On a minute-by-minute basis, Andrew Bogut remains in the “NBA’s best defensive player” conversation.
On a minute-by-minute basis, Andrew Bogut remains in the “NBA’s best defensive player” conversation: he blocks shots, contests shots, dissuades drives, handles pick-and-rolls, understands tendencies, cleans the defensive glass, and uses his fouls as well as anybody in the league. Unfortunately for Bogut, there’s no “Turn off injuries” button in real life like there is in “NBA 2K.” As a result, his superb defensive work and his entertaining playmaking from the high post get hit with big asterisks. Even last season, when he appeared in 70 games for Golden State primarily as a starter, Bogut logged fewer total minutes than numerous backup centers. The combination of an off-season trade to Dallas, a thin frontline surrounding him, and a contract that expires next summer sets up Bogut for a solid showcase year in 2016-17. The looming question, though, is whether the 31-year-old Bogut has enough left in the tank to expand out of the intentionally limited role he filled with the Warriors. (Last year: No. 76)
+ He led the entire NBA in Defensive Real Plus Minus (+5.45) this season
+ He averaged four assists per 36 minutes last season, ranking second among 7-footers
– He has averaged 1,191 minutes per year (roughly 14.5 MPG over all 82 games) for the last five seasons
– Coming off season-ending knee injury in Finals, but played for Australia at the Rio Olympics