Andrew Bogut is off to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The ink is not dry yet, but it's a deal which should be completed by Friday, and will give the 213cm Aussie a serious shot at a second NBA title.
Bogut is 32 now. Famously, he was selected at number one in the 2005 NBA draft, which meant he was rated by keen judges as the pick of the annual crop of new talent. Did he go on to become the biggest thing in the sport? He did not. But he's still had himself one heck of a respectable career.
You only had to watch Bogut in action for Australia at the Rio Olympics last year to understand the big man's worth, especially in defence. While Patty Mills was the Boomers' best, Bogut was this great big presence in the middle of the court who frustrated all opponents. He was handy in attack too, as you'd expect for a bloke who averages 10 points per game in the NBA.
Bogut spent the last few years alongside the NBA's current best player Steph Curry at the Golden State Warriors, with whom he won an NBA ring in 2015. This season, he moved to the Dallas Mavericks. Without getting bogged down in the minutiae of trade deals, the Mavericks had their eye on a particular young player, and were happy to shed Bogut as part of the deal.
The fact he hadn't played since January due to a hamstring injury was perhaps instrumental in the Mavericks' thinking.
So now he's off to Cleveland, who just happen to be the reigning NBA champs, and who just happen to have the other best player in the league in LeBron James. Bogut will be earning a reported $1.55 million a year, which is the minimum for a veteran.
And so, the stage is set. The way the standings look this year, it's looking fairly likely that the Cavs and the Warriors could meet in the NBLA finals for the third straight season (the Warriors won in '15, the Cavs in '16). If it comes to that, Bogut may have to tap himself on the shoulder to remind himself which dressing room to go to.Suggest a correction