Warriors

Warriors fans are thrilled to have Andrew Bogut back in Golden State

Warriors fans are thrilled to have Andrew Bogut back in Golden State

A rough week for the Golden State Warriors just got better.

The Dubs have lost three out of their last four games, including a 33-point blowout loss to the Celtics at home Tuesday night.

But on Wednesday, Dub Nation got some great news: 2015 NBA champion and former Warriors center Andrew Bogut officially is back in the Bay.

Bogut and the Warriors had mutual interest in reuniting earlier in the week, and it was made official Wednesday.

Bogut took to Twitter to show how pumped he is to be back …

And Dub Nation couldn’t be more excited:

If you’re wondering what kind of basketball shape Bogut is in, check this out:

The MVP of the National Basketball League in Australia looks healthy and ready to play legit minutes for the Dubs down the stretch.

Great to have you back, Andrew.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 115-101 loss to Pelicans

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AP

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 115-101 loss to Pelicans

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors haven't done much winning this season inside their plush new basketball palace. They didn't bother changing their fortunes at Chase Center on Sunday night, losing 115-101 to Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans (25-32) won the season series for the first time since 2012, back when New Orleans' team was nicknamed the Hornets. Williamson, last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, scored 28 points, and the Pelicans outscored the Warriors 69-45 in the second half.

The Warriors (12-45) were plagued by a regressive performance by Andrew Wiggins, overshadowing impressive nights from rookies Juan Toscano-Anderson (16 points, eight rebounds) and Jordan Poole (19 points, five assists and four rebounds).

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' sixth consecutive loss.

D-Lee shines

The Warriors signed Damion Lee to a multiyear deal last month, partly because of his ability to score in bunches. He got back to that Sunday night, scoring 22 points (15 in the first quarter). The Warriors ultimately built a 10-point halftime lead on the back of Lee's strong first half.

The former G Leaguer is in the middle of a solid stretch. Lee had scored 14 points per game (on 46 percent shooting) in his last eight appearances entering the night. Sunday was reminiscent of his first three months of the season, when he routinely carried the Warriors' offense with injured stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson sitting on the sideline.

Lee's game is evident, and he is in the Warriors' plans this season and beyond. He provided more evidence of why he's so valued Sunday.

Wiggins struggles

Wiggins exceeded expectations during his first four games with the Warriors, shooting nearly 60 percent from the field during that time. The 25-year-old wasn't as effective against the Pelicans, though, finishing with just eight points on just 3-of-16 shooting from the field. 

It was a big drop-off, mirroring much of his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was criticized for bad mid-range shots and an aloof presence on the floor, and those bad habits crept into his game Sunday.

Warriors personnel have raved about Wiggins' fit in their system since he arrived, vowing to help improve his reputation around the NBA. While both sides have gotten off to a good start in their relationship, Sunday's performance served as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.

[RELATED: Why Bender signing is 'great opportunity' for him, Warriors]

Bender's debut a mixed bag

Dragan Bender officially signed a 10-day contract with the Warriors on Sunday, and churned out a lukewarm performance in his debut. He finished with just six points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field in 20 minutes.

Though his shot was off, Bender did show bright spots, including a defensive sequence in which he blocked Williamson at the rim and triggered a fast break on the other end.

Despite the performance, Bender has qualities that the Warriors find intriguing. The 7-footer shot 39 percent from 3-point range in the G League, earning a contract from the Warriors. However, Bender is on his last chance after the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks cut him within the last year. He now has just over a week to prove his worth.

Why Dragan Bender signing is 'great opportunity' for him, Warriors

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AP

Why Dragan Bender signing is 'great opportunity' for him, Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dragan Bender has much to prove after signing his latest 10-day NBA contract.

The Warriors big man opted to wear the number 10 to signify the moment, in an ode to how many days he has to rectify his career. The gangly 7-footer is a former first-round draft pick who has played for three teams in the last year, including a 13-game G League stint.

Nonetheless, the Warriors believe their system will enable the 22-year-old to find his footing. 

"This was a great opportunity," Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob said before Sunday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Chase Center. "Had a chance to find his way in the league, so we pounced on it. We'll see what he's got over the next 10 days."

Bender struggled during his first few years in the league, shooting just 39 percent from the field in three seasons with the Phoenix Suns. The Milwaukee Bucks cut Bender last month, but he averaged 20.5 points and 8.9 rebounds in 13 G League games with the Wisconsin Herd.

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is the latest reclamation project to join the Warriors. In the last six months, they have signed Glenn Robinson and Alec Burks and traded for 2016 first-round pick Omari Spellman in the hopes of reviving their careers. Golden State traded Robinson and Burks to the Philadelphia 76ers for multiple draft picks, and Spellman was part of the deal that brought Andrew Wiggins -- the No. 1 overall pick in 2014 -- to the Bay from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Marquese Chriss has been the most notable, recently flourishing after becoming the Warriors' starting center and signing a veteran's minimum deal Feb. 7. Chriss averaged 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in his last four games before Sunday.

Golden State hopes Bender -- who played with Chriss in Phoenix -- follows the same path. 

"I think when you especially get the guys who are young like this and maybe they haven't had the chance to fulfill what the promise that everyone saw in them," Lacob said. "Especially if they're 22 to 23 years old like Marquese and like Dragan. You hope that maybe this is the right time in their development for them to really pop. So again, we're looking for players that haven't had the opportunity yet and found the exact right spot for them."

[RELATED: Zion gives Dubs fans chance to dream of bright draft future] 

The Warriors' preference for down-on-their-luck first-round picks comes out of necessity. Golden State was against the hard cap after trading for D'Angelo Russell this summer, crippling the Dubs' ability to add talent. 

Now, after trading Russell, Spellman and guard Jacob Evans to Minnesota, Lacob said the Warriors are flexible enough to take chances on players like Bender in the hopes of finding long-term prospects.

"We're currently under the luxury-tax threshold," Lacob said. "We feel pretty good about the fact that we're able to decide what we want to do with the roster for the rest of the year. It won't impact things one way or another.

"We at this point are just trying to find players that can help us next year. We can sign players for the rest of the season if we want to. If we find a guy that really makes sense, then we'll do it. ...

"We're really hopeful that all of this is coming together at the right time. He's got 10 days to show us that we should commit more to him."