One player the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to see during the preseason was veteran center Andrew Bogut. Originally dealing with visa issues after he was signed, Bogut than had a groin issue that kept him out of the remainder of the preseason.
There have been questions about whether Bogut would be ready for Thursday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers and both he and Julius Randle were declared inactive, though the Lakers could still change that designation before the game.
It now looks very possible that could happen as, according to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, head coach Luke Walton believes Bogut will be ready for the game:
Walton raved about Bogut's play today, said he had several blocked shots, showed some offense. Added that Bogut should be ready for opener.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 17, 2017
Additionally, Walton plans on finding minutes for Bogut in the rotation should he be active via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
If Andrew Bogut is available to play in Thursday's opener, Luke Walton expects to find minutes for him in the rotation.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 17, 2017
Bogut would definitely add a defensive presence to the bench unit as he is a great rim protector and communicator, as has been the case in practice already. He is also very familiar with the offense from his time with Walton in Golden State and is a great passer.
At this point it would be more about Bogut getting in top shape and building up chemistry with his teammates, than any learning curve with the offense.
With Bogut, as well as Randle, looking like good possibilities to be available on Thursday, Walton will have plenty of options to choose from in the frontcourt. It will be interesting to see how Walton works out his rotations as some players will be left out altogether.