After months of rehab, setbacks, and disappointments, Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut proved his worth to the team in the playoffs, becoming a force on the boards and showing that he could be the defensive anchor that the Warriors have been missing for decades. He was instrumental in their first round series victory over the Denver Nuggets, and was solid in the second round against the San Antonio Spurs. Still, Bogut suffered from chronic ankle swelling, and was far from 100%. That, however, is not the case this season.
According to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, Warriors brass started negotiations with Bogut’s agent, David Bauman, shortly before the team departed Oakland for Beijing. With quality big men becoming a rarity in the league, to the extent of centers being excluded from the All-Star ballot, Bogut would have no shortage of suitors should he hit the free agent market next summer. By signing him to an extension now, the Warriors would potentially save themselves some money, and a lot of headaches at the negotiating table.
Bogut has looked sharp this preseason, leading the team in rebounding at 10 per game through the first 4 games. His good health and improving performance should bode him well in negotiations, and Bogut adds that he hasn’t forgotten the Warriors’ participation in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes this past summer, and may use that to his advantage to get some payback financially. While there are no concrete numbers as of yet, the team is reportedly seeking a three-year extension to add to Bogut’s current deal, which will pay him $14.2 million this season.
After enduring years of Erick Dampier, the lovable but very average Adonal Foyle, and the disappearance of the once-promising Andris Biedrins, Warrior fans may finally have found their presence down low in the man from down under.[youtube id=”Sz8HDMhuc9I” width=”600″ height=”350″]