Carlos Boozer, who lives in Miami-Dade County and had previously expressed an interest for the Miami Heat, was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter):
ESPN sources say Lakers have won the Carlos Boozer waiver auction today
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 17, 2014
Boozer has had stops in Cleveland, Utah and, most recently, Chicago during his 12-year career. After four years with the Bulls, he was waived using the team’s amnesty provision.
While rumors kept linking Boozer to the Heat, the odds were never in the team’s favor. Teams with salary cap space (a luxury Miami doesn’t have, with the remaining cap space being set for Chris Bosh’s agreed-to contract) could place a secret bid with the NBA and, after 48 hours, the team with the highest bid acquires the player. Boozer could only have signed with Miami if he had cleared waivers and agreed to a contract for the minimum veteran amount.
Boozer was a pseudo-sexy name that might appeal to some fans but the reality is that he is a player in decline and his defensive struggles and inconsistent offense does not mesh with Miami’s typical team philosophy. He was once a gifted player but his best days are long gone. He now joins an odd mix of players with the Lakers, a team seemingly in disarray that has yet to hire a head coach and whose highest-paid player – Kobe Bryant – is recovering from injury and reportedly gaining weight. These are not the best of times in La-La Land.
Miami will have to move on to fill it’s remaining roster spaces, with former Heat players Greg Oden and Michael Beasley still available or it could try to bring on other free agents like Jameer Nelson, Shawn Marion or Emeka Okafor, each of whom could bolster Erik Spoelstra’s bench.