We’ve Andrew Bogut, who has from the Dallas Mavericks to the Philadelphia 76ers but will presumably never put on a Sixers uniform. Philadelphia will look to trade him again before the deadline, per ESPN’s Marc Stein, and will buy him out if it cannot find a deal. If bought out, there are several teams who could claim him -- the Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, per ESPN’s Kevin Pelton -- before he clears waivers. For the purposes of this exercise, we will assume Bogut gets bought out, clears waivers and has the opportunity to choose his next team., but let’s have a look at some possible destinations for
They’ve been “monitoring” Bogut all season, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes, and he would help the defending champions in a number of different ways. Immediately, he would become Cleveland’s best interior defender and shot blocker. He’d also give them some much-needed high-post playmaking while Kevin Love is out of the lineup. Personally, I’d be interested to see how many open looks he creates for Kyle Korver (and J.R. Smith, when he’s healthy) with his screens.
Oh, and his knowledge of the Golden State Warriors wouldn’t hurt, either.
Celtics president Danny Ainge is on the record saying he doesn’t want to trade for a rent-a-player, but if he had, Bogut might have been at the top of the list. Boston’s weaknesses are rim protection and rebounding, two areas the big man would address. He doesn’t have the range that the Celtics’ other bigs do, but his passing ability means he still would have fit in well in Brad Stevens’ system.
They have the No. 1 defense in the league, so they don’t exactly need Bogut. Dewayne Dedmon is their only real rim protector right now, though, and Bogut is a far superior passer. He would surely shine in the Spurs’ system; the only question is how the minutes would be managed.
Could he help Houston go from 14th in defense to 10th or so? Maybe! And that could be worth it for a Rockets team that is clearly trying to strengthen itself for a postseason run. The problem: they already have Clint Capela, Montrezl Harrell and Nene. One of them would have to go.
This team is always, always looking for veteran help on the buyout market, and Bogut fills a specific need. DeAndre Jordan is the Clippers’ only true center outside of rookie Diamond Stone, and if they signed Bogut then they’d have 48 minutes of rim protection.
The Raptors have two main concerns heading into the playoffs -- one is defense, and the other is playmaking outside of their backcourt. Bogut is a smart team defender, and he could help keep the offense humming when opponents are pressuring Toronto’s stars. Crowded rotation, though.