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Andrew Bogut understands “it’s a business decision”

Bogut shares his thoughts on free agency and his time with the Warriors

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NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Now that NBA basketball is finally back, we are starting to see some of the players get asked about some of the most intriguing offseason questions. We recently saw that Kevin Durant was leaning heavily towards joining the Warriors, even as he watched the Finals come to an end. Andre Iguodala has chimed in recently as well, comparing his time with the Philadelphia 76ers (which felt like work) to joining the Warriors where he was actually able to enjoy playing. It’s not surprising to those of us who’ve been watching the team, but there is just a certain joy at Oracle that’s hard to replicate.

But walking side by side with the joy of basketball, I think these players get smacked in the face with the broader business reality of the NBA. These guys, at the top of their field, are still beholden to an organization’s whims. It’s no secret that the Warriors and Durant have been courting each other, and the players themselves were all clearly aware of what consummating this relationship would eventually mean.

Andrew Bogut sat down with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and offered his usual candid insight into the process of changing teams in order to make room for Kevin Durant. Now, maybe he is a little bitter about it, maybe not, but regardless of his preference it seems like he understands the business case for these offseason moves.

That's part of the business. I think the deal was done long before the summer. I think it was done -- obviously, K.D. didn't make his concrete decision, but I think our organization knew for a while what was going to happen. That's just a part of it. Andre [Iguodala] and I knew it was one of us that was going to go, and it was me. That's part of the business. I have no gripes about it. You get a Hall of Famer -- he's going to be a Hall of Famer -- in K.D. If I'm the GM, I do the same deal. That's just the reality of the business.

This has got to feel weird. Both Bogut and Iguodala knew that:

1. It was likely KD was going to join the Warriors

2. Once that happened, in addition to Barnes, it was clear that either Iguodala or Bogut would have to be moved.

And yet, they still played their hearts out; showing their love for the Warriors and the fan base while performing as well as they could on court. I don’t think it’s possible to understate how difficult this must be. Like being in a relationship that you hope works out, but you can see the end approaching, and yet are still doing what you can to make it work. Remember that Bogut famously told Sam Amick of USA Today that he wanted to stay.

There’s no doubt about it. I’m not a greedy guy…I know at what point in my career I am, and I definitely want some stability and to remain in the same place if I can. Obviously this is a great team we have going, and I want to remain here. There’s no doubt about that. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I’d love to stay.

The NBA doesn’t allow re-structured contracts, so given the way the situation unfolded, it wasn’t even possible for Bogut to take less money to stay. But he would have.

It’s a bit of a cliché to say you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, but I think in this case it’s just about the most true summary of the give and take that was required to make this current Warriors roster happen. In a vacuum, the Warriors would have loved to hang on to Bogut for another couple seasons, however, this isn’t a vacuum. I hope that for all the people complaining about how stacked this Warriors roster is, they’ll start to appreciate the delicate balance required to retool like we did this offseason and the pain that these difficult roster decisions can cause, not just to fans, but to the players as well.

So what though, right? Bogut is about as tough as they come, and if you are an unsatisfied Warriors fan with this roster, there’s probably nothing that can console you back to happiness. This is just one of those situations where you shrug and say “it is what it is.” However, for me? I’m already looking ahead, wondering if just maybe Bogut would be willing to return. Interestingly, Bogut will be a free agent next year (for the first time in his career) and was asked about his future. Although not geared specifically towards the Warriors, to my eyes, his response does leave the door open.

I'm not really too stressed about it. I think winning the championship and [earning] some personal, individual accolades early in my career in Milwaukee, I'm just happy to be here. With the injuries that I've had, to be in my 12th year is a blessing, but at the same time, I haven't really left anything on the table yet.

With Zaza Pachulia on a single-year contract, and Bogut set to be a free agent next season, I think it is definitely within the realm of possibility that he could return on some sort of veteran minimum contract. It’s an outside chance, sure. Although he’s been pragmatic about it, knowing what we know about Bogut, it probably does rankle him a bit to know that he was chosen as the expendable piece over Andre Iguodala. Still, given all the discussion about the Warriors big need for rim protection, he would be just about as close to an ideal second or third big off the bench for us. As this season begins to unfold, Bogut will continue to shine in his own unique way, and even as he approaches the twilight of his career there will be no shortage of suitors. Just like we did for KD last year, I hope that the Warriors players are planning to wage a full campaign to convince Bogut that he belongs back here. Home will always feel like home, even after you’ve been gone for a while.

“When you win a championship (in 2015) with a group of guys, it doesn’t happen very often and you’ll always remember that.”

I agree Bogut, and for what it’s worth, we will always remember too! And hopefully, we get the chance to create some more memories together soon. For now, I am sure I’m not the only fan that is still keeping a close eye on Bogut, and appreciating the way he plays the game, no matter which uniform he happens to be wearing.

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