NBA

Andrew Bogut reportedly eligible to rejoin Warriors due to a loophole in NBA rules

Andrew Bogut, who went to the Finals with the Warriors for the past two seasons, was dealt from Dallas to Philadelphia on Thursday, and according to reports, the Sixers don't plan on keeping him around.

With the trade deadline passed, the Sixers likely will buy him out, leaving the 7-foot Australian free to sign with anyone -- except the Warriors. At least, that's what everyone thought at first.

The Warriors are not eligible to sign Andrew Bogut if he is eventually bought out and waived.

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 23, 2017

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That's because Golden State traded him last July, and the NBA has a rule that prohibits teams from trading a player and then re-signing him during the same league year. It's known as the Zydrunas Ilgauskas rule, after the Cleveland Cavaliers traded their longtime center in 2010, then re-signed him when Washington bought him out. Other teams didn't like it, so the NBA upped the restricted period from 30 days to a year.

However, the Vertical's Bobby Marks, a former assistant GM, pointed out that because Dallas was the last team to trade Bogut, he's actually eligible to rejoin Golden State this season if he becomes a free agent.

A loophole in the CBA could allow Golden State to sign Andrew Bogut (if he desires to return).

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 23, 2017

The reacquisition restriction rule only applies to the "last trade" and not all prior trades as well.

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 23, 2017

The NBA could interpret that both Golden State and Dallas could not sign Bogut however but as the rule states, the last team is Dallas.

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 23, 2017

And NBA sources confirmed to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski that Marks' interpretation is correct.

Sources: After an NBA review, @BobbyMarks42 interpretation is correct: Golden State is eligible to sign Andrew Bogut as a free agent.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 24, 2017

Now, just because Bogut possibly could return to the Warriors doesn't mean he will. Wojnarowski reports that Golden State is "undecided on its Bogut interest", and reporters who cover the Warriors indicate it's unlikely.

Doubt there's interest in a reunion from both sides but, per front office expert @BobbyMarks42, Bogut to Warriors is actually possible pic.twitter.com/1UsdFsRr6m

— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 24, 2017

I'm not answering Bogut-Warriors questions any more. Other than: The two sides have gone their separate ways. https://t.co/wPKXnR7Xyz

— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 24, 2017

Turns out, under current CBA, #Warriors could re-sign Bogut because he's not property of the team they sent him to.
Don't bet on It tho. https://t.co/1mT4cg8nsd

— Monte Poole (@MontePooleCSN) February 24, 2017

If all this isn't interesting enough for Warriors fans, there's this:

Source: belief amongst many NBA teams is that Andrew Bogut is heading to Cleveland. Deron Willlams, as I reported is signing w/#Cavs as well

— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) February 23, 2017

If the Cavs wind up with Bogut and Deron Williams, FS1's Shannon Sharpe predicts one outcome:

Williams/Bogut = 🏆 https://t.co/QCpRx9BI3d

— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) February 23, 2017

Why does everything eventually end up Cavs vs. Warriors?