The Cleveland Cavaliers obtained the deepest bench of their franchise history with the acquisition of Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long after Bogut injured his knee with only 58 seconds playing as a Cavalier. Will they waive the Australian big man and look for a new backup center?
The arrival of Bogut and Williams undeniably strengthened the Cavaliers’ chance of defending the title this season. They filled the void left by Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov, who both left in the recent free agency after receiving decent offers from other teams. Williams already played four games with the Cavaliers while Bogut made his debut on Monday night against the Miami Heat.
Early in the second quarter, Bogut tried to block a shot of Heat forward Okaro White. Unfortunately, he ended up hitting his left shin to White’s left knee. The 32-year-old suffered a fractured tibia in which some people believed will require months of recovery.
“It’s very deflating,” James said. “It’s a tough moment. We all were excited about the acquisition, you know, bring him in here. Him getting some games under his belt before the playoffs, so hopefully, we can hope for the best with the MRI or whatever the case may be, but uh, it’s a tough one. Not only for him, first of all, but then for our ballclub.”
Cavaliers could find a replacement for Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut is undeniably a big loss for the Cavaliers, especially in the upcoming postseason. He could be a reliable backup center who can protect the rim. With his immediate return almost impossible, the Cavaliers may decide to waive him and look for another backup center.
“Bogut was an insurance policy. And now, likely, the Cavs will have to purchase an insurance policy by waiving Bogut, eating the near $1 million cost his luxury tax-laden salary creates and finding another big man to invest $1 million into, just in case,” Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported.
James Herbert of CBS Sports suggests possible replacements for Bogut. These include Larry Sanders, Eric Moreland, Jared Sullinger, Anderson Varejao, and Kendrick Perkins. The Cavaliers really need another big man who can set a hard screen, rebound, and defend the paint.
However, it remains a possibility that the Cavaliers will decide to leave the roster as-is. Coach Tyronn Lue could be planning to shorten his rotation in the upcoming playoffs just like what he did last season. If Bogut does manage to return, he will definitely be a huge help for the Cavaliers.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com