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Bogut’s NBL arrival a Tokyo boost: Heal

By playing in the NBL, Shane Heal expects Andrew Bogut to be a much greater asset to the BoomersBoomers basketball great Shane Heal believes Andrew Bogut’s NBL injection will lay the foundation for ‘s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games medal hunt.
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A momentous deal that will result in ‘s first NBA No.1 draft pick suiting up for the Sydney Kings is expected to be finalised on Tuesday.

While it will do wonders for the rejuvenated league’s profile, retired sharp-shooter Heal also considers the coup necessary for Bogut’s Boomers prospects.

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis, who coaches the Kings’ NBL rivals Brisbane, said Bogut had contacted him on Monday to confirm his Olympic intentions.

“He got in touch and said that was one of the factors … being in the NBL, his ability to manage his body should enable him to be ready (for Tokyo),” Lemanis said.

Heal views the NBL’s 28-game regular season as a smarter option than the NBA’s 82-game slog for the 33-year-old.

“They’ll be able to nurse him through a season, playing great basketball but keep him fresh to be ready for the n team,” Heal told Fox Sports.

“He’ll be motivated to win a championship, but … keep in the race to be in this n team in two years.”

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 with his pregnant wife.

In his absence, fellow ns Joe Ingles, Thon Maker, Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Patty Mills and Ben Simmons are all leading the way with their respective teams in the NBA Finals.

Bogut starred as fell agonisingly short of a first Olympic medal at Rio’s 2016 Games, with high expectations of a Simmons-led side already in place for Tokyo.

Heal said crafty centre Bogut could answer any questions about his place in the pecking order while also enhancing his legacy with an NBL stint under the nose of the national coach.

“I think this will help ns understand how good he was, how good he is and how he can help this n team,” Heal said.

“He’s a critical part; there’s so many young talented Aussies playing in the NBA, but you need a veteran, an extension of the coach, to give them advice.”

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