The Los Angeles Lakers signed Andrew Bogut to a one-year minimum deal on Monday. The decision was initially billed as a means of providing a backup center for a team lacking an experienced option. However, Bogut may be a starter at least for parts of the season.
According to Bill Oram of the OC Register, the Lakers are concerned with recurring back injuries to recent acquisition Brook Lopez. Oram reports that the starting center may miss some preseason games due to the injury.
Lopez has been known for an injury history stemming mostly from several issues with his foot. Over the past few seasons, however, the big man has been mostly durable, playing in the majority of games for the Brooklyn Nets.
Bogut’s contract is partially guaranteed, meaning the Lakers could theoretically cut their losses after having the former NBA champion perform in the preseason. However, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that they expect to keep the Australian center in LA for the whole season.
Bogut can provide great defense as well as some offensive playmaking via his passing in Lopez’ absence should the starting big man miss some time. If not, Bogut merely provides depth as well as veteran experience for the Lakers.