Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut Puts Playing Career On Hold

Former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut isn’t ready to call it a career, but he’s also in no rush to sign a new contract, he said in a statement on Twitter. Citing the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the 35-year-old center is taking a step back from basketball for now.

Bogut, who has spent the last two years playing for the Sydney Kings in Australia – with a brief return to the Warriors sandwiched in between NBL seasons – said he’s enjoying taking a break after 19 straight months of playing basketball. His plan, for the time being, is to spend time with his family and to slowly get back into playing shape before he considers pursuing another opportunity.

“I have decided not to sign with the Sydney Kings, or any professional sporting team for that matter for the time being,” Bogut wrote. “With everything going on in the world, the future does not look too clear, most notably in regards to sporting leagues worldwide.

“This is by no means a retirement note, but simply saying any concrete decisions are too hard to be made at this point in time. The reason I have decided to do this now is to give the Sydney Kings enough notice to act accordingly with free agency being around the corner.”

A 14-year NBA veteran, Bogut holds career averaged of 9.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 706 career regular season contests for the Bucks, Warriors, Mavericks, Cavaliers, and Lakers.

Although he didn’t play in the NBA this season and only appeared in 11 regular season games (plus 19 playoff contests) for Golden State in 2018/19, Bogut has continued to thrive in Australia over the last couple years. He was the NBL’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, and earned All-NBL Second Team honors this season.

Andrew Bogut Deciding Between Olympics, Retirement

Andrew Bogut had hoped to use the Summer Olympics as his farewell to basketball, but the one-year delay caused by the coronavirus has complicated those plans, writes Dennis Passa of The Associated Press. At age 35, Bogut isn’t sure if he can go through another year of training to prepare for the competition.

“I haven’t done any basketball since the season ended and it feels good waking up, getting out of bed and not feeling like I’m walking on glass,” Bogut said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Offsiders program. “It’s (my career) all been thrown into a washing machine essentially … but there’s a decision to be made probably by mid-May.”

After spending 13 years in the NBA, the top pick in the 2005 draft has played for Sydney in Australia’s National Basketball League for the past two seasons. He won an NBA title with Golden State in 2015 and rejoined the Warriors after his NBL season ended last year, averaging 3.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 11 games.

Sydney reached the NBL finals this season, but the five-game series was stopped after three games because of the pandemic, and Perth – which held a 2-1 lead – was awarded the title. Bogut blasted the league’s handling of the situation, saying the players were “used like pawns.”

Bogut, who has been part of Australia’s international team since 2004, would love to cap off his career with an Olympic medal. He played an important role in a fourth-place finish at the 2019 World Cup and believes the Australians will be in contention with Sixers star Ben Simmons on the team.

“We’ve been tantalizingly close and the squad we’re going to have is arguably going to be the best squad in the history of the Boomers, on paper at least,” Bogut said. “To be part of that, selfishly, is something I really want to do, but the body is what it comes down to. I can get up for a basketball game any day of the week, but it’s hard to get up for five, six days of training a week and lifting weights.”

And-Ones: Bogut, 2020 FAs, WNBA Draft, Curly Neal

Andrew Bogut, former Warriors center and current Sydney Kings center in Australia’s NBL, spoke with The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss about the NBL Grand Final series that was canceled mid-series due to the coronavrius, as well as the NBA’s prospects for a resumption of the 2019/20 season.

“We were one of the last leagues left in the world playing,” Bogut said of the NBL. “You know, we had players from other countries in our league, American players, as they were closing the borders? We had guys on the team who had sick relatives. Grandparents they might not see again because of the coronavirus.”

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Though the 2020 free agent class may not be as starry as 2019’s (or as 2021’s promises to be), there are plenty of big men who could abet a contender, as Danny Leroux of The Athletic details in an appraisal of the available power forwards and centers. Lakers All-Star center Anthony Davis may be the only maximum-salaried free agent option, but solid players like Davis Bertans, Montrezl Harrell, Derrick Favors, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, and Christian Wood all could earn more than the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($9.8MM) this summer.
  • The WNBA will hold a virtual draft on its originally scheduled date, April 17 (it will air live on ESPN), according to an official league press release. The novel coronavirus outbreak precludes the draft being held with in-person attendance.
  • Longtime Harlem Globetrotter Fred “Curly” Neal has passed away at the age of 77, according to the Globetrotters’ official Twitter account (link). Neal is just one of five Globetrotters to have their jersey numbers retired and aloft in the rafters of Madison Square Garden, as NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin noted.

International Notes: Bogut, France, Slovenia, Jeter

Former NBA center Andrew Bogut says players in Australia’s NBL were “used like pawns” in the league finals, according to an Associated Press report. His team, the Sydney Kings refused to fly across the country for Game 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Their opponent, Perth, had a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series and was eventually awarded the title.  Travel restrictions were coming into effect across Australia when the Kings decided against taking the flight. “It’s something the NBL needs to learn from,” he said. “The disappointing thing is that it was left up to the players to decide.”

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The French LNB plans to complete its season when the pandemic subsides, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The LNB is evaluating several different formats if the season resumes, Lupo adds.
  • The Dutch Basketball League Eredivisie has decided to cancel the rest of the season and the Slovenian league has taken the same action. Neither league will crown a champion, according to the two posts from Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.
  • Former NBA guard Pooh Jeter has returned to China and is eager to play again next month, he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. Jeter has played there for eight years and is under quarantine there after flying back from the U.S. “It will definitely be exciting to play again,” he said. “I know China. And China definitely wanted to show it did things the right way.”

Australia’s NBL Cancels Remaining Championship Games

Australia’s National Basketball League has announced in a press release that it has decided to cancel the remaining games of the Grand Final series between the Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats. The NBL’s Grand Final series is the league’s equivalent of the NBA Finals.

The Wildcats had a 2-1 edge in the best-of-five championship series, with Game 4 scheduled to take place on Friday at RAC Arena in Perth. The league had initially planned on playing games that were closed to the public. However, Kings management indicated on Tuesday that it wasn’t comfortable with continuing the series at all, given the worldwide coronavirus outbreak that has resulted in nearly every other major basketball league shutting down.

“We respect the decision in what are extraordinary times for everyone,” NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said in a statement. “We are understanding of not just the players’ health and well being but also their desire to be with their families, especially given so many of them have family overseas. Having consulted with the Australian Basketball Players’ Association we have decided the remaining games shall not be played.”

Although the NBL’s announcement stated that the series will be canceled, rather than postponed, the league has yet to say which team will be crowned the champion for the 2019/20 season. Kestelman suggested the NBL will weigh that decision over the next 48 hours.

“We acknowledge both teams for what has been a fantastic series and season,” he said. “Sydney was the only team to have gone through an entire NBL season on top of the ladder and Perth was leading the Grand Final series.”

Sydney’s roster features former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut and Pelicans draft-and-stash prospect Didi Louzada, while former NBA big man Miles Plumlee plays for Perth. It’s possible that veterans like Bogut and Plumlee – and other NBL players – will be available to NBA teams if and when the 2019/20 season resumes, assuming they’re on expiring contracts in Australia.

Andrew Bogut Open To NBA Return After NBL Season

After finishing the 2018/19 season with the Warriors, veteran center Andrew Bogut returned to Australia to rejoin the Sydney Kings. However, with his Kings contract set to expire in the spring, Bogut is open to the idea of returning to the NBA after Australia’s National Basketball League season ends, like he did last season.

“The NBA? Yeah, possibly,” Bogut told RSN radio this week, per Ronny Lerner of The Sydney Morning Herald. “I doubt the Warriors will come calling because I think they’re going to go, obviously, full rebuild mode. But I think it’s definitely feasible if it’s the right situation, but I won’t go back just for the sake of going back.”

Last season, the Kings allowed Bogut to play in the NBA while he was still technically under contract with the Australian club. He joined the Warriors in mid-March, then headed back to Sydney to complete the second year of his two-year contract. Once the 2019/20 NBL season is over and his Kings contract is up, Bogut should have a clearer path to joining an NBA team.

With the Warriors no longer a viable option, the former No. 1 overall pick will have some specific criteria in mind as he considers whether or not to return stateside.

“An opportunity to try and win a championship will be the main thing in the NBA,” Bogut said. “I wouldn’t go back to the NBA just to play in the NBA, it’s more that [trying to win a title] — and somewhere that I’m kind of familiar with and somewhere where I feel comfortable for the family as well would be the other priority.”

As Lerner relays, Bogut also pointed out that he’ll be gearing up to play for Australia in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo next year, so preparing for those games will be a consideration as he weighs an NBA return.

The big man, who turns 35 next Thursday, played limited minutes in 11 regular season games and 19 playoff contests for Golden State earlier this year. For now, he’s focused on trying to help lead the 9-1 Sydney Kings to an NBL title.

“I’d really like to have an NBL trophy,” Bogut said. “I think that’s kind of what’s driving me to get out there and be competitive and the team’s faring well so we have a good chance to do that.”

World Cup Notes: Team USA, Mitchell, Bogut, Hachimura

Balanced scoring helped Team USA pull away from the Czech Republic in today’s FIBA World Cup opener, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Celtics teammates Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum combined for 20 points in the first half to help the Americans build a lead. Donovan Mitchell and Harrison Barnes took over in the second half of the 88-67 victory.

Coach Gregg Popovich is emphasizing defensive energy from his team, which is seeking a third straight World Cup title. He plans to rotate players to keep them fresh, as 10 saw playing time in the first quarter today. Team USA gets a tougher test on Tuesday, facing a Turkish team with NBA players Cedi OsmanErsan Ilyasova and Furkan Korkmaz.

There’s more World Cup news this morning:

  • Popovich has chosen Mitchell, one of his youngest players at age 22, to be among the team leaders, Windhorst relays in a separate story. The World Cup experience could be a huge step for Mitchell, who has already gotten noticed for his leadership abilities with the Jazz. “He has a propensity for leadership and that’s how I spent my time with him,” Popovich said. “I’m not going to teach him how to shoot better or jump better or dribble better. But he has the intelligence and the willingness to become a leader and I think that’d be great. Not just for our team but for his team.”
  • Kevin Pelton of ESPN examines the talent on Team USA and projects 56.4 wins if it were an actual NBA team. That number, which would be the best in the league for the upcoming season, includes projections of 3.2 points per 100 possessions better than the league average on offense and 3.1 points per 100 possessions better on defense. He adds that even though the team may not be as strong as previous American squads, it still contains plenty of talent.
  • Australia’s victory over the U.S. in an exhibition game last week reflects the progress that the Boomers have made and the way they look at the American team, Andrew Bogut tells Marc Stein of The New York Times. “That mind-set has changed,” Bogut said. “When I first joined the national team, we never really had that true belief of beating the U.S.A. Whereas now we genuinely think, if we play it the right way, we have a chance to beat them.”
  • New Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard is in China to cheer on Rui Hachimura, according to Matt Weyrich of NBC Sports Washington. Washington selected Hachimura, who plays for Japan, with the ninth pick in this year’s draft.

Six NBA Players On Australia’s World Cup Roster

Team Australia has formally announced its 12-man roster for the 2019 World Cup, and the group features six NBA players.

Aron Baynes (Suns), Joe Ingles (Jazz), Patty Mills (Spurs), Matthew Dellavedova (Cavaliers), and Jonah Bolden (Sixers) are part of the 12-man squad. So is former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut, who is technically back under contract with the NBL’s Sydney Kings, but was part of the Warriors team that appeared in the NBA Finals this spring.

Australia’s roster is rounded out by NBL players Cameron Gliddon, Chris Goulding, Nathan Sobey, and Nicholas Kay, along with Jock Landale and Xavier Cooks. Landale currently plays for Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, while Cooks is a member of SIG Strasbourg in France.

Although Team Australia has a strong roster, there are no guarantees that the squad will make a deep run in next month’s event. The Boomers finds themselves in Group H, which features a handful of tough competitors — Lithuania, Canada, and Senegal. Only the top two teams will advance to the second round.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Thompson, Cousins, Ponds

Kevin Durant‘s agent insists that the Warriors‘ star remains undecided about what he’s going to do in free agency, relays Chris Iseman of USA Today. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s The Future of Everything Festival, Rich Kleiman said Durant won’t begin thinking about his decision until after the NBA Finals.

“That is 100 percent undecided,” he said. “I’m waiting on Kevin. That’s the truth. I think there’s a feeling that this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out. But when somebody gets to the level of basketball that he’s at, you can’t juggle focus like that. There’s so many things he’s juggling too. He’s not scripting his future while he’s playing the way he plays and practicing the way he’s practicing.”

There’s still no timetable for when Durant might return after suffering a strained right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. He has eight days until the championship series begins.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Owner Joe Lacob is prepared to spend big this summer to keep the team together, but DeMarcus Cousins may not be part of that equation, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Lacob indicated he will make max offers to Durant and fellow free agent Klay Thompson, even though those would push the Warriors to record luxury tax levels. However, Kawakami doesn’t believe the team can compete financially for Cousins, who will only be eligible for a 20% raise on this year’s $5.337MM contract if he stays in Golden State. He notes that management seems likely to keep unrestricted free agent Kevon Looney and restricted free agent Jordan Bell and is confident they can be an effective center tandem along with Damian Jones. The Warriors will probably have the option of adding Andrew Bogut to the roster again next March when his Australian season ends.
  • Health updates on Durant and Cousins are expected Thursday, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The Warriors will resume practicing tomorrow after taking two days off following the Game 4 win over Portland. Thursday will mark one week since Durant and Cousins were last evaluated.
  • St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds had a workout scheduled with Golden State today, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. Ponds, who also had a session with the Bulls this week, is projected as a late second-rounder, but believes he can move up. “I think I’m late-first round,” he said. “And that’s my goal, what I’m aiming for.”

Warriors Rumors: Green, Durant, Bogut

After some early-season struggles, Draymond Green has hit his stride for the Warriors as of late, anchoring the team’s defense and averaging 14.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 8.0 APG on 68.4% shooting in his first two games vs. the Rockets. As Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes, team owner Joe Lacob was never concerned that Green wouldn’t have an impact during Golden State’s postseason run.

“He’s Draymond Green,” Lacob said. “I wasn’t worried. I want Draymond Green to be here forever. He’s as Warrior as they come.”

Lacob’s assertion that he wants Green to be a Warrior “forever” may be put to the test this offseason. While the former Defensive Player of the Year is under contract for one more year, he’s eligible for an extension this summer, and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports that Green is “gearing up” for those extension talks, having recently hired Rich Paul to represent him.

Green, who signed his current deal in 2015, one year before the NBA’s salary cap spike, has long felt that he’s underpaid, but his “mounting injury history and advancing age” may limit his earning power going forward, Windhorst observes. As such, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of proposal the Warriors are willing to put on the table during the offseason. The team could offer Green a four-year extension that starts in 2020/21 and is worth up to approximately $99.7MM.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Speaking of Green, the NBA has rescinded the technical fouls called against him and Rockets center Nene on Tuesday night, Windhorst reports. That means Green’s postseason technical foul count is back down to three — players who rack up seven technicals during the playoffs receive a one-game suspension.
  • Marcus Thompson’s upcoming book “KD” provides some clues that suggest Kevin Durant may be leaning toward leaving the Warriors this summer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who obtained an advance copy. As Berman explains, the book portrays Durant as someone who wants to erase the “negative feelings” that his move to Golden State generated and hints that his “final chapter” will happen elsewhere.
  • Whether or not this ends up being Durant’s final playoff run with the Warriors, he certainly appears to be enjoying it so far, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “This is where this sh– is fun, this is when it’s serious and I’m just embracing it,” Durant told Haynes. “I’m just having so much fun right now. This time of year is what I’m geared for. I’m just hooping at a high level and enjoying the competitiveness of the playoffs. You go through such a long season to get to this point, and now it’s time to produce.”
  • Andrew Bogut‘s current stint with the Warriors is happening in the middle of a two-year contract with the Sydney Kings, an unusual arrangement that will see Bogut return to Australia’s NBL next season to complete his deal. Speaking to Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group, NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger explains why he has no problem with that arrangement and could be open to other players doing something similar in the future.