One of the players who’s name has been circulating around the rumour mill is Aussie big man and former 1st overall pick Andrew Bogut.
Known around the league as a defensive stud who sets strong screens and isn’t afraid to role his sleeves up and play hard, there’re a lot of teams who could use his skill set.
We will be taking a look at two franchises in particular who’s names have been sited alongside Andrew Bogut’s, seeing how a potential move would work out for both parties.
THE BOSTON CELTICS
Currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference and 7th overall in the league with a .615 win %, Boston is a team with some excellent perimeter defenders in Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. The franchise is 7th in the league in overall offensive rating as well as 3 point %, all led by Eastern Conference All-Star lock Isaiah Thomas.
Over the off-season the Celtics added Al Horford to the mix who isn’t known for his defence and rebounding, but more for his floor spacing and unselfish distribution.
As someone who doesn’t require the ball much but is regularly involved in plays, Bogut doesn’t take from ball dominate teammates to allow them to play into their strengths.
Boston rank 19th in the league in Defence, allowing 108.6 points per 100 possessions, and 26th overall in Total Rebounds per game. The Celtics lack an interior presence who is able to rebound, take charges, set screens and do all the dirty work that is needed to be champions.
Andrew Bogut every box and his diamond studded Championship ring is all the proof he needs.
A deal is achievable for both clubs if Bogut’s $11m contract can be worked into the Celtics salary cap without much difficulty. Negotiations may be tough with the Celtics holding a key draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets.
With an injury history as long as some textbooks, Bogut might not be able prize one of these away from Boston as they hold out for that accompanying mega trade.
Boston are not at Cleveland’s level but one or two roster moves could be all it takes to elevate them on par with their Eastern Conference rivals. An Andrew Bogut trade is the perfect entrée before the main course, potentially setting the table for an NBA finals appearance.
THE PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
The Portland Trail Blazers are a team lead by the offensive prowess of their young backcourt partnership of Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum. Their names are always brought up in conversations regarding the identify of the best guard combination in the NBA.
When mentions of a Bogut trade are being thrown around, the offensive lift a team can receive off a potential move is rarely mentioned. Andrew Bogut’s screen setting and passing abilities played a part in Stephen Curry’s 402 3-pointers made last season which shattered the previous record of 286.
Bogut’s ability to create space for his teammate is an asset that gets overlooked, but in the case of the Portland Trail Blazers, this is one of the most enticing prospects. Currently sporting the 8th best offensive rating in the NBA, Lillard is referred to as one of the most “Steph Curry-esque” players in the NBA.
He has converted 90 3-point baskets so far this season whereas CJ McCollum totalled 101 himself. With Bogut blocking defenders, this gives Lillard and CJ space they haven’t enjoyed the luxury of exploiting.
The Boomer is an excellent passer, creating more Pick-and-Pop opportunities for Lillard and McCollum who are 35% and 41% 3-point shooters. The benefits are there if they make the move from Dallas to Portland a reality.
Portland’s top 10 offence might be able to get better with the inclusion of Bogut, yet the team’s defence is all but guaranteed to get better. Right now teams have been treating the Portland defence like the turnstiles the fans have to pass through to enter the stadium.
Allowing 112.5 points per game, they are home to the worst defence in the league which means the only way is up for the Blazers. Opponents shoot an effective field goal % of 51.5 and are able to snatch 44.5 rebounds a game against this line-up.
Adding someone with the defensive abilities of Andrew Bogut will be felt throughout the organisation, and with an average age of 25.1, there is a lot to learn about what it takes to win for the 4th youngest roster in the Association.
Bogut doesn’t just bring elite rim protection but also provides veteran leadership, where with his sacrificial team first play, the others on the roster can adopt a similar mentality.
Salary is more of an issue for Portland, as they are already on the cusp of the luxury tax. They don’t have the holy grail of draft picks that Boston have acquired either.
However, with the centre getting older by the game he won’t be able to fetch the same price he once did, so with the Celtics likely to not give up a Brooklyn pick, and the Mavericks likely to be asking for one, this may be the perfect opportunity for Portland to strike.
Having stockpiled some useful players that are enticing in a trade that don’t fit into Portland’s system, they look all but certain to make a move of some kind this trade window.
So if he stays, or if he goes, Bogut will be beneficial for either team as they try to take it to the next level. Both teams seem only 1 or 2 moves away from swimming with the big fishes in their respected conferences, and with the time winding down until the trade deadline on the 23d of February, teams will have act quickly.
So keep your eyes peeled for any further updates because things can change quickly in the NBA and a seemingly small trade can set the foundations for a seismic shift in power.