30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

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Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 12. Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer looked like a future star for a struggling Cleveland Cavalier team. In his second season, he averaged 15.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for a team with a rookie named LeBron James that was clearly on the rise. There are conflicting reports about what happened when he entered restricted free agency earlier than most players, but one thing is certain, the loss for the Cavaliers was an undeniable gain for the Utah Jazz.

Boozer progressively evolved into a 20-and-10 machine, culminating in his back-to-back All-Star seasons averaging 20.9 points and 11.7 rebounds followed by 21.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. That second season came with an All-NBA designation. In his first All-Star season, the Jazz made it to the Conference Finals. Though this era of Utah Jazz basketball was short-lived, it was a fun time for fans as they had a team built around Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams.

After six seasons in Utah, Boozer was a member of the hyped free agent class of the summer of 2010. He ended up being the star chosen to pair with up-and-coming future MVP, Derrick Rose. The Bulls were the number one team in the Eastern Conference in consecutive seasons, impressive in the time of the Big Three Miami Heat era. They fell in the Conference Finals to those Heat in Boozer’s first season there and then, the Derrick Rose injury derailed their success the following season. Boozer never quite reached those heights again but always felt a few lucky bounces away from going all the way.