On Wednesday it was made clear that Australian Boomers star Andrew Bogut won’t need surgery to repair his fractured left tibia, but he’s still going to miss the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016-17 campaign, including the playoffs.
The team’s official release noted Bogut is undergoing a “non-surgical treatment and recovery plan” that should make him available in time for next season’s training camp.
This puts the Cleveland Cavaliers in a tough position. After letting Timofey Mozgov walk in free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers have played this whole season without a second rim protector behind Tristan Thompson. The Cav’s signed 32 year old Bogut on March 2 to bolster its frontcourt rotation for its upcoming title defense.
Now, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Cavs will waive Bogut to free up a roster spot and leave Bogut without an NBA team.
Bogut’s injured occurred was just one minute into his Cavs career and LeBron James, who stated he heard the bone break during a collision, spoke to the media while the players awaited to hear any decisions on Bogut’s future.
“It’s very deflating … a tough moment,” James said. “We all were excited about the acquisition and bringing him in here. We can hope for the best … but it’s a tough one not only for him, first of all, but for our ballclub.”
The Cav’s are focused on winning an NBA title this season and it’s expected they’ll sign another veteran big man to replace Bogut this week. Larry Sanders, Eric Moreland, Jared Sullinger and Anderson Varejao are rumoured to be at the top of that list.
Bogut joined Cleveland after getting waived by the Philadelphia 76ers less than a week after they acquired him from the Dallas Mavericks as part of the package for Nerlens Noel. He’d previously spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks before being traded to the Golden State Warriors, with whom he won a title in 2015.
The Australian big man was slated to provide the Cavaliers with experienced depth behind Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, who’s working to return from injury before the playoffs. Currently only Derrick Williams and Channing Frye are the teams other big man options on the active roster.
Bogut plans to rehabilitate back in his native Australia with his family.