The Perth Wildcats are in the early stages of negotiating a deal that would see NBA superstar Andrew Bogut play for the club this season.
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Wildcats managing director Nick Marvin understands Bogut will be willing to play for next to nothing while the NBA's lockout over a pay dispute continues.
But the stumbling block is the massive insurance required in the event Bogut gets injured. The Wildcats would need to come up with $500,000 for every three months that the Milwaukee Bucks centre was based in Perth.
Marvin stressed talks were in early stages, but he was hopeful the club could pull off what would be the biggest deal in Australian basketball history just days after first-choice Boomers point-guard Patty Mills signed for the Melbourne Tigers.
"It's so embryonic that we have not even discussed it with our leadership group, the captains or the players," Marvin said.
"And Andrew needs to work out what he wants to do.
"We would love to have him in Perth and we would need all of Perth to get behind us to make it work.
"We're not talking about Patty Mills, we're talking about a superstar of the NBA living in Perth and playing in Perth."
Marvin spoke to Bogut's agent yesterday and has asked for an exact figure on how much the injury insurance would cost.
If negotiations progress, the Wildcats would seek financial support from the government and corporate sectors.
Marvin said the benefits of Bogut playing in Perth would be felt not just by the Wildcats, but by the wider WA community.
The 26-year-old was the No.1 NBA draft pick in 2005 and is in the prime of his career.
"For Andrew Bogut to play for us, and if that is the only hurdle we have to cross, I would hope that government and corporate Western Australia would support us and make it work," Marvin said.
"I don't have $500,000 sitting in my back pocket, but would it be important to the people of Western Australia? Absolutely."
Bogut is understood to have contacted Wildcats coach Rob Beveridge yesterday to discuss a potential short-term stint with the WA club.
The pair has a good relationship, with Beveridge having coached Bogut in the Australian Emus team that won the FIBA world junior championship in 2003.
Wildcats Damian Martin, Brad Robbins and Matt Knight were also part of that team."He loves our program and he loves our coach, so that's not a hurdle," Marvin said. "It's about making everything else add up."
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