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Bulls land free-agent power forward Boozer


Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer stands with his hands on his hips as his team is swept by the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer stands with his hands on his hips as his team is swept by the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Bulls acquired one of the top players remaining in the NBA's free agent market on Thursday when they signed gritty power forward Carlos Boozer.

Boozer averaged 19.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists last season with the Utah Jazz, where he spent the previous six seasons.

"We are confident that his skill set, toughness and leadership are all qualities that make him a great fit for the Bulls, and he will add a low-post element to our team that we have been searching for," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement.

"Post players, with the skills that Carlos possesses, are at a premium in the NBA and we believe that we have landed one of the best big men in the NBA."

Over his eight-year NBA career, the 28-year-old Boozer has averaged 17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

"I feel we have the talent here to begin competing for a title and I cannot wait to get started," said Boozer, a two-times All-Star who played his first two NBA seasons in Cleveland.

Boozer was originally drafted by the Cavaliers in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft.

(Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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