Warriors

Sources: Warriors' frustration with Bogut could lead to trade

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Sources: Warriors' frustration with Bogut could lead to trade

When the Warriors chose a 6-foot-11 center from Vanderbilt in the first round of the draft last week, the immediate reaction was that they were ready to move on from their incumbent 6-11 center from Vanderbilt.

That taking Damian Jones was a pointed message to backup big man Festus Ezeli.

Drafting Jones also was, according to league sources, an indication of the team’s frustration with starting big man Andrew Bogut, who is a candidate to be moved should the Warriors succeed in their pursuit of upcoming free agent Kevin Durant.

The Warriors, should they win the race to KD, will have to shed salary and several sources indicate they’d like to move Bogut as much if not more than anyone else.

[RATTO: Lacob should go bat-guano crazy, chat up Durant & LeBron]

Though Warriors coach Steve Kerr is committed to having a versatile lineup, able to play big or small, the team has grown frustrated by Bogut’s unreliability, particularly in times of greatest need. Because he turns 32 in November, it’s unrealistic to expect much to change.

Bogut’s well-documented injury history, according to sources, accounts for only part of the team’s annoyance. He missed the last two games of the NBA Finals after sustaining multiple bone bruises in his left knee when landing awkwardly after colliding with stumbling Cleveland guard JR Smith in Game 5 at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors lost Games 5, 6 and 7, becoming the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series lead in The Finals.

The Warriors apparently were displeased with much of Bogut’s postseason work prior to the injury.

Though the team firmly believes Bogut’s value is only partially reflected in his individual statistics, his numbers were nonetheless unkind, particularly as related to rebounds – which became an increasingly higher priority as the Warriors continued their march through the postseason.

In 52 minutes over the first four games of The Finals, Bogut snagged 12 rebounds, never more than five in a game. Cavs big man Tristan Thompson, who during the same span played 110 minutes, grabbed 37 rebounds. Backup Timofey Mozgov grabbed seven rebounds in 21 minutes.

Net result: Even when the Warriors stayed big, they were battered on the glass, forcing Kerr to go small at times when he would have preferred to stay big.

[POOLE: Warriors knocking on Durant's door, ready to make dream a reality]

Bogut’s offensive numbers are not meant to impress; scoring is not his role. But the Warriors have grown weary with his reluctance to engage himself on that end, which is something scouts have noted and opponents have exploited.

If all things were equal and the Warriors were forced to choose between Bogut and Ezeli, two sources expressed belief the team would prefer Ezeli, who was cheaper last season but almost certainly won’t be next season.

Bogut, entering the final year of his contract, will make a base salary of $11.03 million in 2016-17. His failure to reach incentives in 2015-16 saved the Warriors about $4 million while also making his ’16-’17 incentives “unlikely,” therefore saving the franchise another $1.7 million off the salary cap next season.

The Warriors, by the way, are privately delighted with the savings. And it’s not because they’ve suddenly become obsessed with the bottom line.

Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson occasionally made subtle comments questioning Bogut’s fortitude. Some currently with the organization have moved toward a similar assessment.

While they’re trying to make the best of this, knowing Bogut could be back for another season, the Warriors are doing what they can to get more out of the big man who was one of the pillars to their rise to the elite.

Drafting a rookie center may not help but it certainly won’t hurt.

Six under-radar free agents Warriors could pursue signing in offseason

Six under-radar free agents Warriors could pursue signing in offseason

The Warriors need to shore up their depth at key positions if they intend to make a run at the NBA title next season.

If Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are healthy next season, the front office will have to mix and match with what they already have filling out the roster, bringing in new additions with limited money to spend.The Warriors will only have the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts at their disposal to hand out to unrestricted free agents.

We already examined the guards, wings and big men who clearly could interest the Warriors. But what about the free agents who might not immediately catch your eye?

With limited salary-cap room at their disposal, perhaps those are the exact type of players the Warriors should pursue.

CLICK HERE FOR SIX UNDER-THE-RADAR WARRIORS' FREE-AGENT TARGETS

NBA rumors: Warriors wouldn't have let Steph Curry play in Orlando

NBA rumors: Warriors wouldn't have let Steph Curry play in Orlando

The NBA reportedly is considering creating a second "bubble" in Chicago for the eight teams that were not included in the Orlando bubble as part of the league's expanded playoff format. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Thursday that Golden State potentially would participate, despite coach Steve Kerr previously insisting that the Dubs would not be interested in such a setup.

It remains to be seen if the second bubble actually will take place, but even if it does, it sure seems like you won't be seeing Steph Curry play in it. ESPN's Jackie MacMullan reported he wouldn't have played in Orlando had the Warriors qualified, and it begs the question as to why Chicago would be any different.

"I was told unequivocally by people at Golden State," MacMullan said Thursday on the "Hoop Collective" podcast, "if Golden State came back (to play in Orlando) they weren't gonna let Steph Curry step foot on the floor."

"The reason they were worried about Steph Curry," MacMullan added, "was because they didn't feel that he had played enough to come back."

So, there you have it. The Warriors arguably would have very little to gain from participating in the Chicago bubble, and given that there is no championship at stake -- like there is in Orlando -- Golden State doesn't have much motivation to send its star veteran players, especially those that are returning from injury.

Curry played in precisely one of the Warriors' final 61 games before the season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic after returning from a broken wrist. And if he isn't going to play, you can bet Klay Thompson -- who would be returning from a torn ACL -- won't either.

[RELATED: Stephen A believes Warriors will return to title contention]

Draymond Green previously said that he would have played in Orlando, but if the Splash Brothers are out, why would Golden State risk the health of the other remaining piece of its championship core?

The Warriors need to find a way to stay in basketball shape and continue developing chemistry over what is going to be an extremely long layoff before the start of next season. But if Curry, Thompson and Green aren't involved, then that kind of ruins the whole point.

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