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The Golden State Warriors made one of the boldest trades during the course of last season, swapping star shooting guard Monta Ellis and an up-and-coming forward, Ekpe Udoh, for center Andrew Bogut.
The Milwaukee Bucks gladly sent their own oft-injured star to the Warriors in exchange for some healthy bodies. The Dubs, meanwhile, trade their lone superstar for a player who would not appear in a game for the rest of the season.
Golden State essentially packed it in in 2011-2012, with visions of playoff contention next season. The Warriors have long coveted a talented big man, and the team feels that Bogut is the missing ingredient to their postseason aspirations.
Feel that pressure, big fella?
A team that has missed the playoffs in every season but one in the past 19 years is counting on Bogut to carry them to the promise land. Nice.
Bogut, by the way, has missed 126 games in the past four seasons. True, when he is healthy, Bogut is a defensive force in the paint and has a low-post presence that is lacking on the otherwise smallish Warriors roster.
Here is the key question: Can Bogut stay healthy?
That’s a lot of pressure to place on one man, especially a 27-year-old center who, by all accounts, isn’t that great of a player. He made an All-NBA Third Team in 2009-2010. Aside from that, Bogut’s stats aren’t overwhelming.
Is Bogut really the player to get the Warriors into the eighth spot in the loaded Western Conference? Can he realistically stack up against the powerful big men in the conference—the Andrew Bynums, Pau Gasols, Tim Duncans, Al Jeffersons, etc.?
Warriors fans will have to wait until next season to find out. All they know is that the team traded away its best player—a fan favorite for the past seven seasons—for a guy who sat on the bench in a tie and blazer for the last seven weeks of the season in hopes that he’ll be the missing component for a playoff run in 2013.
No pressure, Bogut. No pressure.