NBA Teams
Kevin Pelton, ESPN Staff Writer 85d

Why Lakers' signing of Andrew Bogut is a 'bit perplexing'

NBA, Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers agreed to sign center Andrew Bogut to a reported one-year, minimum contract. NBA Inside Kevin Pelton breaks down the move here.

The fit for Bogut with the Lakers is a bit perplexing to me. L.A. already had three centers on the roster, having dealt for Brook Lopez and drafted Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant in the second round the past two years. Moreover, the Lakers will want to play Julius Randle and Larry Nance together in smaller frontcourts on a regular basis. Such lineups played 409 minutes last season, per NBA.com/Stats, despite Nance missing 19 games due to injury.

So where will Luke Walton find playing time for Bogut, who started for him when Walton filled in for Steve Kerr as head coach with the Golden State Warriors? Presumably, the youngsters will take a back seat, which is disappointing given they have the chance to be part of the Lakers' long-term future. If the Lakers use their cap space next summer to sign two perimeter players, they'll have to renounce Lopez to clear room and will have only their midlevel exception (estimated $4.5 million) to spend more than the veteran's minimum on a replacement. One of Zubac or Bryant will likely need to play a rotation role.

Of course, given Bogut's injury history -- he was limited to 27 games last season -- Zubac and Bryant will probably have opportunities. And given the low price, the Lakers may value Bogut more for his veteran presence in the locker room than his ability on the court. Still, I can't say this is how I expected them to fill the final spot on their roster, assuming Bogut in fact makes the team.

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