
If for no other reason than, for a team with $38 million committed to Howard and James Harden this season, there aren’t many options left.
LATEST SPORTS STORIES: