It stinks what happened to Brandon Rush. He tore the ACL inhis left knee in Fridays game against the Memphis Grizzlies and will miss theremainder of the season.Rush, who averaged 9.8 points per game and shot 45 percentfrom 3-point range last year, was the teams best wing defender and an integralpart of the improved Warriors bench.Hes tough to replace. But the question is this: Can theWarriors try to replace him?The answer is yes, but there are challenges the Warriorswould face in terms of replacing Rush on the roster with another player. Itsdoable, but is it worth it?The first thing the Warriors would have to do is apply tothe league for a disabled player exception. That exception would likely begranted, which would mean the Warriors could use 50 percent of Rushs salary toacquire a player either by way of a free agent signing or a trade.Rush is earning 4 million in 2012-13, so the Warriors wouldhave 2 million to use.Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Sunday the teamis looking at its options.But heres where it gets a little tricky. The money you useto sign a player or trade for a player counts toward your payroll. In theWarriors case, their payroll is slightly more than 70.3 million, which is theluxury tax threshold.At this point, the Warriors are considered a tax-payingteam, but they have several ways to get back under the tax by the end of theseason when the tax is actually computed.If you are a tax-paying team, you must pay one dollar forevery dollar over. In addition, the Warriors would be ineligible to receive anymoney generated from the penalty money that is redistributed to non-tax-paying teamsby the leagueIf the Warriors were to use 2 million to sign or trade fora player or a portion of that it would make it that much more difficult toget back under the luxury tax by the end of the season.Also important is that if the Warriors were to acquire aplayer with the exception, they would have to waive a player. Right now theWarriors roster is at the league-maximum 15 players.They have 14 guaranteed contracts. Kent Bazemore is on apartial guarantee.Going out and getting someone to replace Rush let alonesomeone you want to contribute comes at a price. The free agent names arisingare Mickael Pietrus, Maurice Evans, Josh Howard and Kenyon Martin.Also to consider is the Warriors have Richard Jefferson, an11-year veteran who has more playoff experience than anyone on the roster. Hecould fill in. Or perhaps there might be times when you could squeeze DraymondGreen into the small forward spot for Rush.Heck, what's the problem with giving rookie starter Harrison Barnes a little more wiggle room?You can certainly expect coach Mark Jackson to use more of alineup that includes Jarrett Jack at point guard, Stephen Curry at shootingguard and Klay Thompson at small forward.The Warriors certainly have enough bodies to cover for theabsence of Rush. Could they try to acquire a player? Yes, they could. But atthis point, theyre doesnt seem to be a great need to.
Can Warriors replace Rush? Should they?
November 4, 2012, 6:02 pm