Former Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut said he is open to returning to the NBA as “I’ve got a little bit of fuel left in the tank” ahead of the Olympic Games.
Bogut is a free agent after opting to quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 35-year-old Australian – who won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 – had been planning to retire following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back due to COVID-19.
Bogut returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season while contracted to the Kings and the NBA’s former number one pick is pondering another stint in the United States.
“I had NBA offers right before the COVID-19 pandemic, where I was potentially going to go back after the NBL season. I was talking to a few teams that wanted me to come over,” Bogut, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, told SBS Sport.
“Yes [I would consider another NBA stint], especially halfway through the season when the buyout and trade season comes up.
“It saves me having to spend the whole season over there and I can kind of join someone late, like I did with the Warriors last time.
“[I] can try to make a play-off run and then let that phase into the Olympics. I still think I’ve got a little bit of fuel left in the tank.”
Note re: @SydneyKings and my Basketball future pic.twitter.com/1T6GndluAO
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) May 25, 2020
Former Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.
Bogut was named the NBL’s MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.
“There are just too many unknowns right now. Not just in the basketball community but around the world,” Bogut said as he discussed his Kings departure.
“I wasn’t going to commit to something half-assed and not know what’s in the other end. I thought it was best to hit pause for now and reassess around about the new year, rather than me sitting here with one foot in, one foot out and the club not knowing where I’m at, so they can’t act accordingly with recruiting, signing and the salary cap.
“I didn’t want to have that pressure of every week having to call and say ‘I don’t know yet’. I think in fairness to the club, it’s the best thing for the Kings to be able to make decisions they need to make without worrying about me at the other end.”