Aussies in NBA: Bogut speaking to multiple competitive teams, money not top priority

Andrew Bogut revealed that he is speaking to multiple NBA teams, as the former number one draft pick searches for a new home.

“I’ll 100% get a phone call; I’m talking to three or four teams right now,” the 32-year-old free agent told SEN radio.

“They’re all competitive and winning clubs. I’m hoping a few more sneak in there once a few more players have settled. Money won’t be the number one driver, there are other factors I’m looking at, such as role and winning.

“The first step was to flick over the x-rays and scans, so they’ve got all those. Now it is about discussing terms and length of contract. The teams are waiting on a couple of guys, so they know the exact cap space.”

[Read: Here are 5 teams Andrew Bogut would fit on]

Bogut suffered a fractured left tibia just seconds into his debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers in March, but he is of the notion the knee is recovering faster than anticipated.

“I’m feeling really good,” he said.

“I got cleared two and a half weeks ago to start jogging; I’m half way through that phase. Two and a half weeks from this week, I should be fully 100 percent fit, ready to jump up and down and do the heavy loading stuff.

“I’m pretty excited because it is way ahead of schedule.”

On Joe Ingles and Patty Mills

It’s been a landmark week for Australian basketball, with Joe Ingles and Patty Mills inking lucrative long-term deals with the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs respectively.

Ingles’ four-year, 52 million dollar contract is the largest financial deal in Australian NBA history, and his fellow Boomer teammate reckons it isn’t by accident.

“They deserve it,” Bogut said.

“Their stories, Joey was playing in Spain on one of the worst teams and Patty went to China for a year and then the NBL. To work their way into those contracts, it is more than deserved; they’ve worked their behinds off for it.”

The changing landscape of Aussie hoops

Jonah Bolden became the eighth Australian in the NBA, after the Philadelphia 76ers selected him in last month’s draft. Assuming Bogut gets signed by a squad, that number will bump to nine.

With Mangok Mathiang, Mitch Creek, Nathan Sobey and Isaac Humphries all playing in the Summer League, the scope for extra Aussies entering the league is growing.

For Bogut, it’s an indication of the expanding Australian basketball landscape and a stark contrast of when he was drafted in 2005.

“It’s sensational,” he said.

“I remember when I came into the NBA; I was the lone Aussie for years on years. I was jealous of the Argentines and the Serbians because you play a team and they would have a national teammate on the opposition and they would go out for dinner with them.

“The closest I had was Sean Marks, but he is Kiwi, so I’m not sure if he counts.”

Looking to 2020

A by-product of the increased NBA exposure is the improvement of the Australian national team. At last year’s Rio Olympics, the Boomers came agonisingly close to securing their first ever medal, and one of their key pillars thinks they can go one step further in the future.

“I’m definitely going to put my hand up if I’m fit and firing for 2020,” Bogut said.

“I think it’ll be the first time we have the chance to field a national team full of NBA players, which is absolutely phenomenal considering where we were six-to-seven years ago.

“We know there is a medal beckoning for us, as long as we don’t play Spain with the FIBA Officials, we will be all right.”

No hard feelings with Cambage

Bogut also watered down his Twitter beef with Liz Cambage, saying it was all in good nature and no hard feelings are shared between the two.

“If you saw my face during those tweets, I had a smile on it the whole time and I was laughing my behind off,” he said.

“I didn’t take that whole thing too seriously. I don’t have an animosity towards Liz; I wish her all the best. If I see her in public I say hello and I go on my merry way.”