The Golden State Warriors want a traditional center who can back up DeMarcus Cousins in certain playoff matchups. They thought they would land Robin Lopez, but the Bulls never bought him out and put him on the free agent market.
That opened the door for Andrew Bogut, who had been playing for the Sydney Kings in his native Australia’s National Basketball League (a season that just ended). Now, as previously reported, he is on his way to the Warriors. The team made it official.
Bogut is not going to get much run with the Warriors. Cousins starts at center, and they will have their “death lineup” minutes with Draymond Green at the five. However, with Kevon Looney out injured there are minutes to be had for a traditional backup big (Jordan Bell will fight for some minutes, too, and had some good games recently).
Bogut dominated in Australia, where he was named league MVP, averaging 11.4 points and a league-leading 11.6 rebounds a game, he shot 56 percent on the season. Always a smart positional defender, he averaged 2.7 blocks per contest. Also, he was named NBL’s Best Defensive Player and to the All NBL First Team.
The Warriors are going with the guy they know. Bogut was the starting center for the Warriors in the 2015 title run, but was seen as too injury prone (his injury in the 2016 Finals is an under-discussed reason for the Warriors 3-1 collapse against the Cavaliers) and the Warriors traded him after the 2016 season to get the cap room to sign Kevin Durant.
Bogut’s injury history is less of an issue in the limited role he will play. When we last saw Bogut in the NBA, he struggled to get on the court for the Lakers a year ago, but the Warriors are going with the guy they know.