Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers officially placed the contract of NBA veteran Andrew Bogut on waivers. Once Bogut clears waivers after 48 hours, he’ll be eligible to sign with any NBA playoff team of his choosing, and according to Shams Charania of the Vertical, Bogut will choose between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs, to determine where he wants to play in the upcoming postseason.
Financially, the Rockets and Celtics can offer Bogut more money than the Spurs and Cavaliers, since the Cavaliers and Spurs are only able to offer the veteran minimum to Bogut.
But, what about ranking a role for Bogut? Where could he not only play much more for the last 20 games of this season, but also potentially in the playoffs too?
I’ve ranked each of the four teams pursuing Bogut based on their current roster and status at the moment.
- Cleveland Cavaliers
|Kyrie Irving 6’3||JR Smith 6’6||LeBron James 6’8||Kevin Love 6’10||Tristan Thompson 6’9|
|Deron Williams 6’3||Iman Shumpert 6’5||Kyle Korver 6’7||Channing Frye 6’11|
|Kay Felder 5’9||DeAndre Liggins 6’6||Richard Jefferson 6’7||Derrick Williams 6’8|
|Jordan McRae 6’5||James Jones 6’8|
If it’s about finding a role, the first obvious choice might be the Cavaliers, due to the injury situation with Kevin Love, who is expected to be back sometime in March. As you can see, the Cavaliers don’t have another 5 on their roster behind Tristan Thompson, and they’re down to just four big men currently until Love returns. Not only could Bogut join Cleveland and provide some depth to their frontcourt while Love is out, but, even when the Cavs become fully healthy, Bogut can also carve a role for himself in the playoff rotation by playing the backup 5 like Timofey Mozgov was able to do over the last two seasons in Cleveland before departing to Los Angeles.
With 15 players on their roster, the Cavaliers would have to waive a player before signing Bogut if he chose Cleveland.
2. Boston Celtics
|Isaiah Thomas 5’9||Avery Bradley 6’3||Jae Crowder 6’6||Amir Johnson 6’9||Al Horford 6’10|
|Demetrius Jackson 6’1||Marcus Smart 6’4||Jaylen Brown 6’7||Jonas Jerebko 6’10||Tyler Zeller 7’0|
|Terry Rozier 6’2||Gerald Green 6’7||Kelly Olynyk 7’0|
|James Young 6’6||Jordan Mickey 6’8|
While the Celtics are currently healthy, it’s no secret they could use some size around the glass that Bogut can provide, as well as a stable rim protector when defenses penetrate the wing area. Plus, with Boston’s heavy ball and player-movement motion offense, Bogut would be a perfect fit either by setting on/off ball screens, or keeping the rock moving with his passing ability.
The Celtics currently rank 27th in rebounds per game (41.2 rebounds), so Bogut would not only help out in that department, but he could also provide more versatility to the Celtics, as he can play the 5 and Horford can shift down to the 4 to spread out the offense even more if needed.
With 15 players on their roster, the Celtics too would have to waive a player to add Bogut.
3. Houston Rockets
|Patrick Beverley 6’1||James Harden 6’5||Trevor Ariza 6’8||Ryan Anderson 6’10||Clint Capela 6’10|
|Bobby Brown 6’2||Eric Gordon 6’4||Sam Dekker 6’9||Montrezl Harrell 6’8||Nene 6’11|
|Lou Williams 6’1||Kyle Wiltjer 6’10||Chinanu Onuaku 6’10|
The Rockets’ 5’s with Capela and Nene pretty much have their roles set, as Capela usually starts games and plays at a faster pace with his ability to set screens and catch lobs, while Nene can be a scoring option Houston can go to with their second unit. At the moment, it doesn’t look like Bogut would have a consistent role aside from being the third center unless the coaching staff was going to pull minutes from one or both of Capela and Nene. While Bogut has shown he can be effective in a fast-paced run and gun offense like the Rockets, time will tell if the team could incorporate him into a consistent role.
If the Rockets are looking to improve their 14th ranked defense, then adding Bogut could be a move in the right direction, but again, he would have to be on the floor to play the defense for a good chunk of time, and that too requires pulling minutes from Capela and Nene.
If Bogut is fine being the third center on the roster, then he could take a stand-by role where he might come into a game should one of the other bigs get into foul trouble, or if the Rockets need more rebounding and defense on the inside, they could look to him as an extra option.
With 13 players on their roster, the Rockets could sign Bogut outright without having to release anyone from their roster.
4. San Antonio Spurs
|Tony Parker 6’2||Danny Green 6’6||Kawhi Leonard 6’7||LaMarcus Aldridge 6’11||Pau Gasol 7’0|
|Patty Mills 6’0||Manu Ginobili 6’6||Kyle Anderson 6’9||David Lee 6’9||Dewayne Dedmon 7’0|
|Dejounte Murray 6’5||Jonathon Simmons 6’6||Davis Bertans 6’10||Joel Anthony 6’9|
|Bryn Forbes 6’3|
Like the Rockets, the Spurs already have their big man rotation in order with Gasol and Dedmon. Lately, Dedmon has actually been starting for the Spurs at center and Gasol has been coming off the bench with the second unit. Either way, both units with Dedmon or Gasol as the center have been very effective for San Antonio this season.
It seems like with San Antonio as well, Bogut would have to accept a stand-by role as the third center in the event one of the other bigs got into foul trouble or the Spurs needed a different look from the frontline either offensively or defensively, but still, it doesn’t seem like San Antonio would pull minutes from Gasol or Dedmon to give Bogut a consistent role with 20 games left in the season.
With the Spurs having 15 players already on the roster, San Antonio would have to waive a player to add Bogut if he chose to sign with them, and since they’d be adding a center, Anthony would likely be the odd man out in that scenario.