Bogut signs two-year deal with NBL's Kings

Murray Wenzel
NBL coaches will have to figure out how to stop Sydney Kings' star recruit Andrew Bogut

Sydney Kings mentor Andrew Gaze thought his chairman was joking when told he'd be mentoring Andrew Bogut this season.

But he was deadly serious, with the Melbourne-born veteran of 13 NBA seasons set to pull on the Kings' purple and gold after striking a momentous two-year deal.

Australia's first No.1 NBA draft pick and a starting centre in Golden State Warriors' 2015 championship-winning side, the 33-year-old will bring unrivalled credentials to the rejuvenated league.

"This is the greatest coup in the history of the NBL," Gaze said.

"It's not only a huge day for the Kings but for the entire Australian sports community.

"When the managing director told me he had signed Bogut, I thought he was joking.

"Instead, he has given me a unique opportunity to work with one of the greatest players Australia has ever produced."

Bogut said the timing was right to return home.

"I have played all around the world, most recently in the NBA for 13 years, but it was time to come back to my home country and the NBL," he said.

"I can't wait to get out there and lead this historic franchise back to where it belongs."

Bogut joins a star studded Sydney roster that includes former league MVPs Jerome Randle and Kevin Lisch as well as Brad Newley, Todd Blanchfield and Dane Pineau.

"We've been searching for a rim protector, rebounder and low post presence and have that and more in Andrew Bogut," Gaze said.

"Andrew is one of the elite passing centres in the world and fits our needs perfectly."

Rival coaches have welcomed the coup but know they will be hard pressed trying to stop the team that finished seventh of eight clubs last season.

"They're a title contender straight away," Brisbane Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said.

"It's fantastic to see him playing here and will be fantastic for our young guys to match up ... but it'll be a hell of a scout.

"Although if a young guy does have a good night against him they'll know they're doing pretty well."

The Melburnian spent seven seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before winning an NBA championship with the Stephen Curry-led Warriors in 2015.

He was traded to 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 and last month announced he would remain in Australia with his pregnant wife.