Carlos Boozer had these comments when making his media rounds on ESPN radio this week:
“Oh, absolutely I do. I think he’s a very good, young player though. I think he had a great season. He was an All-Star this year. I think he has a great upside to him. I do think I’m better but, I mean, that’s for you guys to debate about. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. I just go out there and play hard for my team and try everything I can to win games and win a ring. But David Lee’s a great, young player, a good friend of mine, and of course I wish him the best of luck as well with whatever he does. If he stays in New York or if he also goes elsewhere.”
David Lee: 20.3 points, 11,7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals, .5 blocks, 54% field, 81% foul line, 22.28 PER
Carlos Boozer: 19.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, .5 blocks, 56% field, 74% foul line, 21.42 PER
Last season’s stats and how both players approach the game are very similar. Both are terrific passers, can finish with both hands at the rim and have great shooting range. They also are both free agents.
Two reasons why Boozer is better
1) Toughness: His muscular frame (260+ pounds) allows him to be more rugged in the post. He has the ability to draw double-teams in the post and has better moves down low. While he is not a considered a great defensive player his size allows him to match better up against power forwards. David Lee has had the misfortune of guarding bigger players but bulking up would help.
2) Reputation: Boozer has been a consistent player for two different teams (Cavs and Jazz) over a eight year career. If David Lee joins another team the jury is still out if he can sustain his high productivity. Boozer is a 2-time All Star and was a member on the 2008 U.S Olympic team that won a Gold Medal.
Two reasons why Lee will become a better player
1) Durability and Athleticism: Boozer has been injury prone in his eight year career appearing in 51 or fewer games three times. Lee has missed a total of three regular season games the past three seasons.David Lee is two years younger (27) and is entering the prime of his career. Boozer has never averaged more than 35 minutes in a game, Lee appeared in 37 minutes per game this past season. Lee, also runs the court better and is becoming a more efficient finisher off the pick-and-roll.
2) Potential: Boozer has averaged just 20 points twice in his eight year career. David Lee has increased his points and defensive rebounds in each of his five seasons. Lee shot a career high 43% from 16-23 feet which will steadily increase. He also has been working on a three-point shot which would be a great addition to an already growing offensive game.
Playing with Deron Williams has helped Boozer reach the playoffs in four straight seasons. He is surrounded around more talent in Utah than Lee was in New York.