When Andrew Bogut fractured his tibia literally 56 seconds into his first game with the Cleveland Cavaliers in March of 2017 after signing with them through the buyout market, there was uncertainty about whether or not the Australian big man would play in the NBA again. Despite helping the Golden State Warriors to a championship in 2015, Bogut was 33, and would be coming off another major lower body injury.
So Bogut was skeptical when the Los Angeles Lakers offered to sign him to a partially-guaranteed contract for the 2017-2018 season, and didn’t want to move his family back to the U.S. if he was just going to be cut halfway through the year. As Bogut told Mark Medina of The Mercury News, the Lakers initially informed Bogut that, as long as he was healthy, they’d allow his contract to become guaranteed and play with the team the entire year. They then released him ahead of the trade deadline, upsetting the Australian big man.
“The Lakers told me I’d be there the whole year,” Bogut told Bay Area News Group. “They went against their word and waived me at the deadline. Whatever. That was their decision.”
The Lakers released Bogut on Jan. 6, 2018, just four days before his contract was set to become guaranteed for the rest of the season, and head coach Luke Walton told the L.A. Times that the team would “miss” him. Bogut, now backing up DeMarcus Cousins in Golden State after signing back with the Warriors in February, is still sour about how things went down.
“They basically lied to me,” he said.
Bogut noted he still believes in Walton’s abilities as a coach and feels he’s been caught in the midst of “politics” within the Lakers organization that has held him back on the bench. Bogut won’t be able to get his revenge on the Lakers organization as he isn’t traveling for the Warriors final regular season game against the Lakers, and certainly won’t see them in the playoffs, as L.A. will miss the postseason for the sixth straight season.