Here’s How Signing Andrew Bogut Helps the Warriors’ Title Defense
The Golden State Warriors have been one of the most surprising dynasties in NBA history. Coming out of nowhere behind the firepower of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they quickly became a powerhouse in the league, taking down former dynasties in the process. The addition of Kevin Durant has taken the team to another level, but there has always seemed to be a glaring hole at the center position.
The problems at center were expected to change when Demarcus Cousins signed for the mid-level exception during the 2018 offseason. However, after coming back from a torn Achilles he has looked good, but not great. The biggest issue for the Warriors has been complacency, as they have looked horrible on the defensive end of the floor at stretches in 2019.
However, the Warriors may have found their security blanket in Andrew Bogut, who signed another contract with the team on March 6. Bogut was a key member of the Warriors first title run in 2014-15, and bringing him back will be an instant boost to the team on the defensive end.
The recruiting pitch
Bogut couldn’t sign with the Warriors until his season with his Australian team ended, but he has been on the Warriors target list since December. Multiple calls from the Warriors front office showed their desire to resign Bogut, who can make plays on both ends of the floor. He has no regrets with how his first stint in the Bay Area ended, and that is clearly one of the selling points for him resigning with the team.
Why Andrew Bogut returned
Although he believed his career was over, Bogut relished an opportunity to play in the NBA again, especially with his former team. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, Bogut’s career average is nearly 10 points per game and more than eight rebounds.
His last season with major minutes was in Dallas in 2016, where he averaged more than eight rebounds per game in 22 minutes. He also averaged over a block per game for his career and was the league leader in blocks in the 2010-11 season, when he averaged 2.6 blocks per game.
The Warriors rotation is very thin, with Andre Iguodala and Demarcus Cousins being the main pieces coming off of the bench. Adding Bogut into the mix will strengthen their second unit, and he will be a key defensive stopper in the playoffs.
The West is full of big-time post players, such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Steven Adams, so putting Andrew Bogut on them could be a key matchup in a first or second round series. He also can provide a bit of scoring from the paint if Cousins has an off night or gets into early foul trouble.
Will the Warriors make any other moves?
With the addition of Bogut, it’s unlikely Golden State will make any more major roster changes unless a severe injury happens to someone on the roster. The team has looked sluggish on defense but they have the mindset to turn it on in the playoffs, and putting Bogut into the mix just gives them another former champion who can mesh well in the current environment.
How far will Golden State go after adding Bogut?
The Warriors were viewed as the team to beat in the Western Conference before signing Andrew Bogut, so this should simply solidify their hold on playing in the NBA finals. The West has a number of talented big men on each of the teams fighting for playoff spots, but keeping Bogut in the middle for 10 to 15-minute stretches could be the key factor in a third straight NBA championship.