After 13 seasons in the NBA, former first-overall draft selection Andrew Bogut will be returning home, after signing a contract with the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL).
According to ESPN, the Kings made the announcement on Sunday night, adding that Bogut’s signing will be discussed in depth during a news conference on Monday morning. Details of Bogut’s contract have yet to be confirmed as of this writing.
After a standout career playing for the University of Utah, where he averaged over 20 points and 12 rebounds in his final college season, Andrew Bogut made NBA draft history in 2005 when he became the first Australian selected first-overall, going to the Milwaukee Bucks.
While he never played in an All-Star Game, Bogut played seven productive seasons for the Bucks, and was named third-team All-NBA in the 2009-10 season, where he averaged a career-best 15.9 points, as well as 10.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots. As further shown on his Basketball Reference player page, Bogut also led the NBA in blocked shots in the 2010-11 season, averaging a career-best 2.6 blocks in his second-to-last season in Milwaukee.
Injuries compromised Bogut’s productivity in the second half of his NBA career, though he was still able to earn a starting job with the Golden State Warriors, and win an NBA Championship with the team in the 2014-15 season, a campaign which also saw him named to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team. Bogut spent his final two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Lakers, and averaged just 1.6 points in 23 games for the Lakers before he was released in January of this year.
In an interview with the Herald Sun, Australian basketball legend Shane Heal discussed Andrew Bogut’s signing with the Sydney Kings, and analyzed the 33-year-old big man’s decision to return to Australia after what had been a long and successful NBA career.
According to Heal, who had previously coached the Kings from 2012 to 2014, Bogut is a good fit for the NBL because the league has a shorter season than the NBA, and a stint in his home country’s professional league could help improve his chances of representing Australia in the 2020 Olympic Games.
— NBL (@NBL) April 22, 2018
Talking about Andrew Bogut’s potential impact with the Sydney Kings, Heal predicted that with his age and experience, his main contribution would come in the form of intangibles, rather than the big numbers one would expect from a former NBA player.
“It won’t be from points and rebounds from Bogut, it will be because he’s a winner,” said Heal.
“He’s so much bigger, he’s stronger, he’s smarter, he’s experienced, he’s great in the locker room, great for accountability and I just think this takes it to a whole other level because we have never had someone of this level playing in our league.”
In 13 NBA seasons, Andrew Bogut posted career averages of 9.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots. He will be joining a Sydney Kings team that finished seventh place in the 2017-18 NBL season with a record of 11-17.