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Andrew Bogut says he wants to stay with the Warriors past this year

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

When he's healthy, Andrew Bogut is one of the top centers in the NBA. His ability to anchor a top defense was instrumental in the brief success he experienced when he was on the Milwaukee Bucks and his offensive game is pretty well-rounded with scoring around the basket and his passing game. The problem with Andrew Bogut is he's rarely healthy. He's missed 104 games the last two seasons and has only cracked 70 games twice in his eight-year career.

Bogut is entering a contract year with the Golden State Warriors and if he can play like he did in the 2013 playoffs then he'll be looking at a pretty nice payday from some team. In a Q&A with Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, Bogut was asked about his impending free agency and a possible contract extension. The Australian center was quite candid and seemed pretty adamant on staying with the Warriors after this year.

-Q: And you've got the little matter of pending free agency coming up after this season. Which makes this a contract year. Have there been any talks with the Warriors about an extension? They've said they want to sign you, pretty clearly.

-BOGUT: I want to stay.

-Q: So you've had talks?

-BOGUT: There haven't been. But I want to stay here, if I can. I like the organization, I like the direction, I like the owners, I love the coaches, I love the players.

I honestly want to stay here. But I'm not (overlooking) that I've been hurt, so my value has been diminished a little bit. And obviously I want to have a good year.

But I'm not one of those guys who wants to have a good year, get my deal and then shut it down. I wouldn't do that. People might think that because of last year and the injury, but it's a unique circumstance.

I just want to keep playing. I want to get to the playoffs and make a run at that and then let the chips fall where they may.

If I get an extension, I get it. If I don't, I don't. But we're not really talking about it right now. The focus is training camp.

And I think a big fellah on the open market isn't all so bad, either, judging by the last (off-season).

He makes some interesting points and shows great understanding of where his career is, what the problems have been, and what the benefits are of being a big man on the open market. As far as being a big man, we saw Al Jefferson get three years and $40.5 million from the Charlotte Bobcats. Tiago Splitter received four years and $36 million from the San Antonio Spurs. And Nikola Pekovic got five years and $60 million by re-signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A healthy Bogut is better than all three of those guys, but he has to be healthy. He understands that based on his comments, which makes him feeling 100 percent this year and maintaining that health throughout the season so important. A successful year for the Warriors could make them one of the premier destinations for upcoming free agents or players under contract that become disgruntled and want to move on via trade. With the young assets they have and Bogut as a potential trade chip, we could see him in a sign-and-trade next summer if it behooves the Warriors.

We could also see him re-sign with the team and be the defensive anchor we saw piloting one of the top defenses for years in Milwaukee. Everything with Bogut will always come down to "if he's healthy" and until he can shake that with a season of at least 75 games played, his future with the team may be a little up in the air.

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