ANDREW BOGUT won't play for the Sydney Kings in tonight's NBL season opener in Melbourne, but he has confirmed he wants to play for the club if his insurance situation can be resolved.
Bogut's manager Bruce Kaider yesterday confirmed for the first time that the Kings were the club his client wanted to play for while the NBA lockout continues, but it cannot happen until the haggling over his insurance policy is concluded.
Kaider also defended the Milwaukee star against suggestions this has all been a publicity stunt, saying Bogut has been committed to playing in the NBL, and helping his game in his home country.
''Andrew is committed to playing in the NBL and wants to play for the Sydney Kings, if the opportunity comes,'' Kaider said. ''We're working through the insurance issues and there are a few, and it's a [time-consuming] process due to the time differences between Australia, America and Europe, but we continue to work through the issues as we try and make this happen so Andrew can suit up for the Sydney Kings.
''This is not about a publicity stunt, this is not about Andrew not being serious about following through. If we can resolve the insurance issues to protect him to our satisfaction, he is committed to playing in the NBL - there is no question about that.''
Bogut had not publicly declared which team he wanted to play for so as to not disrupt preparations of that outfit heading into round one of the competition, but Kaider said they now thought it was the time to talk.
He said even if the insurance was able to be sorted out overnight, Bogut still wouldn't play against the Tigers tonight. ''Andrew knows it wouldn't be fair bringing a player in on the day of the game,'' Kaider said, meaning that if the deal can be done, he would play his first game in the NBL next Saturday when the Kings host the New Zealand Breakers.
The news is both good and bad for Kings' coach Ian Robilliard. He may get an NBA starting centre next week, but for tonight's game he must leave one or two players off his team list just in case Bogut does sign.
If he was to play those players, they would be deactivated when Bogut signs, then unable to return to the roster when the NBA lockout is finished and Bogut heads back to Milwaukee.
If they don't play against the Tigers, and Bogut signs, then they can come back onto the roster when Bogut leaves. ''We have to be careful about what we do, but it's certainly good news that Andrew has chosen to play with the Kings,'' Robilliard said.