A “Bogut” Situation


Just minutes into his debut game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, veteran center Andrew Bogut fractured his left tibia and the training staff carted him off the court.

This is a huge blow for a Cleveland team who was looking forward to the steady defensive prowess the former first overall pick would bring to their bench after facing off against him in the last two NBA Finals.

It was confirmed earlier today that the Australian big man’s injury would not require surgery, but he will still miss the remainder of the season and the all of the postseason. Cleveland will likely cut Bogut and try to find someone else in the free agent pool that can help them push for a third straight birth into the NBA Finals.

Without Bogut in the lineup, the Cavs will be running with a frontcourt lineup featuring Channing Frye and Tristan Thompson starting, Frye replacing the still injured Kevin Love. With recently signed Derrick Williams and veteran forward Richard Jefferson coming off the bench.

If they cannot find someone to take up the minutes Bogut was set to play in, you can expect to see more of Frye at the five slot off the bench and a rotation of Williams and Jefferson perhaps starting at the four to allow a Thompson to have a solid reliever.

You might see the lineup of Kyrie Irving, newly cleared to play J.R Smith, LeBron James, Jefferson/Williams and Thompson together on the court more often.

As for potential Bogut replacements, there are only two players who fit the bill for Cleveland. Forward/center Jared Sullinger and center Larry Sanders.

Sullinger was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the P.J Tucker deal after his lackluster performance for the Toronto Raptors left him expendable. He is a solid rebounder who can shoot well from mid-range and has a high-level post game.

However, the reason the Boston Celtics let him walk during free agency this past offseason was his questionable effort. Sully has never been in peak physical shape and that heavily affects the level of his play. He also tends to shoot too many 3-pointers for someone who has his sill on the low-block.

If the Cavs could procure his services and the veterans on that team could whip him into shape while also talking him into playing off of his strengths, it could prove to be even more beneficial for them.

Sanders is the other option on the market and his style of play is more in line with what Cleveland wanted to get out of Bogut. He is a defense and rebound focused big who will give you five points per game off garbage buckets.

The problem isn’t with his play, it is with his state of mental health. Sanders retired from basketball in December of 2014 after being suspended for multiple instances of the league’s anti-drug policy and substance abuse code.
Later he admitted that he was suffering with anxiety, depression and mood disorders that caused him to enjoy the sport less and less overtime. He announced this last summer that he would be willing to make a return.

He has had several workouts with teams, including both the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. Time will only tell if he fits the Cavs’ bill.

About Cale Michael

    Recommended for you

    Powered by themekiller.com