);
Golden State Warriors

How Andrew Bogut fits in with his return to the Golden State Warriors

Andrew Bogut won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015
Andrew Bogut won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 (Getty Images)

According to media reports, Andrew Bogut is returning to the Golden State Warriors.

The 34-year old centre played four seasons with the Warriors, most recently in 2015-16, and was a part of the 2014-15 team which won the NBA title.

Here are some of the ways that Bogut impacts the two-time defending champions.

Bolstering the frontcourt depth

Fielding a team with five All-Star calibre players requires sacrificing depth. It's quietly been one of Golden State's biggest weaknesses the entire season, one that is admittedly exacerbated during the long grind of an 82-game regular season and less of an issue come playoff time when rotations are shorter.

The Warriors bench has at times been perilously thin especially when playing for long stretches without key players or on nights where they've opted to rest one or two starters.

That's especially apparent in the frontcourt.

DeMarcus Cousins missed the team's first 45 games of the season and only just recently had his minute restriction lifted.

With Cousins out for the first half of the season, Damian Jones started 22 of Golden State's first 24 games before sustaining a pectoral injury that's kept him out since early December. Though he may return sometime during the playoffs, it may be too much to ask of a player with all of 32 career postseason minutes to simply plug right back into the rotation and provide much of a spark.

Kevon Looney has played well in backing up Cousins and on a per-minute basis, grades out as one of the NBA's most impactful bigs .

Behind Looney, second-year centre Jordan Bell hasn't quite popped like many thought he would and has regressed after a strong rookie season in which he raised eyebrows with his hyperactivity and athleticism.

Although it's no secret the Warriors like to play small when it matters the most, they'd rather lean on that strength as a curveball of sorts as opposed to relying on it for major minutes. Prior to the news of Bogut joining the fray, the Warriors were one injury away from needing to adjust their entire rotation on the fly.

At the very least, Bogut is a much-needed insurance policy that just so happens to come with championship pedigree.

Defending the paint

He may not move like used to and he may struggle to defend mobile fives, but if there's one elite skill that Bogut possesses it's the ability to defend the paint.

The newly minted NBL Defensive Player of the Year is a master at playing angles and maintaining excellent defensive positioning. Toss in the institutional knowledge of Golden State's system thanks to four previous seasons with the team and it's easy to envision Bogut stepping in immediately as an impact anchor on that end of the floor.

When at their best over the years, the Warriors have been among the league's hardest teams to score against inside. They have not been at their best this season, however, ranking 24th in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed inside the restricted area.

As a whole, they've also struggled recently to defend with reserve bigs in the mix.

Since Cousins made his season debut in January against the Clippers, the Warriors have allowed a whopping 117.7 points per 100 possessions whenever he's been out of the game , 9.5 points worse than when he's on the floor. Given it's unlikely that his minutes truly soar even when the postseason arrives, there's likely a 15-18 minute stretch per game in which Golden State simply needs to be better defensively.

If he can stay healthy, Bogut can help.

If he can stay healthy...

It's a big part of the equation when it comes to relying on Bogut. Granted, it's much easier when not relying on him to give you starter's minutes over an entire regular season before even reaching bonus basketball, but it's a concern nonetheless.

He played just 23 games last season with the Lakers before ultimately being waived. That came on the heels of a 2016-17 season in which he played 26 games with the Mavericks before a trade and release which ultimately led him to the Cleveland Cavaliers with whom he then suffered a season-ending leg injury one minute into his debut.

In his final season with the Warriors, Bogut suffered a knee injury in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, causing him to miss the final two games in the seven-game loss to the Cavaliers.

There's less pressure now and no expectation to log extended minutes. But it bears repeating that he's coming off an NBL season in which he averaged nearly 30 minutes a game over 29 games and played more total minutes than in his last two NBA seasons combined.-

Matchups

With all of the switching and sophistication in today's game, the NBA has perhaps never been more about matchups than it is now.

Teams will hunt for mismatches and exploit them time and time again.

Looney is 6'9". Bell is 6'9". Draymond Green is 6'7".

Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic and Clint Capela all play big.

Nevermind the potential for seeing Joel Embiid in the NBA Finals.

Cousins is prone to foul trouble and with smaller options behind him off the bench, there was no great option for soaking up those tough minutes in the trenches.

Bogut can more than hold his own and in this manner, minimize the potential for taking on water.

Golden State's margin for error has never been slimmer. With a deep Western Conference full of bruisers and a strong contender certain to come out of the East, this year's title could very well be decided on the margins, the very place where Bogut figures to play a major role.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

durant-cousins-042319-ftr-getty.jpg
Injury update on Durant, Cousins
NBA.com Staff
#Bucks Blazers
Who is now eligible for a supermax?
Carlan Gay
giannis-antetokounmpo-james-harden-052319-ftr
All-NBA teams announced
NBA.com Staff
LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard
How GOT overlaps with trajectory of few NBA franchises
Sidd Sinha
Squads for Indian men and women for the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup
India squads bow out of FIBA 3x3 Asia qualifiers
Yash Matange
kawhi-leonard-giannis-antetokounmpo-052219-ftr-nba-getty
Keys to Raptors-Bucks Game 5
Micah Adams and Gilbert McGregor
More News