Friday, March 22, 2019

 (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers’ signing of Andrew Bogut drew plenty of reactions from both sides of the fence.

The Lakers already have two centers on their team and have a handful of young bigs. Yet they signed Bogut who is coming off a season where he played just 27 games because of a broken left tibia. Yes, the same Andrew Bogut who has a list of injuries during his 12 year NBA career.

 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

But Bogut isn’t just a random big man whom the Lakers signed out of the blue. He played for head coach Luke Walton when the latter was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Bogut doesn’t just know Walton, he is familiar with Luke’s coaching system. This familiarity makes Bogut an asset on the court as well as on the bench. There’s more.

Inside The Numbers

andrew bogut

Andrew Bogut gives the Lakers the defensive toughness and interior presence they badly lack. Last season, the Purple and Gold ranked 28th in the NBA in Opponent Points Allowed at 111.5 points per game and dead last in Opponent Field Goal Percentage at 48.3% The main reason for this is that they allowed their opponents to score 47.4 Points in the Paint per game, third worst last season.In Bogut, the Lakers add a 7-foot banger who is a member of the 2015 NBA All- Defensive 2nd team. Bogut has a career average of 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Although he played just 27 games last year, Bogut ranked 3rd among centers in Defensive Real Plus Minus at 4.34. He ranked 1st in that category in 2015 and 2016.

Veteran Presence

Aside from the numbers, Bogut gives Los Angeles a veteran presence in their locker room. The Lakers’ training camp line-up is made up of 16 players aged 25 and below.

andrew bogut

This includes rookies Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma. Thomas Bryant and Josh Hart who are expected to play a big role in the team. Bogut won’t only be just a mentor to the young big men in the squad, he provides experience to his young teammates.

Only Luol Deng, Brook Lopez, Corey Brewer and Kentavious Caldwell Pope have playoff experience in their roster. Bogut doesn’t just have playoff experience, he has championship pedigree as part of the Golden State Warriors’ 2015 title team. Brewer
also won a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 but Bogut was the defensive anchor of the Dubs’ 2015 team.

Adding Ceiling

Bogut_4Before picking Zubac, the Lakers drafted Brandon Ingram with the 2nd pick of the 2016 draft. Ingram was one of the more talked about rookies on and off the court. And after a promising rookie season, word is that Ingram has grown to 7-feet tall and that further adds ceiling to the Lakers’ frontline.

New Vibe

During the late 1990’s and the first part of the 2000 decade when the NBA’s Western Conference began to dominate the league, the Lakers were a force to be reckoned with. But since 2012, they haven’t won a playoff game and since 2014, they have failed to advance to the postseason. Two seasons back, the Lakers had their worst season ever with just 17 wins. The Lakers are a 100/1 longshot on the 24th September (odds from Betway) to win this year’s NBA title. But there seems to be a different vibe this season.

Since Magic Johnson took over the reigns, he’s determined to take the Lakers back to the top. Johnson traded D’Angelo Russell then drafted Lonzo Ball. With the offseason moves they’ve made, they have positioned themselves to get not just one but two superstars next summer.

The rumors of possibly adding Paul George and/or LeBron James in the next free agency period has gotten Tinseltown excited.

Flexibilityandrew bogut la lakers

With recent signee Kentavious Caldwell Pope on a one year deal and Brook Lopez in the final season of his contract, the Lakers have plenty of financial flexibility moving forward. Bogut’s case does the same. There are plenty of skepticism regarding Bogut’s health or his ability to return to old form in such a short period of time. But given he signed for the veteran’s minimum for a year, it’s a win-win situation for the Lakers.

At $2.3M, the risks are worth the rewards. If Bogut is 100% healthy, he can still be a crucial factor inside the basketball court. If he has a good season, the Lakers are in the best position to re-sign him. If not, they can always let him go next summer and move on to the next audition.

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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