Aussies in NBA: Bogut's trade value on the decline
It's abundantly clear that the Dallas Mavericks are not a playoff team this season. Even though they're only 4.5 games back of the eighth seed in this tightly-contested regular season, there really doesn't seem to be much point in pushing hard for the postseason. When the very best-case scenario is a first round 4-1 exit (already an extremely optimistic viewpoint), it just makes sense to aim for a lottery pick (at least) in the upcoming draft instead.
The Mavs should also focus on giving more playing time to the youngsters on the team. Game reps are crucial for young players' development, and in a season like this, it makes no sense to give prospects such as Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell only 6 minutes apiece while vets Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut take up significant floor-time like in their recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. It ended in a loss too, so really, what was the point?
Andrew Bogut has been one of the most bandied-about names since trade rumours began, and it's almost a case of when and not if he'll be traded. But 'when' is also an issue in itself.
When talk of him potentially being moved to a contender to provide rim protection and savvy passing started up, the general agreed-upon value of the big man was a first-round pick. This makes sense; contenders don't need inexperienced young guns, and so would be happy to move a pick for someone who could boost their chances of a deep playoff push. There might have been some players' names tossed in and out of trade scenarios to make the money work, but basically, a first-round pick to help Dallas in their rebuilding efforts seemed to make sense for all involved.
Look, we all know that Bogey has injury issues. He misses a number of games every season. He's only played in all 82 games once (when he was a rookie), and he's reached 70 games just three times in his 12-year career. He's currently out again, this time with a strained right hamstring, which is his third injury-enforced layoff just this season alone. Worse still, there's no clear timetable for when he'll return.
"He's probably out for the foreseeable near future," coach Rick Carlisle has said. "We don't consider this serious. But we want to make sure that he's not only feeling good, but he's got his legs under him a little bit before we put him back out there. I hope it's not too long, but we don't want to mess around with this."
With an injury history like this, the Mavericks need to move Bogut soon if they're going to get anything worthwhile for him. The longer this drags on, the lower his value falls due to missed games and less time to build cohesion and chemistry with his new teammates. Dallas could end up picking up nothing but filler for him if they keep this up.
Dallas needs to get a move on and strike a deal soon, both for their own sake and Bogut's.