A crucial part of rebuilding a franchise around a young roster is ensuring that they have legitimate guidance to assist their growth and help them reach their full potential as a team. One way to do this is to bring in some veteran players to team up with young stars in order to help them adapt smoothly into the professional basketball world.
The Los Angeles Lakers seem to have taken this action plan throughout the summer when molding what will be their new roster going into the season. Along with their young core, they have signed several short-term contracts with players that have years of experience in the league. They have also made mild-natured trades for NBA veterans to fill the gaps next to their younger roster.
One of these signed players is Andrew Bogut, who has been the most recent player to join the Lakers. Bogut has been active in the NBA for quite some time and has background with some of the most successful teams in the league. He was a part of the Golden State Warriors during their memorable 2014-2015 championship season and was a large contributor for the Milwaukee Bucks during the first couple of years of his career. Bogut has not played a game since last season, since breaking his leg in just under a minute of play during his debut game with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
What this means for the Lakers is that they are signing a veteran center with championship experience that can help lead the young team in the right direction. This is essentially what they did last summer when they signed Timofey Mozgov, except this time they won’t be stuck with a lengthy contract that will hold them down since their deal with Bogut will only be good for one season. They will have plenty of second wind energy in the times where they will need it most, which will give them a better chance of staying in close games.
Bogut’s role in Los Angeles will be a simple one. He will most likely be coming off the bench for Brook Lopez, in which he will serve as a solid surrogate. He has enough experience to hold his own against any of the top centers in the league, so there won’t be any major voids in the front court when starting players are out to rest. He will also play next to Kyle Kuzma or Larry Nance Jr. in the front court, so he will be able to mentor them and help in whichever ways needed during more competitive matchups.
Since he has a history of frequent injury, he should make it a point to try to stay as healthy as possible during his season with the Lakers. This may be easier said than done, but it should be easier for him while he is taking a role where he will be playing less minutes. Also, an injury wouldn’t damage the Lakers very much since he is only signed for one season and will not be filling a starting lineup position.
In short, having Andrew Bogut as a backup center for Brook Lopez should solidify their center position for the season and allow them to look to grow in other departments. Although he may not be a permanent fix, signing him was a great way to find out what else it will take for them to be successful in today’s league.
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