The trade of Andrew Bogut allowed the Warriors to have the necessary cap room to sign Kevin Durant.
Add that detail with the crucial role that Bogut had as a rim protector and fluid passer on the Warriors’ championship squad and again on the 73 win team, and his impact on Warriors’ matters is immeasurable.
Many people point to his injuries in the finals as a big turning point in the series. Without him, the Warriors didn’t have any intimidating shot blocking presences in the low post to make the Cavaliers anxious about attacking the hoop.
Bogut returned to the court for the first time since the leg injury he suffered in game 5 of the NBA Finals, playing 9 minutes in Team Australia’s win over Team China 82-53.
He finished with 3 rebounds and an assist, and will seek to make Team Australia competitive for a medal in the Rio Olympics, which begin on August 5th.
Bogut is also looking forward to a fresh start with the Dallas Mavericks, joining his former Warriors teammate Harrison Barnes.
The Warriors and Mavericks essentially switched centers this offseason, as the Warriors signed Zaza Pachulia. The former Mavericks center has more range as a shooter than Bogut did, and is a very capable facilitator at the position, but isn’t a rim protector.
To alleviate the absence of proven shot blocking, the Warriors invited JaVale McGee to training camp, and they hope that he can secure a spot on their roster.
It’s great news to see Bogut returning to game action. He was a crucial part of what made the Warriors such a successful team for these past couple seasons.
Although the Durant acquisition makes this team even more formidable, losing Bogut in the process was certainly a hefty price to pay.
He was a great teammate and an incredible defensive presence with the Warriors. I’m glad to see him return to the court just in time for the Olympics.