From NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper
-Draper-Pryce comes news of developing talks between the Warriors and Andrew Bogut over a contract extension:
Bogut said team officials started conversations with agent David Bauman last week, before the Warriors left Oakland for exhibition games in Beijing and Shanghai against the Lakers. Bogut expects talks to heat up once Golden State returns to the United States following the Friday night contest. The issue will come to some resolution by early in the regular season: either he will have a new deal soon or he will become a free agent because neither side wants the discussions dragging long into 2013-14.
Bogut said the initial numbers from the Warriors, “weren’t insulting. 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.”
The Warriors apparently are taking the Stephen Curry route in trying to lock up Bogut. Last preseason, Curry still had the injury cloud over him. There were tangible doubts about his durability. The Warriors used that to their advantage by inking him to a cheaper extension than one they would have had to give him this past summer (if they didn’t lose him in free agency), but at the same time they were hitching their wagon to a guy whose health at that point had proven to be unreliable. It was a “buy low and hope for the best” type of gamble. And it worked brilliantly. His ankle was mostly cooperative, he had a breakout season, elevated himself to superstar status, and I think he got even votes to be the next pope, too.
Bogut is much more of a gamble. If these initial talks are successful, you’d likely be getting one of the game’s top centers at a discount. But his injury history is much more unsettling than Curry’s. I’m pretty sure Bogut is at the bottom of the league in the ratio of healthy body parts to injured body parts. But centers are hard to come by in the NBA (see: Golden State Warriors 1997-2012). Bogut at his healthiest is one of the best centers the league has to offer. Early on, it’s promising that Bogut has dropped weight and he says he’s feeling 100 percent. That still doesn’t allay concerns that he could be a stubbed toe or something stupid like that away from missing 30 to 40 games. Bogut presents a gamble the team knows it needs to take. The Warriors have to keep a guy of his potential around.
So, it’s good news that both sides were apparently already in the same ballpark when talks commenced. Although, this nugget about the Dwight Howard saga is a little bit anxiety-inducing:
Bogut [is] willing to make major concessions to stay but also looking for payback from management for pursuing Dwight Howard last offseason. [...]
Bogut watched and agreed with the pursuit of Howard. But he also remembered. He plans to remember all the way to the negotiating table.
“Oh, of course,” he told NBA.com “A hundred percent. Yeah. It’s nothing personal between business. I definitely remember that. That’s just a part of the NBA and a part of business. You want to get as much as you can for your worth and they want to get as much as they can out of you and they want to get as much as they can from anyone.”
Oy. Hopefully that’s just Bogut messing around. But seriously, I just knew the Dwight Howard pursuit would screw the Warriors in some way. The Warriors publicly tried to get in bed with the hottest girl at the club. Hopefully Bogut ends up being like one of those cool girlfriends that gives her boyfriend a hall pass.
And then there’s this last bit from the same story:
“But my agent has told me there’s been some teams that have been calling. My agent’s told me there are some teams that are very interested and are prepared to sign me. We’ll see what’s that worth and go from there.”
But does he know the teams?
“Yeah. I’m not going to let that out yet. A couple of teams in the West.”
“I mean, somewhat, yeah,” Bogut responded.
Um. ‘Round here we call that tampering.