Carlos Boozer planning NBA return

After a season away from the NBA, two-time All-Star Carlos Boozer is eager to continue his career next season.

Carlos Boozer is looking for a chance to help younger players. (AP)
Carlos Boozer is looking for a chance to help younger players. (AP)

Boozer, 34, has been working out in Miami throughout the past year and hopes there’s an opportunity in a bench role and mentoring environment on a team in the 2016-17 season.

“The previous season with the Lakers was a tough year,” Boozer told the Vertical. “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 says 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 league’s grind. As free agency plays out, Boozer hopes that he and his agent, Rob Pelinka, can identify potential contending teams that could use him as a big man off the bench – and a mentor for younger players.

“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 told The Vertical. “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.”

Boozer completed his 13th NBA season with the Lakers in 2014-15. He played for the Chicago Bulls from 2010-14, was with Cleveland from 2002-04 and was with Utah from 2004-10. Opportunities in China and overseas have been available to Boozer, too. He hasn’t ruled those out, but his determination remains on returning to the NBA.

“I’m curious to see where a lot of these free agents land in the next couple of weeks and see where I can fit in on a team,” Boozer said.

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