Andrew Bogut

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.

Western Notes: Cousins, Grizzlies, Divac, Griffin

DeMarcus Cousins suffered a left quad injury during the first quarter of the Warriors’ game against the Clippers on Monday night will undergo an MRI on Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Cousins suffered the non-contact injury while making a steal. If the injury is serious, it would naturally be a major blow to Golden State’s quest for a third straight championship. The Warriors signed Andrew Bogut late in the season and his role would grow if Cousins misses significant time.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Grizzlies may be more focused on front office hires than filling their head coaching vacancy, David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. J.B. Bickerstaff was fired and head of basketball operations Chris Wallace was re-assigned to a scouting position last week. Jason Wexler was promoted to team president and Zach Kleiman was named executive VP of basketball operations. “Trending that way,” Wexler told Cobb about the need to fill out the front office before hiring a coach. “But at the same time, I’m not definitely saying that we’ll have a full front office as we move through the coaching search. There will be a little bit of dual-tracking, but focusing a little bit more heavily on the front office out of the gate.” There’s been no talk yet about potential candidates, as we detail in our Head Coaching Search Tracker.
  • Kings GM Vlade Divac hinted at a disconnect between himself and former coach Dave Joerger during Luke Walton‘s introductory press conference on Monday. Divac, who played with Walton on the Lakers 14 seasons ago, commented that he hired someone who was “on the same page” with him. “I think coaching is the toughest job in the NBA,” he told Noel Harris of the Sacramento Bee and other media members. “Having somebody who is behind you to work together, be on the same page and share the same philosophy about the game is definitely going to help both of us.”
  • David Griffin, who was hired over the weekend to run the Pelicans’ front office, received assurances from the franchise that it would bring in reinforcements to its basketball staff, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate reports. The front office, including the scouting department, executive staff and developmental arm, will be expanded. Griffin might still hire a GM and several assistant GM to work beneath him, though he will be the ultimate decision-maker on basketball moves, Kushner adds.

Pacific Notes: Bogut, Kings, Paul, Suns

Andrew Bogut chose to join the Warriors as a free agent last month, bypassing a number of teams interested in adding a veteran center — including the Lakers. Bogut, who played 24 games for Los Angeles last season, is still hurt by the team’s sudden decision to waive him shortly into the 2017/18 campaign.

“The Lakers told me I’d be there the whole year,” Bogut told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group. “They went against their word and waived me at the (salary guarantee) deadline. Whatever. That was their decision.”

Bogut decided to re-join the team he won a championship with in 2015, playing a new backup center role behind DeMarcus Cousins and adding veteran experience to Golden State’s locker room. Upon his surprising release from Los Angeles, Bogut spent time playing in Australia and briefly exited the NBA.

“I took their word for that stupidly,” Bogut said. “It’s part of the business. But it’s disappointing because I have two young kids and all that. I was stupid enough to take their word on something I shouldn’t have.”

The Warriors are gearing up for another deep postseason run and added Bogut for frontcourt insurance, sporting one of the most talented rosters in league history.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division tonight:

  • The Kings recently worked out Antonius Cleveland and Kendrick Nunn, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Sacramento had an open roster spot to work with after Cody Demps 10-day contract expired, but opted to sign B.J. Johnson to fill that opening.
  • Despite trading their top player in Chris Paul two years ago, the Clippers are set up well for the future and the present day, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes. “He was important to our team,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Paul. “He was important to the whole franchise. So you lose a player like that, you have to evaluate who you are, where you want to go, what you want to be.” The Clippers have major cap flexibility for star free agents this summer, sporting a unique mix of hardworking players under a veteran head coach. The team surprised many fans by easily clinching a playoff berth this season, holding a 47-32 record with three games left in the campaign.
  • The Heat Index examines which players could be free-agent targets for the Suns in free agency, focusing on Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Boston’s Terry Rozier and other talents who are set to hit the open market on July 1. Phoenix could pursue a free-agent point guard to pair alongside Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and their draft pick this June, or potentially work to secure a meeting with a scoring forward such as Tobias Harris.

Pacific Notes: Bogut, Rivers, Crawford, Buss

Andrew Bogut returned to the Warriors this month after spending the last three years away from the team, rejoining the franchise he won a championship with in 2015. Bogut played a key role on that championship squad, forever stamping his mark in history as the club’s starting center.

The break-up between Bogut and the Warriors was rather simple, and both sides understood one another: Golden State cleared cap space as the summer of 2016 approached, gearing up for a run at Kevin Durant in free agency. Bogut was one of the players separated at the time.

“Look, I’m not stupid, man,” Bogut told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “The dude they made cap space for, I mean, look who he is. I’m not an idiot. You know, if it was someone else, a 12th man, I’d be pissed. But it’s one of the best players in basketball. So I totally get it.

“Was I disappointed? Of course. I wasn’t happy to get traded from a team that just went 73-9, went to the Finals, thought we had a chance to win it, but didn’t. But as far as hating the Warriors? No. I kept in touch with all the guys in this locker room — Andre, Draymond, Steph, Klay at times. Former guys like Harrison. Steve would text me.”

With no hard feelings or ill will toward the team, Bogut left Australia and returned to Oakland for what could be another championship run in the spring. He’s expected to provide frontcourt depth and a veteran presence for the club, with the 34-year-old having already played multiple seasons with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and other former teammates.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Players on the Clippers appreciate the long-term commitment given by head coach Doc Rivers this week, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. Rivers revealed that he and team owner Steve Ballmer verbally agreed on a contract extension last summer, one that will likely become official in the coming months. “It’s gonna be fun,” Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Obviously, I like playing for Doc. Good coach. He’s helped me get better in ways I couldn’t have imagined. The fact that he’s committed to us the same way we’re committed to him every night on the floor is cool.”
  • Suns veteran Jamal Crawford reflected on his season in Phoenix, calling this year “the most challenging year by far on so many levels” of his NBA career. “This is a younger team and I’m having to lead more,” Crawford said, as relayed by Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “I’m talking more than I ever have as well. Just different challenges.” Phoenix has the second-worst record in the league at 17-55, with Crawford stepping into more of a leadership role to help the team’s younger players.
  • Jeanie Buss has a golden opportunity to become more of an active owner with the Lakers following their disappointing season, Bill Oram of The Athletic writes. The underwhelming acquisitions made by president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka, a lack of overall camaraderie between the players, and an awkward fit on the court have generated questions from fans and league observers, something Buss will have to take a closer look at during the offseason.

Bogut Joins Warriors, Cousins Day-To-Day

3:25pm: The Warriors have announced that Cousins’ MRI came back clean. He’s being listed as day-to-day, though he has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Spurs and Medina wouldn’t be surprised if he missed Tuesday’s contest vs. the Wolves as well (Twitter link).

In Cousins’ absence, Bogut will play tonight for Golden State, Kerr confirmed earlier today (link via Medina).

8:48am: With Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins set to undergo an MRI on his sore right foot on Monday, newly-added big man Andrew Bogut will join the club earlier than expected, as Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News outlines.

After flying to the Bay Area from Australia, Bogut was initially expected to get settled in – and recover from jet lag – before meeting up with the Warriors when they return from their current road trip later this week. However, with Cousins at risk of missing a game or two, Bogut will be available for Monday’s game in San Antonio, writes Medina.

It’s not clear whether Bogut will immediately play a major role for the Warriors, but if Cousins is unable to suit up on Monday vs. the Spurs and Tuesday in Minnesota, the former No. 1 overall pick could be asked to step in right away.

Nick Friedell of ESPN.com notes that head coach Steve Kerr didn’t sound too concerned about Cousins’ injured foot over the weekend, so the MRI may just be precautionary. The Warriors have played it safe with minor ailments lately, sitting Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant for a couple games apiece after their MRIs came back clean. I’d expect the club to be even more cautious with Cousins, who returned from an Achilles tear earlier this year.

Durant, meanwhile, is expected to return to the Warriors’ lineup on Monday after missing the last two games, Friedell adds.

Andrew Bogut Set To Make Season Debut Next Week

Andrew Bogut‘s visa issues have been rectified and the Australian big man is expected to travel to Oakland on Saturday, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters, including Mark Medina of The Mercury News (Twitter link). However, Bogut will not play in any of Golden State’s upcoming road games against the Thunder, Spurs and Timberwolves.

“I didn’t think it made sense for him to fly across the country after flying across the world so he will probably just meet us in the Bay [Area] when we get back, more than likely,” Kerr said.

If Bogut skips the road trip, his first game with the Warriors will likely be this coming Thursday against the Pacers at Oracle Arena. He will have 12 games to get comfortable in the Warriors’ rotation as the team prepares for the playoffs.

Bogut, 34, spent four seasons with the Warriors from 2012-14. He has not appeared in the NBA since he suited up with the Lakers for 23 games last season. This season, Bogut played with Australia’s Sydney Kings. Bogut’s arrangement calls for the center to return to Australia after his quick NBA stint.

“To come back to the NBA, for me, was basically Golden State or nothing,” Bogut said of his return. “But the fact it was Golden State — it was the kind of opportunity that I would be kicking myself if I didn’t take.”

Warriors Notes: Green, Kerr, Bogut, Durant

A year away from free agency, Warriors forward Draymond Green has signed with Klutch Sports, writes Marc. J. Spears of The Undefeated. Green, who was formerly represented by B.J. Armstrong and The Wasserman Group, said he made the change late last month.

“Klutch is a cutting-edge company, it’s a pure environment, and I’ve grown to know [president and agent] Rich [Paul] over the years,” Green said. “We’ve become very close. When you really take a step back and actually study what is going on, he checks every box that a player would want in an agent. So, why not? Some are afraid of what people will think or what will be said. That’s not the case for me.”

Klutch represents some of the NBA’s top talents, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and John Wall. Green serves as a minority owner in James’ “Uninterrupted” venture, but said LeBron never recruited him to the agency.

“It’s impossible to say LeBron played no part in me joining Klutch, simply because he has been Klutch since the beginning,” Green added. “He’s essentially a founding partner. I’ve already had a relationship with LeBron for years, so it’s always good to be able to do business with family that’s going about their business in the right fashion and getting things done. But as far as recruiting me — no, LeBron didn’t recruit me at all.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Green isn’t upset by a video clip of coach Steve Kerr in Sunday’s game telling assistant Mike Brown“I’m so [bleeping] tired of Draymond,” relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Green said coaches get tired of players all the time and blamed the controversy on the overwhelming media attention the league gets. “We live in a day and age where there is a camera everywhere. If anything, he’ll be more conscious of that,” Green said of Kerr. “But as far as me and him clearing the air, there’s no air to clear.”
  • Andrew Bogut is now planning to join the Warriors after their current road trip ends next week, Medina adds in a separate story. Bogut’s agent, David Bauman, said that could be as soon as the March 21 game against the Pacers. An Australian citizen, Bogut is still attempting to get a work visa, which he hopes to acquire by this weekend.
  • Speculation about Kevin Durant‘s future has hung over everything that has happened for the Warriors this season as they pursue a third straight title, notes Nick Friedell of ESPN.