After a disappointing Finals appearance from Andrew Bogut, the Golden State Warriors are seriously considering trading their Australian center, but not just because of his ability.
Bogut missed the last two games of the Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was quite ineffective for the second straight year in the finals series in both protecting the rim and rebounding, while his offense became even more ineffectual with the season on the line. After 10 points in the opening game of the series, he scored just six points in the next four games, including being held scoreless in both games 4 and 5, with his playing time reduced to a mere 13-15 minutes.
Bogut has been a big part of what the Warriors do, especially in the regular season, but in the playoffs, except for in the first round, the Warriors were often better off without him. Through the regular season his defense and rebounding means a big deal, and he even tries a little bit more offensively. But in the playoffs, teams took advantage of the Warriors having a player who can’t do much with the ball in his hands, and certainly not stretch the floor, which is the biggest part of Golden State’s offense.
Bogut, who has been with the Warriors since 2012, making the playoffs every year with the team, is due to make $11 million next season. And that number is just as significant when it comes to trading him, because Kevin Durant is coming, or might be coming.
The Warriors don’t have the cap space to sign Durant on a max deal, and there’s no real negotiation here: It’s either a 1+1 contract or one for four years. Either way, it’s max money, which means the Warriors are going to trade someone. It won’t be Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The only other players whose removal would bring significant cap relief are Andre Iguodala and Bogut, who also happen to be the two oldest players on the team (who aren’t free agents).
So does Bogut go? A team that needs rim protection should be interested, especially on a one year deal. Bogut does deal with injuries almost every year, but he played in 70 games last season, which is decent. Until the Durant decision is made, Bogut, like everyone else in this league, is biting his fingernails, waiting to see how things develop.