The Warriors and Andrew Bogut have opened talks on a new contract that would extend his current deal beyond 2014, the veteran center confirmed to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Howard-Cooper reports that agent David Bauman began discussing an extension for Bogut with the Warriors’ front office last week.
While Bogut will be eligible to sign an extension at any point during the season, the two sides expect to reach some sort of resolution in the near future. According to Howard-Cooper, Bogut will either ink a new deal within the next few weeks or prepare to hit unrestricted free agency next summer, since neither the team nor player wants the situation to become a distraction during the regular season.
As an extension-eligible veteran, Bogut could sign a contract for up to four years, though that number includes the current season. If he and the Warriors worked something out, it would likely add three new years to his expiring deal, which will pay him $14MM in 2013/14. It isn’t clear what sort of salary is being discussed, but Bogut suggests to Howard-Cooper that the two sides are at least in the same ballpark.
“[The Warriors’ initial numbers] weren’t insulting,” Bogut said. “But they weren’t what I’m looking for. Nothing concrete has been actually formally written up. We’ve just been going back and forth, but nothing too crazy.”
According to Howard-Cooper, Bogut is also willing to accept a deal that includes incentives based on games played, which could be crucial for Golden State, given the 28-year-old’s injury history. That doesn’t mean that Bogut is open to a deal that’s heavily non-guaranteed, however.
“Would I do things to the extent that Andrew Bynum’s done with his contract?” Bogut asked. “Hell no. The clauses that he has, there’s no chance I would sign a contract. But basically having game incentives – whatever the number is, 60, 70, whatever it is – I have no problem. I think that’s only fair.”
Both the Warriors and Bogut would like to reach an agreement sooner rather than the later, as Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News tweets. However, Bogut tells Howard-Cooper that he hasn’t forgotten that the team tried to acquire Dwight Howard this past summer. While the Australian doesn’t necessarily hold the Warriors’ pursuit of an All-Star center against them, he also recognizes that he has to keep his own interests in mind as well, adding, “If I do become a free agent, I’m going do what I can to do what’s best for myself.”
When I examined Bogut as an extension candidate earlier this month, I suggested that signing the big man for an additional three years at around $10MM annually could work for Golden State. Kawakami speculates (via Twitter) that something in the neighborhood of $36MM for three years might make sense for both sides, with guaranteed money and incentives to be negotiated. I predicted that Bogut would ultimately hit free agency next summer, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the situation over the next few weeks to see if I’m proven wrong.