Andrew Bogut doesn't really have much of a filter, which is fantastic when he's not being a culture warrior. This summer, the Warriors chased Dwight Howard hard. Landing him would have meant dumping Bogut, possibly for peanuts. (You can't pay two eight-figure centers.) But Golden State didn't get Howard in the end, and Bogut's still here. And now, for some reason, it's apparently time to negotiate a new contract, even though he's signed through this season.
So, Bogut is keeping in mind that the Warriors didn't show a tremendous amount of loyalty to him. From Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com:
"[I]f I was sitting in the GM's position with the Golden State Warriors, I'd make that deal. It's a future Hall of Fame center for a guy that was banged up and struggled through a season. I can't take personally. It's a business. They're trying to get better. Obviously it does play on your mind a little bit in the offseason, but that's part of business. At the same time, if I do become a free agent, I'm going do what I can to do what's best for myself."
Emphasis mine. Remember, this is what got LeBron James into trouble: choosing self-interest over loyalty. But pro sports is the least loyal industry in existence! Most teams will do everything they can to avoid paying players who don't produce and to upgrade talent, no matter the impact on the players involved. It's part of the game. So too is free agency: there's a built-in system that gives players some semblance of free choice.
But there's still way too much emotion wrapped up in all sorts of sports decision-making, primarily from the player's side. Bogut talks elsewhere in that great interview about being willing to make concessions to stay with Golden State. Given Bogut's injury history and Golden State's very recent attempt to flip him, there should be no concessions. Bogut has one big contract left. A man stripped of emotion would grab the biggest payday possible.
It's worth noting that Bogut does openly mention that other teams are asking his agent about his plans. Isn't that reason enough not to take an incentive-laden extension from Golden State and see what a healthy season gets him on the market? He says that intriguing teams in the Western Conference have expressed interest. So, the Mavericks probably, and maybe the Lakers, Blazers or Kings. There's a lot of potential money in those teams. Why give it up now?
And if you're the Warriors, unless you're getting a screaming deal, why commit to a player who has played 44 games in the past two seasons? Golden State and Bogut both have time on their sides, so these early discussions are pretty eyebrow-raising. This is a classic case where patience could be rewarded for everybody involved.
20 MINUTES AT RUCKER
If you haven't sat down with Flinder Boyd's longform piece on Sacramento streetballer T.J. Webster, be sure to do so today. Speaking as a local, Boyd captures the essence of Del Paso Heights well (unfortunately). And man, what a powerfully sad tale.
USING RAYMOND FELTON AS MOTIVATION
Another message from another friend set his skin on fire. ESPN had released its top-to-bottom rankings of NBA players and slotted Matthews 130th, behind players such as JJ Hickson (127), Lou Williams (120) and - gasp - Raymond Felton (108).
"When they showed me the ESPN rankings, that (stuff) really (ticked) me off," Matthews said. "My friends already got me excited coming into the season with their stuff. I was already ready to get back to having that extreme hunger, like famine, like the you-haven't-eaten-in-weeks hunger. But when the ESPN rankings came out? That was crazy. That's just disrespectful. But, you know what, whatever. I've never been given the benefit of the doubt yet, so why should it start now?"
I'm all for candid athletes (see: Bogut, above), but there are certain things it is probably best not to say when you're trying to rebuild your image after two years of unending drama. And one of those things best kept private is disappointed that your first team didn't retire your jersey number immediately upon your disastrous departure.
AT LEAST HE'S HONEST
Marko Jaric got waived by the Nets on Tuesday.