One of the Warriors’ most vital players wants a contract extension, and how the team approaches it will reveal its greater plans

andrew bogutDavid Zalubowski/APAndrew Bogut wants to stay with the Warriors.

Andrew Bogut is one of the Warriors’ many key cogs that sometimes get overshadowed by the greatness of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson.

The 7-foot center, one of the best anchors in the NBA, is key for the Warriors’ defense, and though his offensive game is limited, he sets good, hard screens and is a brilliant passer.

Bogut is under contract through the 2016-2017 season, but according to’s Scott Howard-Cooper, Bogut hopes to sign a contract extension with the Warriors next fall. While Bogut can’t actually sign an extension until October, Howard-Cooper reports that Bogut and the Warriors would discuss details over the summer.

Bogut summed up the obvious reasons for wanting to stay with the Warriors (hint: they might be the greatest team in NBA history), and hinted at why he may be forced to the back burner:

We all hear the rumors of other guys coming through here, so if that kind of stuff happens they’ll be some shedding of some contracts so who knows what can happen. But you’d be silly to try and leave what’s going on right now … We’ll have a few of us that will have opportunities. Obviously I’m contracted for next year, but at the same time if they offer me an extension I’ll definitely listen.

This league’s a funny league. Like I said, if those moves that are rumored happen there’ll be a few of us that are gone. The way we can probably nip that in the bud is win another championship and they’re forced to bring us back. They’re stuck with us for longer.

The rumors to which Bogut hints revolve around the Warriors’ being in the running for Kevin Durant this summer when Durant is a free agent. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that the Warriors were actually frontrunners if Durant chooses to leave Oklahoma City.

Making that happen will require some gymnastics for the Warriors, however. According to Basketball-Reference, the Warriors have about $80 million tied to their payroll next season. That doesn’t include restricted-free-agents-to-be Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, two critical players, whom the Warriors retain the rights to and would surely like back in an ideal world.

Even with the salary cap rising to a projected $90 million this offseason, the Warriors would probably have to move Bogut or Andre Iguodala, and potentially Shaun Livingston, to create enough cap room to sign Durant.

Because the Warriors own the Bird rights to Barnes and Ezeli, they can go over the cap to re-sign them, but they would have to sign Durant first, which would require remarkable patience from two young players looking for their first big paydays. In other words, it seems unlikely that Barnes and Ezeli would refuse to listen or sign an offer sheet from other teams while the Warriors chase Durant.

With all of this on the table, it seems unlikely that the Warriors would sign Bogut — who’s scheduled to make $11 million next season — an extension. In fact, if the Warriors decide to go with Ezeli’s youth and upside, Bogut could be moved if the Warriors need to make room for Durant.

Either way, it’s difficult to know what the Warriors will do. As Bogut jokes (though he probably does mean it), if the Warriors win another championship, it’s difficult to imagine management would consider breaking up more than half the team for a shot at Durant.

So, if over the summer, the Warriors bring back the whole gang and pass on Durant, it’s probably a good sign for Bogut’s extension. But if the Warriors start finding ways to clear cap room and Barnes and Ezeli are waiting around, that extension may not be on the horizon.

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