The Golden State Warriors could end up trading starting center Andrew Bogut this offseason, according to a source close to the 2014-15 NBA champions.
Andrew Bogut gone soon?
According to Monte Poole of CSNBayArea, Bogut is atop the list of players who could be traded if the Warriors are successful in their pursuit of Kevin Durant in free agency. Poole noted that Warriors drafting Vanderbilt center Damian Jones “is an an indication of the team’s frustration with Bogut”.
With the Warriors switching to the “death lineup” to close out games, Bogut’s playing time has significantly reduced in recent years. “Though Warriors coach Steve Kerr is committed to having a versatile lineup, able to play big or small, the team has grown frustrated by Bogut’s unreliability, particularly in times of greatest need,” wrote Poole.
Bogut, who turns 32 in November, missed the last two games of the just-concluded NBA Finals after suffering an injury to his left knee after a collision with JR Smith in Game 5 of the series. Many experts felt that the Warriors desperately missed Bogut’s rim protection during Games 6 and 7.
Festus Ezeli preferred?
The Warriors also have a decision to make on Festus Ezeli, who is a restricted free agent this summer. Ezeli is likely to attract offer sheets from several other teams. According to Poole, the Warriors would prefer to match those offers and retain the younger Ezeli instead of keeping Bogut for another year.
Poole also reported that the Warriors were “displeased with much of Bogut’s postseason work prior to the injury” and were unhappy with the fact that the Australian got bullied on the glass by Tristan Thompson. In fact, Bogut grabbed only 12 rebounds in 52 games of the first four games of the Finals.
Andrew Bogut, a former No. 1 overall pick, stand to make $11 million next season in what will be the final year of his contract. The Warriors would prefer to package his expiring contract with an additional asset to clear enough cap room for Kevin Durant and/or other free agents.