Bogut retires from NBA, signs with Sydney NBL team for 2 years
SYDNEY — Former No. 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut has quit the NBA and plans to play the next two seasons for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League.
The big Australian center told a Kings news conference Tuesday there are “no outs” in his deal if an NBA team should become interested.
A 13-year NBA veteran and championship winner, Bogut said he had always intended to return to Australia and it was only a question of when.
“Before anyone asks, no NBA outs, no European outs,” Bogut said. “I’m committed to being here for two years … it will retire me from the NBA, I’m happy to say that today.”
Bogut signed with the Kings, who finished next-to-last in the eight-team league last season, despite interest from his hometown Melbourne United. He said his contract included a 10 percent stake in the Kings when he retires, and an option to buy a bigger interest in the club.
“I want some skin in the game, I want to see how viable this is and see where it’s going,” he said. “If it goes as well as I think it will there is no reason why I won’t put my own money in as well.”
The 33-year-old Bogut also said he’d like to play for Australia at next year’s World Cup and at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
He revealed last month that he wouldn’t be returning to the NBA this season in order to remain in Australia with his pregnant wife.
After being waived by the Los Angeles Lakers in January, it was expected the free agent would join a contending team for a playoff push.
But Bogut said at the time he’d stay in Australia and focus on returning in the 2018-19 season. He tweeted that his wife’s pregnancy with their second child has been deemed “high-risk” and she’s not allowed to travel.
Bogut played 24 games for the Lakers after signing last September, averaging 1.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while starting five games. He was acquired by Cleveland in the second half of last season, but he fractured his left leg less than a minute into his debut with the Cavaliers.
Bogut was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft. He played seven years with the Bucks before a move to Golden State, where he won an NBA championship in 2015.