Sport Basketball LeBron James welcomes Australian Andrew Bogut to the Cleveland Cavaliers
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LeBron James welcomes Australian Andrew Bogut to the Cleveland Cavaliers

lebron james andrew bogut
Andrew Bogut and Lebron James tussle in their days as rivals. Photo: AAP
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LeBron James likes Andrew Bogut’s will to win, the depth he will add to the already loaded Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster and the potential to reveal inside knowledge about their great rivals, the Golden State Warriors.

But James is not popping champagne corks to celebrate the Cavaliers’ move to sign Bogut and point guard Deron Williams.

He knows the defending champion Cavaliers face a long road and many challenges to make June’s NBA Finals.

“It doesn’t,” James said, when asked how Bogut changes the team by reporters in Boston.

“Our process is the same.

“How can we get better every day and put ourselves in a position so we can compete for a championship?

“It’s the same storyline.”

A week ago Bogut and Williams were on the struggling Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavericks traded Bogut to the injury-plagued Philadelphia 76ers, but with Bogut keen to join a title contender they agreed to part ways and he chose the top-ranked Eastern Conference Cavaliers over the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets.

The Cavaliers have been vocal about their need to fill the void left by Australian back-up point guard Matthew Dellavedova, who departed Cleveland after their championship win when the Milwaukee Bucks offered him a four-year $US38.5 million deal.

Bogut posted the UB40 music video Red Red Wine on his Twitter account to signify he was joining the Cavaliers – the team’s colours include the darkish red “wine”.

It is believed Bogut could join the Cavaliers on the weekend, but coach Tyronne Lue said a definite date has not been set.

“I’m not sure when he will be on the roster,” Lue, who added he liked Bogut’s physicality, shot-blocking presence and passing, said.

When James was asked what Bogut and Williams will add to the team he replied:

“Depth and we need it”.

When asked specifically about Bogut, James said “he likes to compete”.

“He will do whatever it takes to help his team win so I respect that.”

The Warriors ramped up the arms race with the Cavaliers when they recruited All-Star Kevin Durant in the off-season, with Bogut being offloaded to the Mavericks to make salary space.

The Cavaliers added Atlanta Hawks three-point specialist Kyle Korver, but suffered injuries to starters Kevin Love and JR Smith.

When Love and Smith return in several weeks the Cavaliers will face the problem of delivering playing time to a roster that is talented and experienced all the way down to the 15th spot.

“The biggest thing is just trying to get everyone to mesh together,” Lue said.

Bogut, 32, spent four years at the Warriors, including winning the 2014/15 championship.

“We’ll see,” James, said when asked if Bogut could deliver inside knowledge of the Warriors.

“Boges can probably give us something, but at the end of the day we have played them enough that we know what they run.”

– AAP