Lee a better candidate for amnesty than Biedrins

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Lee a better candidate for amnesty than Biedrins

Yesterday I wrote that if Warriors owner Joe Lacob reallywanted to make good on his promise to make a bold move, he should considerusing the amnesty clause on forward David Lee, and erasing 68.5 million overfive years from the teams cap.The thrust of the post was this: If Lacob really wanted tochart a new course for the Warriors, now would be the time to do it. The tableis set beautifully to do such a thing.
Received some responses from people, saying that if theWarriors were going to go that route -- the overhaul -- then why not amnesty center AndrisBiedrins, set to earn 27 million over the next three seasons?Biedrins has been awful the past two seasons, andthere are no indications hes getting better anytime soon. Its just tough toenvision him turning it back around here. Love to see it, dont see ithappening.So, why then wouldnt you amnesty Biedrins? Well, two reasons.First, Lee would be a better use of the amnesty from amath and bottom line perspective. What is expected to happen when a player isamnesty-ed is that the NBA teams that are under the salary cap will have achance to bid for the players services.The waived players salary comes off the teams cap, weknow, but were talking about real dollars here. Anyway, the team that bids themost money gets the player, and then the Warriors make up the difference in theplayers overall compensation.If the Warriors used the amnesty provision on David Lee,there would definitely be teams interested. And why not? Hes a good playerwith a legitimate skill set. Nobodys denying that. The issue, however, is howmuch cap room hes taking up on the Warriors too much, and its going tohamper them going forward.But the larger point is that using amnesty on Lee doesntmean you have to eat 65 million. Not at all.Ill bet you there are teams out there that would want apiece of David Lee for 30 or 40 million over five years. Maybe somewhere Leeis the third-best player on the team, maybe even No. 4. Then you havesomething.Anyway, maybe you only end up having to pay half of Leesmoney. But youre not going to have to eat it all. But lets also make anotherpoint about Lacob and his ownership group. Hes called his ownership groupamong pro sports most dynamic and with pockets as deep as any other ownershipgroup.If thats really the case, eating 65 million is simply thecost of business, no? But again, the Warrior wouldnt have to eat it all.Bottom line is using the amnesty clause on Lee is a biggerbang for the buck (cap-relief wise) than Biedrins.But theres another reason to amnesty Lee instead ofBiedrins when playing the Whom to Amnesty? game: Biedrins is easier to tradethan Lee, so if youre going for a legitimate overhaul, the two moves can worktogether.Hey, Biedrins has been pretty lousy, no doubt. But everycontending team in the league wants as many big men as they can get, and someteam will absolutely want Biedrins. Now, dont expect the sun, moon and starsfor him in return, but you come out of it with a serviceable player and caprelief dynamite.Lee, on the other hand, youd have to trade with his 65million in tow, and thats a flat turnoff for every team. Like I said, theresa lot to like about Lee in another situation at less money. Thats my explanation of why Id rather use the amnestyclause on Lee rather than Biedrins. Though it just came to me that it likelydoesnt matter. Just cant see Warriors using the amnesty clause on either oneof them. Lee and Biedrins will actually be paid slightlyless than those figures Lee about 65-ish million and Biedrins about 25million or so because this years salaries will be pro-rated. Teamsusually play an 82-game schedule; this season because of the lockout its a66-game schedule.

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY — The Golden State Warriors needed less than nine minutes to open a 24-point lead over the short-handed Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Stephen Curry scored 26 points and the Warriors controlled the Jazz from start to finish in a 106-99 victory.

Curry had 14 points during a 29-1 run that made it 29-5. The Jazz's only lead of the game was 4-2.

"Loss of focus," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about the second half. "Our first quarter was great, we pushed the ball and our defensive intensity was fantastic. I think we let down. We started turning it over some careless, purposeless plays.

"We didn't really have an idea of what we were trying to accomplish. Some defensive mistakes not getting out on shooters and they took advantage."

Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored a career-high 21 points, and Shelvin Mack added a season-high 19.

The Jazz have four starters sidelined by injuries, including their top three scorers.

"I didn't do a good job of attacking throughout the game and I thought that was a good opportunity for me to attack," Durant said about the fourth quarter.

Golden State led 65-46 at halftime as the second unit allowed the Jazz to hang around and, technically, remain within striking distance. The urgency from the first quarter disappeared in the second half and the Jazz crept within five in the fourth quarter thanks to buckets from Mack and Ingles, but Durant closed the game with 11 in the final period.

"What we've discussed is just roles," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said about surviving the injuries. "They can morph. They widen, they can narrow, they can do anything. Hopefully, on a team, guys are willing to evolve and adjust to what the team needs. That's really all we emphasized."

TIP-INS

Warriors: Rookie Patrick McCaw scored a career-high 10 points, all in the first half. ... Shaun Livingston took the night off to rest. ... Draymond Green was two assists shy of his 15th career triple-double. ... Green tweaked his ankle, but he and Kerr didn't seem overly concerned.

Jazz: Utah started the combination of Joe Johnson, Mack, Dante Exum, Gobert and Boris Diaw for the first time this season. ... Ingles hit a career-high five 3-pointers.

INJURED JAZZ

The Jazz were without four starters — Gordon Hayward (finger), Rodney Hood (hamstring), George Hill (toe) and Derrick Favors (knee). Utah has been dealing with injuries all season, but Thursday was their most depleted lineup to date.

"It's easy to be frustrated," Snyder said. "That's something you have to just fight against and make a decision to do the best with where we are.

"It's a credit to our guys really. We've got a group that has character. Over a longer period of time it becomes more challenging. ... Hopefully, there's a silver lining. We've got some guys that are getting minutes that may not be getting otherwise."

QUOTABLE

"This team, my first year was kind of a surprise and everybody seemed to love us. Now maybe it's changed a little bit. It honestly makes no difference to us." — Kerr.

ROLES

Snyder said roles morph, but Joe Johnson added that shouldn't be a difficult thing night-to-night.

"This is our profession, man," Johnson said. "This is what we signed up for. This is what we do. When you're number's called, you've got to be ready regardless of the circumstances."

UP NEXT

Warriors: Golden State travels to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the third game of a five-game trip.

Jazz: Utah hosts a Sacramento Kings team on Saturday that has lost eight of 12 on the road.

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled center Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Thursday.                             

During his most recent assignment, which began Nov. 30, Jones averaged 2.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 19.3 minutes over three games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

The Vanderbilt product, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2016 NBA Draft, grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds in 17 minutes on Dec. 3 at Maine.

The 7’0”, 245-pound center has appeared in five games (two starts) with Santa Cruz this season, holding averages of 2.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 19.0 minutes.

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