The NBA free agent frenzy is at a all-time high. Everywhere there are different “insiders with knowledge of the situation” saying where Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and another certain reigning MVP from Cleveland, will land. Come Thursday at midnight, the rumor mill will push to another level all the way to the July 8th signing date begins.
There are so many different scenarios that have been placed into the mix at this point that it gets made to be a foregone conclusion on some players intentions. I’m looking at it from a totally open perspective from the information available from financial perspectives and player intent. For the next few days leading into the July 1 cutting of the ribbon for the free agent race, I will be breaking down individual players roles from THE CHEAP SEATS, continuing with the toughest available player on the market…
The Basics: Power Forward, 28 years old, 6’8, 266 lbs, 2 time All-Star
The Numbers: 19.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, .5 BPG (2010); 17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, .5 BPG
Summary: Boozer is tough post player that thrives under the rim. He isn’t a top shelf athlete like Amar’re Stoudemire, not is he the tall and long scoring threat that Chris Bosh or Pau Gasol is, but he is a bulldog scoring presence that gets points under the rim. He may be the best rebounder of the available forwards on the market, challenged only by David Lee. Without a doubt he is the strongest of the group, maybe in the League. He can face up to the basket and hit the mid-range jumper, but can just as easily work for the second chance points. He is an undersized PF however, that is generously measured at 6’8. As a result of this, he rarely blocks shots and wont help in defending the rim.
Best suited for….a team in need of interior strength. Boozer will add immediate toughness to any team he joins. He can out position most forwards and has the strength to bump with centers as well. He is active on the glass on both ends and a team with strong guard play can pull the trigger on the perimeter more often with him under the hoop. He is best paired with a tall frontline that can let him rebound only.
Prime Candidates: Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons
Miami Heat: The Heat need a complimentary scorer inside to add a new dimension to their essentially entirely Wade led attack. Boozer adds a solid presence inside that can be essentially a very plus Udonis Haslem, in his size and style of play. They would need to acquire another serviceable center to accompany him under the rim, but it could work out. Boozer actually is more of a favorite for Wade than Stoudemire it has been said.
New Jersey Nets: With an active 7 footer in tow already in Brook Lopez, Boozer could fit in seamlessly in Jersey and give their frontline very formidable rounding pairing. He would get many good looks similar in style to the Jazz, who had a diverse roster than had multiple scoring options as well. He would also be complimented with Derrick Favors to have a strong rotation in as well.
New York Knicks: In New York he would be similar to what was already in town with David Lee, albeit at a higher price tag. This would work out well, but it’s pointless in a way for the Knicks to do when there is a younger version they could re-sign in Lee, without changing to pacing of their team. Could be a late signing however to appease a fan base that will demand something to be added regardless this offseason.
Washington Wizards: The Wizards have nothing upfront currently that match Boozer’s rebounding and scoring potential. He would be grouped with Andray Blatche, who is a highly active shot blocker and would free up Boozer for many scoring looks. Having a proven post scorer would benefit John Wall’s game management development at the point. However, with rebuilding being the name of the game in DC, adding a veteran contract may not be their direction.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls need a tough active scorer around the rim, in the fashion of Elton Brand, who they moved and have missed since. Boozer forms a brutal rebounding duo with Joakim Noah and if paired with a shooter would give Chicago everything they currently don’t have to get over first round playoff hump at least. Also is an addition that doesn’t hinder the development of Derrick Rose, which should be considered very seriously by the Chicago heads when making their acquisitions, due to not needing the ball constantly to succeed.
Detroit Pistons: There’s an outside chance that Detroit finds a suitable sign-and-trade with Utah (who seems committed to Paul Milsap at PF now) to land Boozer. Despite drafting Greg Monroe and having Jason Maxiell already in tow, Boozer gives immediate toughness to a frontline that needs much more of it to compliment their young players on the wing. Bringing Boozer aboard would ease the upcoming moves of the Pistons from pure rebuilding into a transition period.
For teams in need of pure toughness and efficient compliment scoring, Boozer should be a top option. He is best fit to compliment the top option and is a motivating, energy rebounder that any team can use. While he isn’t as big of a name as Stoudemire, he may be the better investment and at a lower price.
Next: Who’s not moving anywhere