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Bogut boon for NBL as star signs with Sydney

Sport

NBL champion Shane Heal has lauded the Sydney Kings’ recruitment of Andrew Bogut while championship-winning coach Brendan Joyce labelled it the biggest signing in the league’s history.

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The Kings revealed the news on social media last night, stating ‘A new King to come’.

Bogut later retweeted the Kings’ Twitter post with the message “Bingo!”.

“I would call this a very big NBL signing… glad I didn’t have a shot clock on it! Awesome news… next year just got better quick!” Heal, who had two stints in the NBA, posted on social media.

Joyce believes the 33-year-old Bogut will make a massive impact on the NBL, telling Fox Sports the Melburnian was “one of the most intelligent big men I’ve ever been around”.

“We talk about talent and we talk about (basketball) IQ and he’s off the charts in that area,” he said.

“Bogut will be able to score but I rate him one of our greatest passers, up there with (Luc) Longley as a big man and that’s a big reason why Golden State wanted him.

“I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of NBA teams wanting him so this is an unbelievable signing for the Kings, which benefits the NBL.”

Last month, Bogut announced he wouldn’t return to the NBA for the remainder of the 2017-18 season because he wanted to stay in Australia with his pregnant wife.

Bogut said on Fox Footy’s On the Mark program last week he wanted to help to spark more interest in Australian basketball.

“I think to come back and maybe play a season or two would be the icing on the cake for my career,” he said.

The veteran Boomers star became the first Australian to be the NBA’s overall No.1 draft pick when he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005.

After seven seasons with the Bucks, he was traded to Golden State where he won a championship with the Stephen Curry-led Warriors in 2015.

The 2.13m Bogut was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks the following year and after one season moved to Cleveland, where he broke his left leg 56 seconds into his Cavaliers debut.

Late last year, Bogut signed with the Los Angeles Lakers but was waived by the club in January this year.

His signature is just what the Kings need after finishing seventh last season in the eight-team NBL.

“This is a serious statement to other NBL clubs!” Heal tweeted.

-AAP 

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