Just a couple days after one report suggested that two-way player Damion Lee appeared to have the inside track on the Warriors’ final roster spot, word broke today that the club will instead fill that opening by bringing back veteran center Andrew Bogut, whose season in Australia is now over.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic explores that decision, explaining that Golden State sent a representative to watch Bogut in Australia in recent weeks. The club came away feeling as if he looked rejuvenated after a year removed from the NBA.
“[It] seems like he’s in a really good place,” one team source told The Athletic. “Physically and mentally. [The] shorter, less demanding season did wonders for him.”
Additionally, as Slater details, the Warriors stars who played with Bogut in previous seasons – including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green – have remained on friendly terms with the 34-year-old. When they were approached about the idea of a reunion, they all gave the go-ahead, sources tell Slater.
While it remains to be seen if Bogut will be the perfect on-court fit for the Warriors, the team wanted a bigger-bodied, defensively-minded center, according to Slater, who notes that the Dubs lost a pair of those players – and a ton of postseason experience – when both David West and Zaza Pachulia left the club last summer.
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- Although Bogut will fill that 15th roster spot for now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Warriors won’t make another roster move before the playoffs, Slater writes. Depending on how the rotation looks in the coming weeks, Lee – or another player – could still earn a place on the 15-man squad. “Everything is an option until the last day,” a team source said to Slater.
- Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News echoes that sentiment, but notes (via Twitter) that the Warriors are unlikely to waive little-used rookie Jacob Evans to make room for anyone this season. Evans and injured big man Damian Jones are both under contract for 2019/20, and Golden State will want to avoid creating dead money on next year’s cap, says Slater.
- Shams Charania of The Vertical provides an injury update on Kevon Looney, tweeting that an MRI revealed a pelvic strain. Looney will be considered day-to-day, with a return date dependent on his strengthening and rehab.
- Klay Thompson is also day-to-day for the Warriors, as we detailed earlier today.