Lakers News: Luke Walton, Rob Pelinka Say Defense Played Big Part In...

Lakers News: Luke Walton, Rob Pelinka Say Defense Played Big Part In Andrew Bogut Signing

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The Los Angeles Lakers made a bit of a surprising signing this week, inking veteran center Andrew Bogut to a one-year, partially guaranteed deal giving him an opportunity to compete for the final roster spot in training camp.

If Bogut can prove he is healthy, returning from a fractured tibia suffered last season, then he will surely be awarded that final spot as the former No. 1 overall pick and NBA champion has a history with Lakers head coach Luke Walton dating back to their days with the Golden State Warriors.

Bogut gives the Lakers something that the Lakers greatly lacked last season, rim protection, as he has averaged 1.6 blocks per game in his 12-year NBA career.

At a recent event for ESPN Los Angeles, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and Walton both commented on Bogut’s defensive presence, confirming that is a big reason that they signed him, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

Walton also believes his passing ability and championship pedigree will help out the Lakers young core:

In his career, Bogut has averaged 10.0 points and 8.9 rebounds while being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2015 and All-NBA Third Team in 2010.

The addition of Bogut also provides an insurance policy for starting center Brook Lopez, who is dealing with a minor back injury. With Lopez, Bogut, Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant, the Lakers have four legit 7-footers on the roster which should help solve their interior defense issues from the past few years.