Andrew Bogut, traded from the Warriors to the Mavericks over the summer, has yet to play his first regular-season game as a member of his new team. Based on his experience in Dallas so far though, he’s very open to the idea of remaining a Maverick beyond this season. The veteran center tells Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com that he’d love to stay with the Mavs long-term, if he can.
“I’d love to be here,” Bogut said. “The organization is first class. [Mark Cuban is] a great owner. Passionate and wants to win. From everything that I’ve seen, if it remains this way throughout the season, it’s sensational.”
Bogut, who also extensively praised the Dallas-Fort Worth area, cautioned that “things could change throughout the year,” so he’s not getting his signature ready for his next contract with the Mavericks quite yet. Based on his comments, it also sounds like Bogut will wait until next summer to ink his next deal, giving himself a chance to explore the market.
The former first overall pick is eligible for a contract extension as of October 25, but because the Mavs don’t have any cap room available at the moment, he’d only be able to get a small raise on a new deal by signing an extension. There will be no such salary restrictions next July.
While October declarations about future free agency should probably be taken with a grain of salt, Dallas was Bogut’s preferred destination when the Warriors looked to trade him in the offseason. His enthusiasm for the team and the city is also reciprocated by the Mavs. As Howard-Cooper details, head coach Rick Carlisle said he has been “an enormous fan of [Bogut’s] for over a decade.”
“You’re talking about a [Arvydas] Sabonis-, [Bill] Walton-level rim protector, rebounder, passer, play-maker at 7’2″ or whatever his height is,” Carlisle said of Bogut. “I just remember he was such a load to deal with in Milwaukee when he was a central figure in their offense. Not that he’s going to be a central figure [in Dallas], but we want him to be one of the people that creates a real balance when he’s on the floor.”
Bogut is set to earn just over $11MM this season before reaching free agency next offseason at age 32.