Warriors look to sign Bogut

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2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Semifinal - Men's Semifinal Australia v Serbia - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 19/8/2016. Andrew Bogut (AUS) of Australia reacts after his team's loss to Serbia. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Andrew Bogut, one of the most decorated players in Australian basketball, is expected to sign with the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors, according to a report on the league’s website on Monday.

Bogut, who won a championship with Golden State in 2015, intends to sign with the Stephen Curry-led Warriors once he receives clearance from the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), the report said.

The 34-year-old towering centre is coming off a standout campaign in Australia and could help the Warriors shore up their big-man depth as they chase a third consecutive NBA championship and fourth in five seasons.

Kings coach Andrew Gaze told Australian radio station SEN the team would always honour a player’s decision to pursue an opportunity in the National Basketball Association.

“Our club has a philosophy that we’re never going to stand in the way of players to go on to play in the NBA,” said Gaze.

Bogut, who became Australia’s first number one NBA draft pick when Milwaukee selected him in 2005, spent his first seven seasons with the Bucks before joining the Warriors where he was a starting big man for their championship run in 2015.

Bogut was also with Golden State when they lost the 2016 NBA Finals despite holding a commanding 3-1 series lead over Cleveland. He has not played in the NBA since the 2017-18 campaign when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Melbourne-born veteran was an unsigned free agent when he joined Sydney last year and was emphatic about his plans to play out the duration of his two-year contract with the purple and gold.

“Before anyone asks: no NBA outs, no European outs. I’m committed to being here for two years,” Bogut told reporters last April. “It will retire me from the NBA, I’m happy to say that today.”

Bogut, who has been a stalwart for Australia and appeared in three Olympic Games, was named the NBL’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year this season.

In 2018, Bogut signed a two-year deal with the Sydney Kings. He averaged 11.6 points per game to go with 329 rebounds, 98 assists and 77 blocked shots.He was also named the Best Defensive Player and earned All-NBL First Team honours. He helped the Kings reach the playoffs with an 18–10 record and a third-place finish, before losing 2–0 to Melbourne United in the semi-finals.

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