The Mavericks have agreed to a trade with the Warriors for center Andrew Bogut, which will free up the money Golden State needs to sign Kevin Durant, ESPN's Marc Stein reports. The Mavericks will send a second round pick according to Shams Charania of Yahoo sports.
This is a fortunate but effective backup plan put together at the last minute by Dallas, benefitting completely from Durant choosing Golden State. Bogut is an excellent defending center with a solid offensive game, although he has consistently struggled to stay healthy throughout his career.
It appears that the Mavericks will also sign Harrison Barnes, who is now an unrestricted free agent after the Warriors renounced their rights to the 25-year-old wing. Considering where the Mavericks were just 24 hours ago, without any players signed and most free agents off the board, it's a stunning reversal of fortunes for Dallas.
Still, there's no guarantee that the Mavericks will be better than last year, and certainly they aren't quite what they were two season ago. There seemed to be several paths Dallas could have taken to improve more than they did this summer, but after missing out on their top free agent targets, it was too late to change course.
Bogut will immediately fill in as the starting center and he'll likely be asked to play more than the 21 minutes he averaged with the Warriors last year. Some of those low minutes were meant to preserve Bogut's health, as he has frequently been injured. Part of it was just due to the Warriors' excellence, as they often blew teams out and frequently put Draymond Green at center instead of Bogut for the team's Death Lineup.
Still, the Mavericks shouldn't be expected 36 minutes per night out of Bogut or anything like that, which is fine. That leaves plenty of room for minutes to go to Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell, two players the Mavericks like quite a bit.