NBA mailbag: What are options with Brandon Rush?

July 27, 2012, 6:01 pm
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Mailtime What happens if Brandon Rush doesnt receive anoffer sheet from another team? Are the Warriors still able to sign him? Eli,Santa Rosa, Calif.Steinmetz: Yes, the Warriors can still sign him.In fact, the Warriors can sign Rush at any time right now, on their own,without needing another team to be involved.What the Warriors are waiting for, of course, is for anotherteam to sign Rush to an offer sheet so that they can determine whether to matchit or not. But the Warriors also have made it clear that theyre likely tomatch any offer sheet he signs.
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So, in essence, the Warriors have dissuaded teams from goingafter Rush. For example, why would a team try to sign Rush to a contract itknows the Warriors will match? This is not an uncommon strategy for teams withrestricted free agents.So, three things can happen. First, he could get an offer.If that happens, the Warriors will decide whether or not to match. Second, Rushdoesnt get an offer but he and the Warriors agree to a contractextension.Or, three, Rush can pass on signing a long-term deal withthe Warriors and instead play for the qualifying offer which would be oneyear, 4.3 million and become an unrestricted free agent next season.Over under on Warriors wins 41? Peter,Texas.Steinmetz: At this point, Id have to say under.While I think the Warriors will be better than last year, I think its a longway toward .500. Can it be done? Yes, it can be done. But at this point itseems as if a lot has to go right for that to happen.The Warriors are going to need Andrew Bogut and StephenCurry to be healthy, and theyre going to need Klay Thompson to take the nextstep, which means he becomes a bona-fide starter who is consistent.The Warriors also need Harrison Barnes to have a very nicerookie year. The other thing is this I just think the Warriors arent deepenough on their front line. If David Lee or Bogut gets into foul trouble, whois the first big player off the bench at this point?Well, its Jeremy Tyler or Festus Ezeli or Draymond Green.Thats a problem, far as Im concerned.Theres no doubt the Warriors are still trying to sign afree-agent big man, whether its Kenyon Martin or Carl Landry or even SheldenWilliams. If and when they can acquire one of those players, it might be timefor a little bit of a win-total revision. But right now, I see 41 wins as a tadon the high side for the Warriors.How does the Kent Bazemore signing impact futureroster moves? Chris, Bay Area.Steinmetz: At this point, that is unknown. First of all, Bazemorescontract is not guaranteed so the bottom line is that what the Warriors havedone with him so far is simply ensure that hell be at camp.Still no guarantees he makes the team, although itspossible he becomes a player such as Chris Wright, whom the team kept aroundfor all of last year to get a real good look at.Bazemore is a small forward so in theory he would beprotection against the possibility of losing Brandon Rush. But I dont thinkthe Warriors are thinking that far ahead right now.I think the Warriors have every intention of re-signingRush. Bazemore is just a player they want to get more of a look at to see howgood he is defensively and whether or not he could step into some minutes atbackup two and three.The Warriors like Bazemore, no doubt. But were still a waysaway from him becoming an integral part of the team.

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