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Aussies in NBA: Andrew Bogut commits to Lakers with partially guaranteed deal
It's finally done. News broke last week, that Andrew Bogut would be signing a new deal soon.
On paper, the Boston Celtics looked like an obvious option for Bogut, but the Lakers managed to make a strong pitch and nab the Australian big man instead. David Aldridge suggested that other contenders for Bogut's services included the Minnesota Timberwolves, Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Lakers ultimately won, due to Bogut's affinity for the Los Angeles scene.
There are also other reasons to consider, that likely factored into Bogut's decision-making process. Current Lakers head coach Luke Walton, who was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors from 2014-2016, would be a familiar presence for the 32 year old centre.
There's also mentorship. The Lakers, despite having potential talents like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, are a relatively youthful team right now. Bogut, who nurtured a tough, competitive culture with the Australian Boomers, would be invaluable in imparting the same mindset to his new teammates.
Bogut's addition also presents the Lakers with a veteran backup for Brook Lopez, one who provides solid rim protection and defensive rebounding. This provides some measure of insurance, and more importantly, time for sophomore big man Ivica Zubac to mature and gain confidence in his role.
Let's not forget about Bogut's knack, when it comes to screening. Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball would surely benefit off the pick and roll with Bogut as a partner, and vice versa.
Should Bogut remain healthy, he could turn out to be a valuable addition for the team.
On a lighter note, we finally have an Aussie-style Celtics-Lakers rivalry, now that Aron Baynes and Andrew Bogut have respectively committed to the two sides. Watch out for those elbows! These games are about to get intense, especially when it comes to the paint.