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There is a chance that Andrew Bogut could be coming to the Boston Celtics in the near future. Is this a good thing? Let's get the negatives out of the way. The biggest one is Bogut's injury history. It is awful. He has played a full 82-game schedule only once, his rookie year. His next biggest total was 70 games played, and he had seasons of 12, 27, 32, and 36 games played. He was on the court less than one minute in his debut game for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season and broke his leg. That ended his season.

He has a career free throw percentage of 55.6%. That certainly could be an issue in close, late-game situations. As far as three-pointers, in his 12-year career, he has attempted 25 and made three of them. He obviously can not be regarded as a stretch center. Lastly, he lacks the versatility that the modern NBA often requires. He is an old-fashion center. Period.

Now the pluses. He is not a prolific scorer, but he does shoot a healthy career 53.4% from the field. He is a good rebounder and rim protector. Career averages of 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks would certainly fill two needs for the Celtics. And Andrew is a very good defender, a real plus for anyone coming to the Celts.


Bogut's potential role with Boston would most likely be as a backup center filling in for Al Horford, playing 12-18 minutes per game. He may also log minutes at center with Al filling a forward spot. Bogut has the size to compete with the big bruiser centers like Andre Drummond and Dwight Howard. Also, should the Celtics face the Golden State Warriors, Bogut played for them for four seasons, winning a championship in 2015. He knows the team, the strategies and the players.

One thing is for sure. If Boston and Bogut reach an agreement, it would most likely be for the vet minimum for one or two years. His signing would be an attempt to win now. Boston certainly would appear to be a preferred destination for Andrew. The only question would be, would his signing be a good move for the Celtics?

It is obvious that Celtics President, Danny Ainge, signed Aron Baynes to back up Al and to bump and grind with the bruisers. Aron doesn't have Andrew's size or experience, but he is a better free throw shooter. Hack-a-Baynes won't work in tight games. It could work with Bogut.

Let's go back to the 2015 NBA finals. The Golden State Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors were down two games to one when Andrew Bogut was replaced in the lineup by Andre Igoudala. Golden State won the next three games and took the title. Igoudala's insertion into the lineup produced this result, per Wikipedia:

Iguodala was named the Finals MVP, becoming the first to win the award without having started every game in the series. He finished the Finals averaging 16.3 points, 4 assists, and 5.8 rebounds. He was also tasked with guarding Cleveland's LeBron James, who made only 38.1 percent of his shots when Iguodala was in the game..."

So the Warriors won the title in six games with 6'7" Draymond Green playing center in the final three games. Andrew Bogut played less than three minutes in game four and was a DNP-coach's decision in the final two games. Warrior's coach Steve Kerr had stated, prior to game four that there would be no lineup changes. There was one, and it was vital. Igoudala started, and Bogut went to the bench. So Kerr fibbed but admitted to it later, via Wikipedia:

After the game, Kerr admitted to his deception regarding the starting lineup, quipping, "I don't think they hand you the trophy based on morality."

Why is this important? Hey look, I know the 15th roster spot does not require a Celtics Savior, but there may be better options, including waiting for the right player to be waived or bought out by another team. And we know Trader Danny didn't get that handle sitting around waiting for things to happen. Kerr's small ball lineup got to be known as the death lineup or small ball death squad. It was smart and innovative. The tallest player in the original lineup was 6'8" Harrison Barnes, and he was not even playing center.

If Danny signed Andrew, it would be to make a serious playoff run this season or next. But Golden State apparently won the championship by taking Bogut out of the starting lineup for one game, and then out of the final two games entirely. An apparently-healthy Bogut played less than three minutes out of a possible 144 minutes. Steve Kerr is a brilliant coach, and so is Brad Stevens. We can do better.

Photo via Kelly L. Cox/USA Today Sports
Stats via Wikipedia

Tom Lane 9/16/2017 06:06:00 AM Edit
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