According to a report by Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Golden State Warriors are expected to sign center Andrew Bogut for the remainder of the season, once he gets his release from the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League.
The process, Haynes said, is expected to take 48 hours, and as of Monday’s practice, head coach Steve Kerr could not officially comment on the signing. Bringing Bogut back into the mix, though, will give the Warriors an experienced hand in the low post come playoff time.
“I’m not going to get into our needs and all that, but I’ll just cut right to the chase and tell you that we have been talking with Bogut and his representatives and nothing’s official,” Kerr said. “There’s things that have to happen, and we can’t really comment on that until it’s official.”
An Australian native, Bogut has been playing well in his home country, averaging 11.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks this past season to earn the NBL Best Defensive Player Award, and was voted to the All-NBL First Team. He played four seasons for the Warriors and was a key member of the rotation that won Golden State’s first of three championships in four seasons, in 2014-15.
The 34-year old center was well-liked by both teammates and fans during his tenure with the Warriors, and brings a defensive-oriented presence that can match up with some of the league’s bigger centers, something that will be valuable in the postseason in case DeMarcus Cousins gets into foul trouble. Other than Cousins, Golden State was thin on centers. With Damion Jones likely out for the rest of the season because of his torn pectoral muscle, the Warriors had just 6-foot-9 Kevon Looney and 6-foot-9 Jordan Bell, neither of whom could bang with the bigger post players in the league. Upon occasion, Draymond Green and Jonas Jerebko have filled the center role, but again, they don’t have the size of the seven-foot, 260-pound Australian.
A 13-year veteran, Bogut has averaged 9.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in his career, and reportedly chose his former club over the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, returning to the team after stints with Dallas, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers. He had not played in the NBA in more than a year.
His return could jeopardize two-way contract player Dameon Lee’s chances at being named to the 15th full-time roster spot, unless Golden State decides to waive one of its back-of-the-rotation players.