Andrew Bogut and Luke Walton
Andrew Bogut and Luke Walton talk during a game between the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns on Nov. 27, 2015.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Latest Laker: Andrew Bogut

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Just six days left before training camp, the Lakers brought aboard one of Luke Walton’s old pals and a defensive deterrent in Andrew Bogut.

With Walton serving as an assistant coach, the 7-foot, 260-pound Bogut was a large part of Golden State’s run to the 2015 championship and a return to the NBA Finals the following year.

One of the league’s best rim protectors when healthy, Bogut was named to the 2015 All-Defensive Second Team and ranked second in the NBA in defensive rating (96.8) while anchoring a smothering Warriors D.

His value on this end is seen predominantly in the paint, as he held opponents to the third-worst field goal percentage at the rim (45.2) during the 2015-16 season, trailing only Rudy Gobert (41.0) and Serge Ibaka (43.6).

Offensively, Bogut — who rarely attempts a shot from outside the paint — didn’t need the ball to be effective on a team loaded with capable scorers like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Instead, he focused on setting solid screens, rolling for potential lobs and breaking out a bevy of highlight passes.

While Lonzo Ball is clearly the Lakers’ best distributor, Bogut also has the ability to break out some flashy dimes, particularly of the no-look, behind-the-back and between-the-legs varieties.

And while Bogut enjoys getting tricky with his passes, his value draws more from his ability to consistently read the defense and locate open shooters or cutters. In 2015-16, this led him to the third-most assists per 48 minutes among centers (5.4).

The main question for Bogut will be whether he can recover from a fractured left tibia that halted his 2016-17 season after only 26 games with Dallas and one with Cleveland.

Fortunately for Bogut and the Lakers, the 32-year-old did not need surgery following his injury.

In his abbreviated season, Bogut was quiet offensively, averaging 2.9 points on 46.9 percent shooting. However, in only 21.6 minutes played, he certainly kept himself occupied by racking up 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 blocks.

Per 36 minutes, those final numbers measure out to 13.5 boards, 3.0 dimes and 1.5 swats.

Now, the 12-year vet will look to prove that he has overcome his leg injury and can produce similarly to when he and Walton teamed up in Oakland.

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