Bucks management and Carlos Boozer have met about the possibility of a deal, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Sources who spoke with Charania described the tone of the meeting as positive. Boozer has lingered in free agency since going unsigned over the offseason. The meeting took place in Los Angeles, with GM John Hammond and coach Jason Kidd in attendance, Charania adds (on Twitter).
It’s the latest signal of the organization’s desire to add veterans to the roster a few nights after four Bucks players were observed partying at a Los Angeles strip club in the wee hours of the morning on the day of the team’s loss to the Lakers. Milwaukee is also the likely destination for Wisconsin native Caron Butler, whom the Kings have promised to trade, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
Boozer, 34, apparently drew interest from no shortage of teams over the summer, with reports citing the Clippers, Knicks, Rockets, Mavericks, Spurs, Raptors, Pelicans, Nuggets, Nets, Lakers and Heat among those eyeing the Rob Pelinka client. Still, Boozer held off, with his market value seemingly having taken a hit since the 2014 offseason, when the Lakers bid $3.251MM to claim him off amnesty waivers from the Bulls.
The Bucks can’t give him any more than the $1.664MM sliver of the room exception left over from signing Chris Copeland to his one-year, $1.15MM deal over the summer, though it would pay Boozer more than a prorated veteran’s minimum deal would. Still, it’s uncommon for any free agent to sign for more than the minimum salary during the season.
A Boozer signing would make it two years in a row that the Bucks picked up a well-known veteran free agent power forward in the middle of the season. Kenyon Martin signed a pair of 10-day contracts last winter and a deal that covered the rest of 2014/15. However, he didn’t last quite that long on the Bucks roster, in spite of his relationship with Kidd, as Milwaukee waived him at the trade deadline.
The team already has 15 players on its roster, and all of them have fully guaranteed contracts, so Milwaukee would have to make a corresponding move to add Boozer. However, the Butler news and Stein’s report from last week that the team is willing to deal Miles Plumlee, one of the players who was later seen at the strip club, indicate that the Bucks are unafraid of a shakeup after a disappointing 10-17 start.
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