The Los Angeles Lakers bought out veteran center Andrew Bogut earlier this season, and now he’s has chosen his next destination, and he’s heading home to Australia to play for the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League, according to the league’s Twitter account.
Bogut played in 23 games for L.A. this season, averaging 1.6 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 68 percent from the field in 9.4 minutes per contest. Bogut was expected to sign with a competitive team upon leaving the Lakers, but the free agent chose to sit out the remainder of the NBA season to be with his pregnant wife rather than sign with a playoff contender.
According to the NBL, while Bogut is going through the correct steps to play for the Kings, his contract hasn’t been finalized just yet. Bogut signing with the Kings would not seem to preclude him from an NBA return at some point, whether it be next season or the season after.
But while Bogut showed that he can still give solid production in limited stints with a competitive team while playing for the Lakers this season, he also might see some appeal in remaining in Australia to finish out his career as a homecoming hero rather than returning to the NBA for spot minutes.
Regardless of what Bogut decides, it appears unlikely he’ll be back with L.A., even with the young roster clearly valuing him as a mentor during the 2017-18 campaign this season.
With young bigs like Thomas Bryant and Ivica Zubac potentially needing minutes next year, Bogut would seem to be a better fit for a veteran roster as an emergency backup for a contender than on a fringe playoff team like the Lakers.