Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which Monte Poole will highlight a different Warriors player every day leading up to the start of training camp.
Player: Andrew Bogut
Salary: $12 million in the second year of a three-year, $36 million (plus incentives) contract extension signed in 2013.
2014-15 in review: Bogut was a key element in the defense that led the NBA in most every pertinent category. He was the anchor in the paint, communicating and coordinating the action. Ranking third in the NBA in Defensive Rating (95.2), Bogut was a richly deserving member of the Second Team All-Defense squad.
Bogut also was an important cog in the team’s high-energy offense, setting picks and forcing mismatches. He also had a few shining moments on that end, mostly with his playmaking but occasionally as a scoring threat.
It became apparent, though, that Bogut occasionally slowed the tempo – something that Warriors abhor. They tend to perform much better when playing fast and Bogut can have problems keeping up. That was evident during the NBA Finals, and the coaching staff took the 7-footer out of the staring lineup after Game 3. The team responded with three consecutive wins to take the series.
2015-16 outlook: There are questions about Bogut’s future, most of which trace back to how the big man was used in The Finals. He took a back seat, and the Warriors thrived with him on the bench.
What does it mean for this season? It means Bogut remains the starting center – but there will be moments when he will sit. Those moments will be dictated by matchups. As someone whose body has endured some hard NBA miles and no shortage of injuries, Bogut already was subject to monitoring by the coaching staff.
Yet Bogut remains an important member of the team; there will be games when he’s absolutely indispensable. He has developed a strong chemistry with Draymond Green, something that reveals itself in the team’s defensive scheme. That won’t change.
Bogut’s goal will be to stay healthy and productive. The coaching staff understands he’ll need some down time. With Green’s versatility and the development of backup center Festus Ezeli, it’s conceivable Bogut could average fewer than 22 minutes a game for the first time in his 10-year career.