-- DALLAS -- Center Andrew Bogut would prefer to remain with the Dallas Mavericks for the rest of the season, but he recognizes that a trade is a distinct possibility and "very much highly doubts" that he'll return to the team next season.
"I'm not silly. I've been in this league long enough. I'm an expiring contract," Bogut said Thursday, a day after expressing during an interview with Australia's Sky Sports Radio that he expected his time in Dallas to be brief. "I haven't asked for a trade, but I know in this league we're 11-24, and I was being honest. There's a chance that I get traded. That turned out into a headline that says 'Bogut wants out,' which is false, but it's just one of the things you have to deal with in this league.
"Like I said, they can obviously get some picks back and build for the future by trading some of the veteran guys, and I could be one of them. Hint and emphasis on 'could.' I'm not saying I've gone to management and asked for a trade, which I haven't. I also haven't gone to management and begged them not to trade me. I'm just waiting to see what happens."
Citing personal reasons, which he did not want to elaborate on, Bogut said he hopes that the Mavs keep him for the remainder of the season. However, he understands that owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson could decide it's in the franchise's best interest to get a future asset in exchange for a veteran center who has proven to be a championship-caliber complementary piece.
"Do I want to be traded? Look, if there's an opportunity to go somewhere and they want to do it, I'm not going to beg them to not trade me," Bogut said. "But I have not gone to the [front] office and asked for a trade. That's probably the best answer that I can give you. It's been a tough season for everybody involved, but it's far from the truth that I've gone to management and asked for a trade."
The Mavs moved Bogut, a 12-year veteran who has started his entire career, to the bench this week because the team struggled with him playing next to Dirk Nowitzki. That is not necessarily a sign, however, that the Mavs want to move Bogut to another team.
"He's one of our best players. He's one of our most-productive players," coach Rick Carlisle said. "I have no knowledge of anything having to do with trades, so I can't comment on that. In my conversations with Donnie about it, we've talked about ... re-signing him as a real possibility.
"I'm not sure about any of that kind of stuff, but I know the kind of impact that he has on our team. The fact that he's not starting is really kind of an outlier type situation, but he's extremely productive whether he starts or doesn't start."
Bogut said during his Sky Sports Radio interview that "thankfully" he will be a free agent and will most likely move on after this season. He clarified Thursday that he meant he was thankful to be able to test free agency for the first time in his career -- he signed extensions with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors before hitting the market in the past -- and meant no disrespect to Dallas.
However, Bogut considers it extremely unlikely that he will be a future fit for the Mavs.
"If you're asking me today and I had to put my house on it, I'd say no, just because if there was an opportunity for me to come back, there would have been at least extension talks," Bogut said, "which I'm not bitter about. I'm not mad about it. It's just the reality of it. It's the writing on the wall.
"The Mavs eventually have to start rebuilding, too. There's no point in bringing back a 33-year-old center if you're in rebuild mode. You know, it's been a disappointing year for everybody, myself included. But it's one of those things: I very much highly doubt that I'll be back here next season just because I'm an expiring contract, a free agent, and I just don't see it."
Bogut told ESPN that he would not be interested in negotiating a buyout with the Mavs that would allow him to join a contender.
"If I was going to push for a buyout, I would have done it weeks ago and tried to get on a team and get solidified," he said. "Timing is of the essence. There's only a matter of months left to do that s---. But they obviously need to figure out what they want to do, if they want to rebuild.
"We've still mathematically got a chance to make the playoffs, the eighth seed at least. As long as we keep afloat, I guess we'll keep battling. I mean, the future of what's going to happen here, I don't know where it is now."