Why did Andrew Bogut pick Lakers over Celtics? Plus, which free agent bigs are still available?

Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Bogut watch officially came to a close on Monday night as the agent for the seven-foot Australian confirmed on Twitter the center would be signing a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics have now pursued the big man twice in the past few months and come up empty on both occasions. Last March,  Bogut was one of the top prizes on the buyout market, and he chose the Cavs over the Celtics (among other teams) before suffering a season-ending broken leg during his first game in Cleveland. Boston’s interest in the big man appeared to continue this fall after the 32-year-old was given a clean bill of health from that leg injury, and a spot in Boston’s frontcourt opened up (after Ante Zizic was traded to Cleveland).

David Aldridge of NBA.com reported Monday night the Cavs, Celtics and Wolves were all still in the mix for the center’s services before he settled on the Lakers. Shams Charmia of the Vertical reported the presence of former Warriors coach Luke Walton was a major factor in the choice.

Despite that, Bogut’s decision to sign with the Lakers is a very curious one for me for a couple reasons. To start, it’s fair to say that the Lakers will have plenty of trouble even dreaming of playoff possibilities during 2017-18 season, so winning clearly wasn’t a huge priority for the veteran big man. Playing time also may be hard to come by in Los Angeles as well, since the frontcourt is pretty well stocked already at center (Brook Lopez, Ivica Zubac) and at power forward (Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr.).