On a surge of unwarranted confidence, Warriors’ Andrew Bogut places himself among the NBA’s elite

How can Bogut say he's a top-three center when he has played 44 games in the last two seasons?

Since the Milwaukee Bucks too Andrew Bogut with the top overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft out of Utah, Andrew Bogut has never really lived up to the expectations that are assigned to a top-pick.

He has played more than 70 games in only two of his eight seasons, averaged more than 13 points once, and has not come close to double-digit rebounds per game since the 2010-11 campaign.

Don't get me wrong, he's had seasons with solid double-double averages (like 2009-10 and 2010-11), but those have been in the minority, not the majority, during his NBA tenure.

So, when coming off back-to-back seasons in which he has not played more than 32 games apiece, the Australian center claims to be in the top three at his position in the NBA, most people would and should perform a double-take. You would be hard-pressed to find many basketball people who would agree with Bogut's self-assessment — revealed in an online Oakland Tribune story by Warriors beat writer Marcus Thompson — which would put him ahead of contemporaries like Marc and Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Brook Lopez, Joakim Noah, and Roy Hibbert, just to name a few. Not the easiest of sells.

From Thompson's piece: It's been a long time since Bogut could claim to be 100 percent. He's also claiming to be a top three center in the league, albeit with "asterisks".

"Yeah…when healthy," he said. "And I'm healthy now."

Recovered from injury or not, Bogut is standing on a slippery slope with those comments. In order to make them somewhat factual and not absurdly inaccurate, he has to actually start this season on the court, not off of it, and play effectively for a prolonged period of time.

If he demonstrates the ability to be the top-flight, elite center worthy of a 1st-pick overall, they maybe he can say he is among the best in the NBA at his position. But until then, he should stay quiet and work on his own game and not worry about others.

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, since birth. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18