7:54am: The Shandong Lions, another Chinese team, are also going after Boozer, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia indicates via Twitter.
12:26am: The Sichuan Blue Whales and other Chinese teams are expressing interest in Carlos Boozer, and while the Rob Pelinka client is intrigued, he’s still pursuing NBA deals, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). News regarding the 33-year-old has been scarce since a late-July report indicated that the Knicks, Rockets and Mavericks were eyeing him. The 33-year-old has lingered in free agency since July, when the lucrative five-year deal he signed with the Bulls expired. He made $16.8MM last season as a member of the Lakers, though Chicago paid all but the $3.251MM figure the Lakers bid when they claimed him via amnesty waivers.
Few NBA teams have more than the $2.814MM room exception to spend at this point. The Mavs have that amount available, though they already have deals with 20 players, the offseason maximum. The Knicks spent the room exception on Kevin Seraphin and have only the minimum to offer. The Rockets have about $2.274MM worth of their mid-level that they could spend, though doing so would leave the team hard-capped and without the means to give No. 32 pick Montrezl Harrell a market-value contract. Boozer and the Clippers reportedly had mutual interest in July, but they only have the minimum to spend, and while the Spurs, Raptors, Pelicans, Nuggets, Nets, Lakers and Heat have all apparently had interest over the course of the summer, it’s unclear if that’s the case now. Thus, I’d speculate that Boozer is only receiving minimum-salary offers from NBA teams at this point.
Andray Blatche signed a three-year, $7.5MM deal with China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers this past spring, and a few weeks ago Shavlik Randolph inked a contract for at least $4.5MM over three years, numbers that suggest that Boozer, if he went to China, stands a decent chance to top the $1,499,187 he’d see on an NBA minimum deal. Still, Metta World Peace wound up with less than that in his deal with Sichuan last summer. A Chinese team would nonetheless offer Boozer a chance to double-dip, since the Chinese Basketball Association ends well in advance of the NBA season, giving players an opportunity to latch on with NBA teams at prorated salaries for the stretch run.
Will Joseph of Hoops Rumors examined Boozer’s free agent stock in depth earlier this month.
Where do you think Boozer ends up? Comment to tell us.