The Cleveland Cavaliers’ acquisition of veteran center Andrew Bogut ranked as one of the best pickups of the NBA’s annual waiver deadline. While the 32-year-old Bogut was far from stellar before his trade away from the Dallas Mavericks, not-ancient big men with long histories of defensive excellence do not often become available at league-minimum prices. At the very least, Bogut seemed set to give the Cavs rim protection and another option behind Tristan Thompson in their effort to repeat as champions, perhaps with yet another win over his ex-teammates on the Golden State Warriors.
But Bogut’s season with the Cavaliers could now to over as soon as it started. He made his debut with the team in Monday’s home game against the Miami Heat, replacing Thompson at the 0:37 mark of the first quarter. With 11:36 remaining in the second quarter, Bogut had to be carried off the court after injuring his left leg attempting to close out on Heat forward Okaro White.
The team later announced that Bogut has broken his leg. Here is the official press release:
Cavaliers Center Andrew Bogut experienced a left leg injury during the second quarter of Monday’s game in Cleveland vs. the Miami Heat. Initial x-rays and evaluation at The Q revealed a fractured left tibia. Bogut was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for further imaging and evaluation and additional updates will be made as they become available.
The news is obviously not great for Bogut or the team. Bogut previously sustained a left knee injury against the Cavs as a member of the Warriors and missed the final two games of the 2016 NBA Finals. He has experienced several serious injuries in his career, although most have not occurred due to aggravations of existing problems. While some of those injuries may have seemed freakish, he’s still a player who gets hurt with regularity.
Cleveland are not exactly set up to withstand another long-term injury. Starters Kevin Love and J.R Smith are already on the shelf for several more weeks each and the addition of Bogut was intended to help cover their absences. For that matter, the Cavs cut injured center Chris “Birdman” Andersen to create space for healthy players on the roster.