Veteran forward Carlos Boozer is setting his sights on returning to the league next season, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Boozer last played in an NBA regular season game during the 2014/15 campaign when he made 71 appearances for the Lakers. The 34-year-old has been working out in Miami over the past year and hopes there’s an opportunity to land a bench role on a team where he can mentor younger players, the scribe adds.
“The previous season with the Lakers was a tough year,” Boozer told Wojnarowski “Kobe Bryant got hurt, Steve Nash went down and we had a young group still learning to win. I ended up taking the next year off, spent time with my kids and family and right now my body feels great. I feel terrific. I have been working out hard all year, and I miss the game. I want to play again.”
Boozer told the Vertical that he’s been working out five to six days a week and believes that his body has benefited from the rest of a year away from the NBA grind. The big man hopes he and his agent, Rob Pelinka, can identify potential contending teams that could use his skill set and experience. “I’ve been in the league for 13 years, and played in All-Star Games and been part of a gold-medal team in the Olympics [in 2008], and I think that I can be a help in a mentoring role,” Boozer continued. “I think I can help some younger guys. I’ve played against Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan and picked up a lot of things that can be helpful to young guys. I really like the opportunity of having a role on a team where I can give back on the knowledge that I’ve gained through the years.”
In 861 career regular season games Boozer has averaged 16.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists to go along with a shooting line of .521/.071/.722.