Andrew Bogut is heading west and will be in another jersey when he next takes to the hardwood. Having been discussed in trade deals with several clubs involving the Boston Celtics (straight swap with veteran guard Ray Allen) and Washington Wizards among others, it was the Golden State Warriors that the 7’1’’ Australian will play for.
The deal comprised of the Bucks trading Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Oakland based Warriors in exchange for the exciting Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and big man Kwame Brown.
The first overall selection by the Bucks in the 2005 NBA Draft has been on the sidelines since 25 January due to an ankle injury. Over his seven years in the league, Bogut has averaged 12.7ppg and 9.3rpg in addition to cementing himself as a strong defender due to his shot-blocking prowess.
Golden State Warriors general manager Larry Riley, who replaced Chris Mullin in 2009, was very happy with the Bogut acquisition saying, “We’re extremely excited to acquire a player the calibre of Andrew Bogut, who we think is one of the best centers in the game.” He added, “He will add an element of toughness to our team and will provide us with scoring, rebounding and a defensive presence in the middle. We’ve lack those elements in recent years and think that Andrew’s addition will be a key factor in the growth of our team.”
For Bogut, who is owed $27 million over the next two seasons, this could well be a fresh start and revitalise his career under head coach Mark Jackson. The other element for the Melbourne born big man is that he will be under less pressure and probably increase his field goal percentage as the Warriors won’t need to play through him as much as was required in Milwaukee. We’re also most likely to see increased numbers on the defensive end with the calibre of players around him. He is an elite defensive center and this will be a better long-term move for Golden State.
The Warriors are likely to miss the playoffs and seem to be playing for next season. Their aim now – the NBA Draft. With both Bogut and Jackson not playing, there is a chance of dropping more games and acquiring a high draft selection.
For Golden State fans and supporters of Bogut, next season is promising and exciting – a fit Bogut along with the gifted Stephen Curry, a good scoring guard, and forward David Lee who is averaging just under 20ppg and 10rpg. Lee, out of Florida University, was in the same draft as Bogut and was picked up by the New York Knicks with pick 30 where he played five seasons, the last two with the Warriors.