Does Lamar Odom make sense for the Warriors?

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Does Lamar Odom make sense for the Warriors?

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Hey if theres a talented player out there and availablethen the Warriors obviously have interest in that player, right? Well, thatsthe way its gone for a few months now.Whether its been Dwight Howard or Chris Paul or now LamarOdom, it seems apparent the Warriors are more than willing to have their namein on things.Odom is still the property of the Dallas Mavericks, but hewas sent home recently by owner Mark Cuban. Odom never responded in a positiveway to the trade that sent him from the Lakers to the Mavericks, and Cubaneventually had had enough.RELATED: Lamar Odom done in Dallas after exchange with Cuban
Now, the Warriors are said to have Odom on their radar,nevermind the fact that he cant be dealt until after the Mavericks season isover if they move him at all.Lets take a look at some challenges involved in acquiringOdom, and whether or not the Warriors would even want to:Small forward glut: Before the Warriorsmade a run at Odom, theyd have to clear out some personnel to make room forhim. As of right now, the Warriors have Dorell Wright under contract throughnext season and Richard Jefferson under contract through 2013-14. Thats almost14 million committed to that twosome at the small forward position nextseason.The Warriors also have decisions to make on Brandon Rush andDominic McGuire, two players who performed very well for Golden State thisseason. If the Warriors want Odom, theres no way they can have either Rush orMcGuire back.Odom is poised to earn 8.2 million next season, although hecould be bought out by Dallas. In that case, the Warriors would likely have touse their mid-level exception to sign Odom, but there is hardly a guaranteehed come for that.Talent vs. Inconsistency: Odom is moretalented than any small forward the Warriors have on their current roster. Buthes also coming off a terrible season and there are concerns about whetherhell ever return to the player he was.It would be one thing for an elite NBA team to take a chanceon Odom. But it would be far more risky for a team like the Warriors to acquirehim. The last thing the Warriors can afford on their roster is for a well-paidplayer to be unproductive. They already have Andris Biedrins doing that and themore players you have like that, the worse off you are.In short, the Warriors need sure things right now, and thatsnot what Odom is.The trade risk: Theres a big differencein the Warriors inquiring about Odom as a free agent as opposed to the Warriorsinquiring about Odom as a member of the Mavericks.Odom just had a miserable year after he was traded to aplace he didnt want to be. If youre the Warriors, do you really want to giveup assets in a trade and take the chance Odom would be unhappy in GoldenState?Thats what it would take if you traded for him. Now, ifOdom is waived and becomes a free agent, and shows interest in Golden State,well, thats another story.Still, the Warriors would have to offer Odom the fullmid-level exception, and, again, there would be no assurance he wouldcome.Distraction issue: There is little doubtthat the Warriors believe next year is their year. The Warriors front officeand coaching staff thinks that with Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Stephen Currythey can be a playoff team.But for that to happen, they need to have good chemistry andeveryone needs to be on the same page. Can the Warriors afford to have adisengaged Odom on their team? Probably not.For a team like the Warriors, bringing in Odom would be moreof a risk than it would be for a team that is further along in the winningprocess.

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

OAKLAND -- Though Kevin Durant is eager to get back to the court, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his assistants are in preliminary stages of planning his return.

One thing is certain: There will be restriction on the number of minutes Durant is plays in the first few games after he receives medical clearance.

“It’s something we’ll consult the training staff on,” Kerr said Saturday after practice. “I imagine we’ll ease him back by playing him shorter minutes to start, so he can build up his rhythm and his conditioning.”

Durant has been out since Feb. 28, when he sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) and bone bruise to his left knee. After several days of strict immobilization, he has over the past week progressed to the point where he is engaging in vigorous workouts and shooting sessions.

Yet Durant will not be re-evaluated until next Thursday, which means he likely will not be cleared before the week of April 3. Not until then will the coaching staff devise a plan to reintegrate Durant.

“That obviously has a domino effect on the entire rotation,” Kerr said. “When we get to that point, we’ll figure that out. But it’s not something I’m giving a lot of thought to right now because he’s still at least a couple weeks away.”

The Warriors lost five of seven in the immediate aftermath of Durant’s injury but have recovered to win the last six in a row.

 

Feeling more comfortable, West cleaning up Warriors' messes down stretch

Feeling more comfortable, West cleaning up Warriors' messes down stretch

OAKLAND -- David West is as much a cleanup man as he is a basketball player.

The veteran power forward, masquerading as a center for the Warriors, cleans up behind teammates, cleans the clocks of opponents and probably cleans his plate after every meal. And he’d hit fourth in any baseball manager’s batting order.

The Warriors during their renaissance haven’t had such a personality. They’ve been a fun bunch, enjoying life, each other and their pillaging of the NBA.

West, 36, brings a more laconic dynamic, and it’s on full display as the Warriors lean into the final weeks of this regular season. He’s a leader who is producing and, more and more, winning over a fan base that was somewhat skeptical early this season.

“David West has been playing brilliantly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday night, after West came off the bench for a highly efficient 14-minute stint in a 114-100 win over the Kings.

Showcasing sharp passing, splendid shooting, solid rim protection and his usual old-jerky toughness, West totaled 8 points, four assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. The Warriors were plus-8 when he was on the floor.

Such production, it seems, is a bit of a bonus.

“He’s been very good for us as a veteran leader,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been playing well, but just his presence also has meant a lot to this team.

“D-West is just kind of a no-bull---- type of a guy. He doesn’t say much. But when he does, you know it means a lot. And everybody hears him.”

Said West: “It’s just about adjusting and learning personalities. Obviously, this group has been very successful. I just try to add my 2 cents where I feel like it fits. Try not to over-talk people. I speak to guys directly and just make sure that we’re all on the same page.”

West is in his 14th season. Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2003, he also has played for the Pacers and, last season, the Spurs, before joining the Warriors in July.

The question at the time was whether he still had a lot to give. West is a two-time All-Star and one of the most widely respected players in the league. But did he still have the legs to compete at a high level?

The answer is visible, particularly over the past month, since he returned from fractured left thumb on Feb. 23. West is shooting 53.0 percent from the field, he’s rebounding consistently and he has proven to be a spectacularly good passer -- easily one of the best in the league among big men.

Earlier this week, to quell any lingering concerns about how much athleticism he still has, West rose up and dunked over a crowd of three Dallas Mavericks. It was clock-cleaning at its finest.

“I’m just getting more comfortable,” West said, referring to his game and his locker-room influence. “We’ve developed good chemistry, communicating, harping on our defense more than anything else at this moment, because we feel that’s going to give us a chance if shots aren’t falling.”

West is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, $1.55 million. He sacrificed bigger dollars for a chance at his first championship. He’s doing his part. And he neither takes nor leaves any mess.