Andrew Bogut, who protected the rim for the Golden State Warriors during their 2015 championship run, is officially a free agent. The center was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers before his partially guaranteed contract became fully guaranteed.
Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers are releasing center Andrew Bogut. With Lakers at 11-27, this allows sides to part ways and Bogut to pivot toward signing with a playoff team.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 6, 2018
This move is the latest in a series of events that have put Bogut’s career up in the air. After a solid four-year run with the Warriors that ended with a pair of NBA Finals appearances, Bogut was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2016, to make room for Kevin Durant.
Bogut struggled with Dallas, and appeared in just 26 games before being cut. He then signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it looked like he would appear in his third straight Cavs vs. Warriors Finals. Unfortunately, his Cleveland career lasted only 58 seconds before he suffered a season-ending injury.
This last offseason he signed with Los Angeles, where he was reunited with former Warriors assistant coach and current Lakers head coach Luke Walton. But Bogut didn’t play much, and with the Lakers predictably out of the playoff picture, it made sense for both parties to split.
Bogut is now free to sign with any other team. Which, of course, brings up the question . . .
Will the Warriors consider signing him?
It’s an interesting question, but a very easy answer: No. A reunion with the Warriors makes very little sense.
For starters, the Warriors have an entirely full roster. With 15 guaranteed contracts already on the books, they cannot bring in another player without waiving or trading someone first.
Even if they did get rid of a contract - there have been rumors of a JaVale McGee trade - Quinn Cook would likely take the roster spot. With McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Jordan Bell, David West, Kevon Looney, and Damian Jones all in the fold, the team is hardly in need of frontcourt depth.
Furthermore, Bogut simply doesn’t provide much anymore. He’s a far cry from the second-team All-Defense center that he was during the 2014-15 season. Age, injuries, and changes in the style of basketball being played have caught up to him.
What he does do well - protect the rim - the Warriors don’t particularly need help with. Between Bell, West, Durant, and Draymond Green, the Dubs lead the league in blocked shots by a country mile.
Instead of having his strengths highlighted, Bogut’s weaknesses would be on display in Golden State’s current system. He cannot switch onto the perimeter, as Bell and Looney often can. He cannot pick up guards at the elbow, as Pachulia and West do. He cannot hit elbow jumpers like West, or provide athletic mismatches on offense like Bell and McGee.
Barring multiple injuries, there’s simply no fit for him on the Warriors’ current roster.
And that’s before we get into his problematic associations and viewpoints, and how they would clash on a Warriors team that is now very vocal about politics and social and civil rights.
So where might he go?
Even though Bogut is no longer that high-quality starting big that he once was, he can still help out playoff teams in need of depth. A reunion with the Cavs is not out of the question, as they are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Washington Wizards, who seriously lack depth, could be in play.
Most playoff-bound teams are looking for depth, especially in the form of a veteran who can protect the rim. Bogut will likely land on his feet for a team that will play more than 82 games.
Just don’t expect that team to be the Warriors.