Practice Report: Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson discusses his team's additions of Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, and more!

The Mavs announced today they acquired center Andrew Bogut from the Golden State Warriors along with a future second-round pick in exchange for a conditional second-rounder.

Bogut, 31, has spent the last four season with the Warriors, the last two of which came under head coach Steve Kerr, who implemented one of the most wide-open offenses in league history. The Australian center excelled in his role with the team, averaging 6.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 23.7 minutes per game in those four campaigns.

Rick Carlisle’s Mavericks, meanwhile, play in more space than just about anyone. Bogut should fit seamlessly into that system.

The 7-foot, 260-pound Bogut is a physical force, as he’s able to use his size and strength to finish around the rim while also finishing with excellent touch. Per Synergy Sports, last season Bogut shot 66.2 percent on 216 attempts around the rim in non-post-up situations, which ranked fifth among the 96 players with at least 200 such possessions.

While less than 10 percent of his possessions came as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, more than 50 percent combined came off of either cutting or put-backs on the offensive glass. Bogut is a master in terms of getting himself in position to make the catch or collect a rebound; he’s only averaged below 3.0 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes just once since 2008, according to Basketball-Reference. The Mavericks ranked 26th in offensive rebounds per game last season, but much of that was by design. Carlisle prefers only the center crash the glass while the other four players get back in transition. Strategy aside, Bogut still represents a possible upgrade in that regard, as his rebounding and put-back skills rank toward the top of the league.

As we have come to learn, however, finishing ability is not the only thing required for a player to succeed in Carlisle’s system. He must also be able to pass the ball, and Bogut is one of the best passing centers in the NBA. During the last two seasons he’s averaged 4.1 assists per 36 minutes playing in Golden State’s pace-and-space, spread offense. With Dallas he should enjoy a similar level of success, whether he’s finding spot-up shooters or dropping off a pass to a crashing teammate in the pick-and-roll. He created 2.456 points per assist within halfcourt offensive sets last season, per Synergy. There aren’t many big-bodied centers who can thrive in an up-tempo, spread style of offense, but Bogut is certainly one of them.

Defensively, he is a top rim protector. Last season opponents shot only 45.2 percent at the rim against Bogut on 6.4 attempts per game, per SportVU. He also swatted 1.6 shots per game despite averaging fewer than 21 minutes a night. Between Bogut and his new teammates Salah Mejri and A.J. Hammons, the Mavericks should always have the paint under control when it comes to contesting shots. Add to that the lengthy, springy Justin Anderson, and all of a sudden you’re talking about potentially one of the better shot-blocking — and shot-contesting — teams in the NBA.

Here’s a few bits of trivia about Bogut:

– Bogut was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, taken by the Bucks. He’s the fourth No. 1 pick ever to suit up for the Mavericks, joining Elton Brand (1999, Bulls), Danny Manning (1988, Clippers), and Mark Aguirre (1981, Mavericks). Aguirre is the Mavs’ only No. 1 selection in franchise history.

– Bogut is the second Australian player in Mavericks history, joining Chris Anstey, who played with the team from 1997-99. Dallas has found and employed players from all across the world during Donnie Nelson’s reign as president of basketball operations and Mark Cuban’s time as proprietor. That’s one more way the Aussie is a perfect fit.

– He doesn’t have a Snapchat or Instagram, and he’ll let you know about it right away if you visit his Twitter profile. Bogut’s a funny guy and his sense of humor definitely gets across even when you’re on the internet.

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