Carlos Boozer, then with the Bulls, looks for an opening against Pistons forward Greg Monroe in a game last December. (Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press)
Los Angeles — Carlos Boozer is headed to the Lakers’ crowded frontcourt after Los Angeles made the winning bid for the veteran forward waived by the Chicago Bulls via the amnesty clause.
The Lakers made the highest bid under the NBA’s modified waiver process for players who were amnestied, the team announced Thursday.
“Carlos is an established veteran and a proven All-Star, who will be a welcome addition to our team,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “We’re very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season.”
According to NBA rules, teams with room under the salary cap had to bid at least $1.4 million, the amount of the minimum salary for veterans next season. Details of the winning bid were not provided, though ESPN.com reported that it was $3.25 million.
The amnesty clause allows teams to waive one player in the first five years of the current collective bargaining agreement without his salary counting for cap and tax purposes. Boozer will still be paid the $16.8 million he is due next season in the final season of a contract he signed in 2010.
He will join a Lakers team that has already agreed to deals with fellow power forwards Jordan Hill and Ed Davis during free agency, and drafted Kentucky’s Julius Randle with the No. 7 pick.
Boozer, a two-time All-Star, averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds in 280 games with the Bulls. His playing time diminished in recent seasons with the emergence of Taj Gibson, and the Bulls needed to clear his salary to sign Pau Gasol and European star Nikola Mirotic.
Russell OK after collapsing
Celtics officials say NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell is doing OK after collapsing during a speaking engagement near Lake Tahoe.
Team spokesman Brian Olive said the 80-year-old Russell felt faint after the Thursday morning fall at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village, Nevada, but was planning on returning home to Seattle this evening.
Witness Michael Rooney told the Associated Press that Russell was telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain to a roomful of Konica Minolta employees when he started to sway at the podium and then fell backward.
Rooney said Russell seemed to be conscious as hotel personnel and first responders came to his aid. The meeting was cut short and attendees left.
Russell, a five-time NBA MVP, is considered one of the best players in basketball history. He won 11 championships in 13 years as a center with the Celtics. As a player-coach for the last two, he was the first black head coach in a major U.S. pro sport.
Pierce joins Wizards
The Washington Wizards officially signed veteran forward Paul Pierce.
Pierce, who turns 37 in October, spent 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last season.
“We are very happy to welcome Paul to our organization and add his championship experience and history of clutch play to our team,” Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said.
Pierce averaged a career-low 13.5 points last season in his first year with the Nets. But he is a 10-time All-Star who has gained a reputation as one of the best big-moment players.
Led by guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington reached the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, their first postseason appearance since 2008.
The Dallas Mavericks re-signed guard Devin Harris. The Mavericks didn’t reveal contract terms in their announcement Thursday night. ESPN reported Harris got a $16.5 million, four-year deal.
Harris played for Dallas on a one-year, $3 million deal last season.
... Glen “Big Baby” Davis re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers for the veteran minimum of $1.2 million, ESPN reported.
... The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that forward Grant Jerrett has signed another contract with the team.