ANDREW Bogut is officially a Cleveland Cavalier, the reigning NBA champion franchise announced on Friday (AEDT).
Cavaliers general manager David Griffin confirmed the news to nba.com after Bogut chose to join LeBron James’s team via free agency on Wednesday.
Cleveland.com reports that Bogut will make about $ 385,000 on the contract through to the end of season – a prorated amount on the NBA veteran’s minimum of $ 1.55 million.
Bogut was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers in the wake of a trade from the Dallas Mavericks – to whom he was traded by the Cavs’ arch rival, the Golden State Warriors, at the end of last season. The Cavs cleared cap space for the seven-foot Australian centre, 32, on Thursday by waiving Jordan McRae.
Bogut will now have the opportunity to pursue another NBA championship with the Eastern Conference heavyweight, having claimed a ring in the Warriors’s Finals triumph over the Cavs two seasons ago. Cleveland beat Golden State from 1-3 down in last season’s Finals, with Bogut injured mid-series.
Now a 12-season league veteran, 2005 No.1 draft pick Bogut will back-up Cavs centre Tristan Thompson. He will join former Mavericks teammate Deron Williams in the Cleveland line-up, with the former All Star guard making an impressive team debut in a loss to the Celtics on Thursday (AEDT).
Bogut averages 10.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 29.1 average minutes across 670 games (651 starts) in the NBA. The Cavs are his fourth team, joining Milwaukee, Golden State and Dallas.
Bogut will wear No.6 – notably, the former number of James, during his time at Miami – for Cleveland. The Cavs will be hoping the Aussie big man’s brittle body can avoid injury and become a formidable defensive presence as another post-season campaign approaches.