Andrew Bogut (213 cm, Utah ’05) began and ended his stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. Within the first minute of his debut, he went down with a broken bone in his left leg.
Bogut signed with the Cavaliers over the weekend in order to give the team a much-needed veteran big man. The team will continue searching for answers as Bogut will be a long shot to recover from the injury in time for the playoffs. He entered in the second quarter of the team’s game against the Miami Heat at home in front of a welcoming Cleveland crowd. The big man found himself colliding his leg with the knee of Okaro White, Heat forward. Immediately, Bogut hit the ground and knew his leg was broken. Even his new teammate Lebron James knew it as it happened.
“I heard it break as soon as the collision happened,” James said. “When I went over to him, he said ‘I already knew I heard it crack.’
Lebron called the injury “deflating” and the Cavaliers went on to lose to the Miami Heat 106-98.
This is one of many bad breaks to the front-line of the defending champion Cavaliers. Kevin Love underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in February after dealing with knee pain and swelling. Love is expected to be back with the team for the playoffs, but the interior will be thin until then. As of now, the only healthy centers on the team are Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye. Expect the team to find more options to try and fill the void in the post soon.
Bogut signed with Cleveland after playing 26 games with the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season. He averaged just 2.9 ppg and 8.0 rpg while playing 21.6 mpg in his only season with the Mavericks. The Australian was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in a move that sent Nerlens Noel to Dallas but was immediately waived by Philadelphia. Now Bogut will likely be forced to wait until next season to continue his lengthy NBA career.
He was originally drafted with the first overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2005 NBA draft. The Golden State Warriors acquired Bogut from Milwaukee in exchange for guard Monta Ellis in March 2012. Bogut went on to win the NBA championship with Golden State in the 2014/2015 season as well as playing a major role for the 73-9 Warriors last season. The Warriors used Bogut’s ability to set impactful screens in order to free up open shots for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Surely a contending team will look to add Bogut, but not until next season.