Surely the Bucks didn’t draft Utah’s Andrew Bogut as the first overall pick to serve as Jamaal Magliore’s understudy? That’s the question being posed by the Racine Journal Times’ Gery Woelful.
According to Bucks officials, Bogut simply isn™t ready for prime-time action. Excuse me for being a tad cynical, but what™s being ready? Wednesday night against Denver, Bogut played 37 minutes. He competed against two quality big men in Marcus Camby and Nene. Bogut scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He also made seven of 10 shots from the field. Most centers in the NBA would only dream of posting such numbers.
And he™s not ready?
After drafting the 7-foot center, the company line among Bucks officials was that Bogut was more equipped to play immediately than Williams because of his vast international experience. They said Bogut was more mature, more physically able for the rigors of the pro game. They acknowledged Williams had an enormous upside, but they simply couldn™t wait for him develop.
But now they™re waiting for Bogut to develop. When he will develop into a starting-caliber center, at least in the minds of the Bucks™ brass, is anyone™s guess. After all, Magloire isn™t going anywhere. The Bucks invested too much in him: they gave New Orleans a starting small forward in Desmond Mason and their No. 1 pick in next sumer™s draft. Magloire is also only 27 years old. Is it too farfetched to speculate even now that Bogut will never supplant Magloire as the team™s starting center?
The NBA™s last 10 Rookie of the Year performers have been Emeka Okafor, LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Pau Gasol, Mike Miller, Steve Francis, Elton Brand, Vince Carter, Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson.
With each of them, they were a starter from Day One and remained a starter for virtually all of their rookie seasons. Each of them, with the exception of Miller, has evolved into an outstanding player.
It™s way too eary, way too premature to write off Bogut, but the early signs definitely aren™t good.