The Los Angeles Lakers answered a difficult question on Monday when they signed center Andrew Bogut to a one-year contract. Not only did they acquire a former All-NBA selection, but they also addressed the final open spot on the roster, with training camp rapidly approaching. Although the Lakers were able to secure Bogut, other teams were also in on the chase.
Bogut, who is coming off of a broken tibia, will fall in line behind Brook Lopez, as a defensive anchor for the second unit. It appears the tipping point to sway the 12-year veteran rested in the hands of head coach Luke Walton, as they have a connection stemming back to their days on the Golden State Warriors.
Although the 32-year-old didn’t have that great of a finish to the 2016-17 campaign, he still was a sought out commodity on the free agent market. According to David Aldridge of TNT, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Boston Celtics were all in the mix:
Wolves made major pitch for Bogutl; had playing time/role available behind KAT. Celtics, Cavs also were in mix, but Bogut liked LA vibe.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) September 19, 2017
The Celtics might have shown interest in the center, but it would be hard to imagine him considering the option after the Celtics signed free agent Aron Baynes to a deal. Although they have the selling point of an upper echelon team in the Eastern conference, Bogut ultimately decided to forgo the Lakers classic rival.
The connection to the Cavaliers does make sense, seeing as how the Cavaliers signed Bogut towards the end of the regular season in a similar type role the Lakers are envisioning. However, Bogut injured himself a few minutes into his first appearance with the organization, which put an end to his season.
With a revamped roster and the acquisition of All-Star Jimmy Butler, the Timberwolves also have been one of the more rather improved teams this season. The Wolves attempted to sell Bogut on the idea of playing behind Karl-Anthony Towns, as a backup behind him and Gorgui Dieng.
Those that followed Bogut during his days with the Milwaukee Bucks understand the impact a player of his caliber can have, even in a reduced role with the Lakers. He holds career averages of 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, with a peak of 11.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks during the 2010-11 season.
It appears as though Bogut was a fan of the vibe around the Lakers, which has changed greatly due to the influence of Walton, Magic Johnson, Jeanie Buss, and Rob Pelinka. As said by the front office, the optimism around the franchise is something that didn’t exist in previous seasons, as the Lakers enter a redemption year.