Bogut Is An Important New Laker
September 21, 2017
The most publicized new member of the Lakers is Lonzo Ball, a slick ball handler who was the second pick in the NBA draft. I think he’ll be a key member of the franchise that’s been in terrible shape for five years. But people close to the NBA for a lot of years, like me, are equally impressed with the addition of a big man who blocks shots, gets rebounds and doesn’t have to score to be happy.. Yes, I think the Lakers have been smart to sign 33-year-old 7-foot center Andrew Bogut this week. His offensive statistics don’t scare opponents. But I remember many of the defensive contributions he’s made in his career.
Bogut, an Australian who played at the University of Utah, then was third team all NBA in 2010 and second team all-NBA defense on the champion Golden State Warriors in 2015. The coach of that Warrior team, Luke Walton is now head coach of the Lakers and obviously appreciates Bogut’s contributions. I can’t say Bogut is going to be a Laker starter or even the primary backup. The starting center will be, Brook Lopez. who was acquired in a wise off season trade with the Nets. He’ll get relief from second year Laker Ivica Zubac, a youngster who made a lot of progress last season. But Bogut will play enough to belp the Lakers win some games. Acquiring Bogut tells me the Lakers’ new management guys. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, are quite serious about improving the team. I can’t say the previous guys in that role would have taken a step like this when it wasn’t entirely necessary. I have my doubts that the Lakers will be a strong contemder this season for a playoff berth. They’ve been buried pretty deep in the last five years.
But adding Bogut when there were already two capable centers on the roster is an example of the effort being made. To be that’s refreshing. It’s important to remember that the Lakers’ coach is Luke Walton, who was Bogut’s coach with the Golden State Warriors the last three years. He obviously believes Bogut can be a big help.