Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut, smartly, wants to keep the band together in The Bay Area.
Bogut, 31, would rather ink a contract extension in the offseason instead of waiting another year to cash in during free agency.
The big fella, though, knows that nothing is a given.
But the front office won’t sneeze around the salary cap, let alone actually touch it, as they approach the very delicate July that is expected to include conversations with Kevin Durant and negotiations with their own free-agent forward, Harrison Barnes. Plus, Festus Ezeli, like Barnes, is among the restricted with Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush and Marreese Speights unrestricted. This is the time for maximum flexibility, not talk of commitments to players already under contract for 2016-17.
He will make it as easy as possible on the Warriors, too. Conversations with the franchise instead of a contentious negotiation. Bogut comes out and says it: He wants to be in the Bay Area, is willing to take less money now with an extension than when the rules would allow more leverage as a free agent in summer 2017.
“Yeah, I do,” he said of hoping to get a deal done this summer. “But we’ll see what happens. We all hear the rumors of other guys coming through here, so if that kind of stuff happens they’ll be some shedding of some contracts so who knows what can happen. But you’d be silly to try and leave what’s going on right now…. We’ll have a few of us that will have opportunities. Obviously I’m contracted for next year, but at the same time if he they offer me an extension I’ll definitely listen. […] Nothing’s a given in this league. It’s a physical league. Either way. I can do a deal now or wait an extra year and get more, it’s not going to really change me financially too much. I’ve been pretty smart with my money. I can retire today and still not have to work another day in my life. It’s not going to be a point where I’m going to be, ‘Who’s going to give me the most money.’ It’ll be the lifestyle, it’ll be what’s the team like, is the team any good. And the writing on the wall here is to try to stick around as long as they want me.”