Andrew Bogut hasn't played like the All-Star-caliber center he once was in years, since a devastating arm injury and ankle surgery sapped much of his athleticism and shooting range. Coming into the 2013-2014 season, however, he says he feels the best he has in years. From the Associated Press:
After splitting time this summer with family in Australia and Croatia, Bogut said he's "100 percent" healthy and feeling the best he has since fracturing his left ankle in January 2012. He also said he has not been limited in any workouts since July and expects "to play a lot of minutes" this season - the final year of his five-year, $60 million contract.
"The most important thing is not having a trainer or coach tell you that there are restrictions on what you're doing," Bogut said. "I can come in here and do what I want. I can come in here and run. I can condition. I can lift. I can shoot. I can play five-on-five and nobody can tell me I can only do one set or play 20 minutes. I have none of that right now and I'm not going to have any of that during the season."
When healthy, Bogut is capable of being among the five best centers in the league. He's a complete game-changer defensively and has reliably hit midrange jumpers when he gets in a rhythm. Defensively, however, he could make the difference for the Warriors making it even farther in the playoffs -- he and Andre Iguodala could form a Paul George-Roy Hibbert-esque inside-out defensive menace.
Perhaps more importantly for Bogut, this is the final year of the contract he signed with the Bucks before he was traded for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh in the middle of the 2011-2012 season. One healthy, effective season and the 28-year-old (he'll turn 29 in November) could earn him another hefty contract.