Warriors’ Andrew Bogut looks back on being the odd man out in the Kevin Durant signing
The Golden State Warriors roster saw quite the shakeup in the 2016 offseason. Bringing in Kevin Durant gave the team a heightened ceiling and made them the unquestioned strongest starting lineup in the league. However, to make that happen, it meant that big parts of their roster that had won a championship just two seasons before wouldn’t return.
One of those players was Andrew Bogut, who reunited with the Warriors on Wednesday as a result of a midseason signing. Bogut took some time to reflect on his departure from the team in 2016. According to the Aussie big man, he doesn’t hold any resentment against the team and he thinks they made the right call:
“You had a chance to sign Kevin Durant and I’m the odd man out because I was making $12 million dollars that next season to free up some cap space. I’d do that to myself if I was the GM. I’m not under any illusions I’m as good as KD. I’d make that move if I was the GM. So it’s no hard feelings. They sent me to a place that I kind of agreed I wanted to go in Dallas. That didn’t work out. But that’s why it was a no brainer for me. These things happen.”
While Andrew Bogut was a big part of the Warriors winning the title in 2015, he is right in that he just isn’t Kevin Durant and when you have a chance to get a player like that, you don’t second guess it. When Golden State traded Bogut to Dallas, he was coming off averaging 5.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game in the 2015-16 season. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant was coming off having the 73-9 Warriors on the ropes in the Western Conference Finals before falling short and failing to capitalize.
Bogut wasn’t the only player that Golden State had to part ways with to make the Durant signing work. Harrison Barnes was hitting free agency and ready for his first payday in the salary cap frenzy that was the summer of 2016. Bringing KD aboard meant letting Barnes walk, despite the role he played in the team crafting their famous “death lineup”.
Festus Ezeli was another casualty of the Kevin Durant signing. After two seasons as the backup center in the Bay Area, he was able to secure a two-year, $16 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Had Durant not chosen to come to the Warriors, it would have been hard to imagine that they still let Ezeli go, despite the fact that injury would later derail his career.
For Andrew Bogut, the signing with the Warriors this season is a chance to come back to a place he is familiar with and go after another ring with people he has already done it with once before.