Vowing not to pressure Andrew Bogut as he decides whether to play on, Sydney Kings owner Paul Smith says he'll be just as happy with the veteran Boomers centre assuming his part ownership of the NBL franchise if he retires.
The former NBA star will be 36 in November and is off contract following two seasons with Sydney.
A big question mark hangs over his future, especially now that the coronavirus crisis has forced the Olympic Games postponement to next year, as well as shutting down the NBA and NBL.
The 2020 Olympics were looming as Bogut's international - and possibly career - swansong and last week he raised doubts over whether he would continue for one more year after battling through an injury-dogged NBL season.
"It's a coin flip at the moment. There's a lot of crazy going on in the world right now," Bogut told The Basketball Show about his 2021 intentions.
"We don't know what's going on - with the NBA, the NBL - it would've been ideal if it was played this year because I'm not getting any younger and it's getting harder and harder to get out of bed every day."
Bogut has played a big part in improving the fortunes of the Kings over the past two seasons, after they had made the finals just once in the eight seasons since returning to the NBL.
He won the NBL MVP award in 2018-19 and while back issues hampered him at stages of the recent season, he remained an influential figure, especially in the first two matches of the abandoned grand final series.
Asked about trying to get Bogut to play one more season for the Kings, Smith told AAP: "Andrew makes those decisions we don't.
"He's on record where he contemplated his health, his age and the environment we're all living in now.
"It's not about money from our side or money from his side
"It's about him wanting to do the right thing by himself by his family and his peace of mind.
'We're equally delighted to have him coming in as a part owner of the club."
When Bogut signed for Sydney, part of the deal was he would take at least a 10 per cent stake in the club once he retired, with potential to increase that.
Bogut is one of several players who have come off contract and Smith said there were six of those free agents the club would love to retain.
He was also confident changes to the club's culture would stand them in good stead if they lost some of the free agents and had to recruit replacements..
The Kings opted not to continue playing in the grand final series beyond game three of the best-of-five series due to health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We will be a club in the future that players know that we have their best interests at heart, that we will make tough decisions that preserve the players health and wellbeing," Smith said.
"There's a lot of unknowns right now, but if we focus on 'gee, if we don't get 11 of the 12 guys back then we can't keep this dream alive,' we fail."
Australian Associated Press