Australian basketball star Andrew Bogut has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. The former number 1 draft pick will join the famous Los Angeles franchise on a one-year deal, becoming the first Australian to do so.
The Lakers will become Bogut’s fifth NBA team, after playing for Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bogut will reportedly sign a minimum contract worth $US2.3 million.
Despite having a long and illustrious career in the NBA, Bogut has dealt with a number of injuries that have threatened to derail his career.
Bogut joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent at the beginning of 2017. However, it seemed it was all but over when just minutes into his debut, Bogut fell onto the court holding his leg. It was later confirmed that Bogut had suffered a fractured tibia and would miss the remainder of the season and as a result was waived by the Cavaliers, leaving a great deal of doubt about whether he would play in the NBA again.
However, Bogut has now received a lifeline from the rebuilding Lakers franchise with his experience set to play a pivotal role in the team’s overall development.
The Lakers have made an abundance of changes to both their roster and front office. Bringing in quality talent from the draft in the likes of; Lonzo Ball (Pick 2), Kyle Kuzma (Pick 27), Josh Hart (Pick 30) and Thomas Bryant (Pick 42). As well as making bold moves in trading away D’Angelo Russell, who was taken with their 2nd pick in the 2015 Draft, as well as Timofey Mozgov to Nets in return for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the 2017 Draft, which was used to draft Kyle Kuzma.
The trade came as a bit of a shock as Russell was seen as part of the future within the team. However, the plans to draft Lonzo Ball left the Lakers willing to rid of Russell in return for valuable assets. Moving on Timofey Mozgoz in the same trade was another vital move in the Lakers rebuilding, with the intention to free up salary cap space in order to bring in a big name star through the 2018 free agency period. Mozgov originally signed a four-year $65 million contract with the Lakers. By trading Mozgov the Lakers will, in theory, be able to pursue players such as; LeBron James or Paul George.
Bogut’s inclusion within the roster comes in the twilight of his career, but he is known to be an aggressive and competitive player likely to make an impact.