The Los Angeles Lakers are ending their offseason with an exclamation point, signing Andrew Bogut to a one-year, $2.3 million veteran’s minimum deal, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo’s The Vertical. He last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, breaking his leg within minutes of his debut with the franchise in March. He has since fully recovered, according to Shams.
Bogut chose the Lakers over “several other interested teams”. Reuniting with head coach Luke Walton, and playing alongside new additions Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who were all directly name-dropped by Charania, were factors in his decision.
This adds another veteran center to the Lakers’ rotation, potentially pushing players like Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant deeper onto the bench. Brook Lopez figures to have a huge presence on the team, one of the key acquisitions for the new-look Lakers when the front office parted ways with D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov’s anxiety-inducing contract.
This also puts their roster at 15, closing things out with a week to spare until media days. The Lakers appear to be set for the time being, though there should still be plenty of competition during training camp. The team still has a two-way contract it can utilize, and a growing focus on continuing to flush out the South Bay Lakers roster with prospects.
This is a low-risk signing for the Lakers, who roll the dice on a player that was once one of the most respected interior defenders in the league. It’s a move they’ve been trying for years, but this time they got the contract right. Bogut’s inability to stay on the court is definitely a cause for concern, but it’s not a terrible gamble to feel things out.
Bogut’s appeared in just 53 games over the past two seasons. Luckily, the Lakers have Zubac waiting in the wings and Lopez to be their anchor as a starter. The team has insurance all around if Bogut can’t stay on the court, and they can monitor his minutes by weaving in Zubac at opportune times.
The season is nearing, and the Lakers just snapped in what’s likely the last piece of the puzzle before training camp begins.