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New-look Warriors next test for Utah Jazz

Published March 17, 2012 7:45 pm

NBA • Ex-Ute Bogut won't play for Golden State on Saturday, but says he's excited to be a Warrior.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Memo to Utah Jazz fans attending Saturday night's game against Golden State at EnergySolutions Arena:

Buy a program.

While Utah did not make any trades prior to Thursday's deadline, the Warriors were the most active team in the league.

Golden State pulled the trigger on two major deals with Milwaukee and San Antonio that included six players, the contract of recently retired T.J. Ford and a first-round draft pick.

When the Warriors play the Jazz, their roster won't look anything like it did on Feb. 2, when Golden State rolled to a 119-101 victory.

Just before the trade deadline, the Warriors acquired Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson from Milwaukee for high-scoring Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh.

Then, Golden State shipped Jackson to San Antonio for Richard Jefferson, Ford's contract and a protected first-round pick.

On paper, the trades give the Warriors a potential starting lineup of point guard Stephen Curry, emerging rookie Klay Thompson, power forward David Lee, Jefferson and Bogut.

While Golden State loses a top-10 scorer in Ellis, the chance to get Bogut was impossible to ignore, despite his injury-plagued past.

A former University of Utah star and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, Bogut is one of the game's most versatile centers, when he's healthy.

"We were finally able to bring a big man into this organization and a big man of quality," general manager Larry Riley told the Contra Costa Times. "It's not the same old thing anymore. We took a bold step. We know it's a bold step."

Owner Joe Lacob was even more enthusiastic.

In an email to the newspaper, he said, "While I know this is hard for many of our fans and perhaps not understandable to them, the fact is we just hit a home run."

Bogut might not play again this season, however.

After being traded to the Warriors, he told the Australian Associated Press, "The last thing they'll want to do is rush me back to play in a couple of games."

Bogut's broken ankle is the latest in a series of major injuries that played into Milwaukee's decision to trade him and added to Golden State's gamble.

Bogut missed the end of the 2009-10 season after a gruesome fall that resulted in a broken hand, dislocated elbow and sprained wrist.

He also missed 46 games in 2008-09 with a lower-back injury.

Bogut's reaction to the trade?

"When I first heard the news I was excited," he said. "It's a franchise on the way up, a new city to live in, it's only one flight from Australia rather than two.

"Then I started packing and was sad because the Milwaukee Bucks are all I know in the NBA. Saying goodbye to the city where I spent my whole career — to the fans — it was tough."

Even if Bogut can't play this season, the Warriors might benefit.

Golden State owes Utah its first-round pick in this summer's draft. But it is top-seven protected.

The Warriors keep the pick if they finish with one of the worst seven records in the league and, without Ellis or Bogut, that's a distinct possibility.

luhm@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sluhm —

Jazz vs. Warriors

P At EnergySolutions Arena

Tipoff • 7 p.m.

TV • Root Sports

Radio • 1320 AM, 98.7 FM, 1600 AM

Records • Jazz 21-22, Warriors 18-22

Last meeting • Warriors, 119-101 (Feb. 2)

Season series • Tied, 1-1

About the Jazz • They have won four straight at home (Houston, Miami, Detroit, Minnesota). … G Earl Watson (ankle) won't play. … C Al Jefferson will miss weekend games against the Warriors and Lakers after the death of his grandmother. … F Gordon Hayward and C Enes Kanter are their only players to appear in all 43 games.

About the Warriors • They are 11-13 against Western Conference opponents and 8-11 on the road. … They are 2-8 in their past 10 games in Utah. … They are 6-4 on the second night of back-to-back games. … G Stephen Curry averages 14.7 points per game but he is questionable (ankle).