Just before the beginning of the season, the Golden State Warriors made a large investment in Andrew Bogut. A player that has missed more games for the Warriors than he has played. While the move carries a strong risk, it was necessary.
The deal is for $36 million for 3 years with some incentives that could increase the deal to $42 million. At $12-14 million a year, the Warriors are making a strong commitment to Bogut as their center for their current team’s run.
The Warriors have invested big money in big men before, with little to show for their money. Should the Warriors fan be optimistic that this deal will be good for the Warriors? When healthy, Andrew Bogut is one of the top centers in the league. There are not many legit centers in the NBA and the ones who are even decent command top dollar. Next year’s free agent class lacks any top line center and Festus Ezeli is not yet ready to anchor a championship contender.
If this deal works out it sets the Warriors core with affordable salaries over the next few years. If it doesn’t work out, it kept the Warriors from overspending on someone else’s big man project, ala DeAndre Jordan. The other possibility would be the Warriors needing to dangle either Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson to try to obtain a young center such as Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond. Teams rarely will trade a big for a small so it would start at Barnes or Klay and possibly need to include both.
Another important aspect of the deal, is the fact that it will allow the Warriors flexibility to resign Thompson and Barnes to long term deals. This would allow Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Iguodala, Lee and Bogut and window to see how this team can compete with the league’s elite. If the Warrior’s had to go max to get their center, they probably would be forced to choose between Thompson and Barnes. The Warriors, while lacking a dominant player, have built a deep well balanced team.
In order to win the Western Conference, the Warriors will need more than just a serviceable center. They potentially have that with Andrew Bogut. As he displayed in dominating and thoroughly frustrating DeMarcus Cousins the other night, he can be a franchise changing player. While he is quite a risk (like Stephen Curry last season) he is a risk worth taking.