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Bogut extension close

Update: Charles Gardner has now posted  at the JS that the deal will be for $72.5 million over five years according to Bogut's agent David Bauman, while WSSP is reporting the deal is worth $60 million.  So it might not be such a bargain, though the difference could also be due to contract incentives. Obviously if the Bauman number is dependent on things like all-star appearances (or hitting 70% from the line) it would look pretty reasonable.

As many had expected, the Bucks appear close to signing Andrew Bogut to a five year extension that will keep him in a Bucks uniform for the foreseeable future.  No official confirmation or dollar figures are available yet, though there's additional talk at RealGM that the deal will be for $60 million. Given I referred to a $55-60 million deal as "reasonable" a little over a week ago, I can't complain. (update: well, maybe I can)

Beyond that, the only thing I would add is that it will apparently not include an early termination option or player option, which would be very good news that might be overlooked.  Last year the Bucks conceded Mo Williams both an ETO and a player option, which you rarely see in the NBA, especially for non-stars.  The collective bargaining agreement allows ETOs to be included after the fourth year of a contract.

Because of the luxury tax risk they have in 09/10, the Bucks will likely structure the deal to start at the lowest possible amount and then have maximum 10.5% raises (of the first year salary) in order to hit the $60 million figure.  That would put Bogut's 09/10 salary at around $9.92 million, peaking at about $14.1 million in the 13/14 season.  If they start at $10 million even then the deal would amount to about $60.5 million total.  To put that in perspective, Michael Redd will earn $15.8 million this season and $18.3 million in 10/11, the last year of his current deal. Bogut will earn $6.3 million this coming season, the last year of his rookie contract.

In any case, locking up Bogut at around the market rate for good young centers is another step in the right direction for John Hammond's Bucks.  It's certainly a ton of money for a player who has yet to be a major piece of a winning team, but Bogut also showed enough in the last four months of the season to suggest that he was close to being an all-star caliber center, averaging 16.3 ppg, 11.6 rpg and 1.7 bpg after the all-star break.  With Dwight Howard around he won't have much chance of starting for the East, but given the Bucks' decades long search for a real center, Bucks fans probably won't mind.

This is also excellent news for Australians, who are pinning their Olympic hopes on Bogut's rich shoulders. Bogut had previously set mid-July as his deadline for signing a new deal, and has been sitting out Australia's pre-Olympic exhibition games as he waits to lock up his extension.