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NBA: Boozer heading to the Lakers


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.

Bill Russell collapses during Tahoe speech

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Celtics officials said 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 on Friday.

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.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 and was honored last year with a statue outside Boston’s City Hall.

By wire sources