Andrew Bogut will be better in Golden State
Andrew Bogut is heading to the Golden State Warriors after a big deal involving several players from both teams.
Bogut had been discussed in trade deals with several clubs including the Boston Celtics (for a straight swap with veteran guard Ray Allen) and the Washington Wizards, but it is the Golden State Warriors that the 7’1” Australian will play for.
The deal comprised the Milwaukee 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.
Bogut was the first overall selection by the Bucks in the 2005 NBA Draft, but has been on the sidelines since 25 January due to an ankle injury. Over his seven years in the league, Bogut has averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game 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 centres 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 lacked 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 will get $27 million over the next two seasons, this could well be a fresh start and revitalise his career under Golden State’s head coach Mark Jackson.
The other positive factor 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 are 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 good 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 is the NBA draft. With neither Bogut nor Jackson playing at the moment, there is a chance that the Warriors will drop more games and acquire a high draft selection.
For Golden State fans and supporters of Bogut, next season is promising and exciting. A fit Bogut will form the core of a very good team along with the gifted Stephen Curry, a good scoring guard, and forward David Lee, who is averaging just under 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Lee, out of Florida University, was in the same draft as Bogut and was picked up by the New York Knicks with pick 30. He has played five seasons, the last two with the Warriors.
Trading players away is never easy, but the future will be better for Andrew Bogut and the Golden State Warriors because of it.