Bogut to return to Australia’s NBL after run with Warriors

Andrew Bogut of the Warriors (left) will return to the NBL in Australia after the NBA playoffs.

Andrew Bogut is in the present, attempting to help the Golden State Warriors to a third consecutive NBA championship, which would be his second with the team.

However, the veteran big man plans on returning to the Sydney Kings of the NBL for the 2019-20 season, regardless of what happens the rest of the way during the NBA playoffs.

Bogut agreed to a two-year pact with the Kings last April and he intends to honor that agreement and return to his native Australia, even though other NBA teams may be interested in his services.

“The be all and end all is that I gave my word [to the Kings],” Bogut said, via the NBL. “That is basically what it comes down to … I could potentially have to turn down a deal from somebody at the end of this playoff run if I continue to play well.

“Someone outside of the Warriors could offer me a deal that would be pretty lucrative and a decent one-year deal. But I’m sold and locked in on coming to the Sydney Kings again to try and better what we did last season.”

The 34-year-old Bogut averaged 11.4 points, 11.6 rounds and 2.6 blocked shots for the Kings last season, being named the NBL Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

In 11 regular-season games for Golden State, Bogut averaged 3.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 12.2 minutes.

In three playoff games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Bogut is averaging 4.7 points, 8.0 boards, 2.7 dimes and 1.0 blocked shots in 14.7 minutes.

The quadriceps injury suffered by DeMarcus Cousins makes the Warriors’ decision to sign Bogut all that much more prudent.

“I really enjoyed my time in the NBL,” Bogut said. “I learned a lot of different things playing in the league and I enjoyed being at home and just promoting the game. It is kind of an ambassador role where I’m trying to promote basketball and the NBL.”

Bogut did not rules out returning to the NBA next season after the 2019-20 NBL season concludes.

“It’s more that this is a bonus for my career,” Bogut said. “It’s the cherry on top and it will probably be my last year in the NBA. But if something happens where I am healthy and feeling good at the end of the next NBL year and they call again and want to do it, then I’m all ears.”

The 7-foot, 260-pound Bogut was the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.