Lacob, Warriors front office at critical juncture

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Lacob, Warriors front office at critical juncture

Warriors owner Joe Lacob and his front office findthemselves at an important juncture early in their tenure.The have the ability to spend money in free agency and alsopossess some pieces that make them a viable trade partner for other NBA teams.Only, now, theyve lost out on their No. 1 free agent target, Tyson Chandler,and they have no hope of landing Chris Paul.And free agency hasnt even begun yet. Doesnt start tillFriday.
RELATED: Chandler likely out for W's, leaning toward NY

Lacob has talked for a year-and-a-half about boldness andrisk-taking, and theres now a tangible clamor from the fan base that itstime. And yet, now might be the best time to take a breath, re-assess andgather. At this point, you could make a case its the Warriors best course ofaction.If Lacobs goal is for the Warriors to improve enough thisyear to leapfrog four teams and get into the postseason, the best way toaccomplish that might simply be by adding a couple of role players to thecore.Thats not going to be as sexy as if the Warriors had signedChandler (heading to New York) or finagled a way to get Paul (traded to L.A.Lakers). But in the long run it might be the most effective way towardeventually being successful.Dont use the amnesty provision, dont overspend for a freeagent and dont make a trade to decimate your core. Allow new coach MarkJackson to coach the team for this abbreviated season and then better see whatyou have.Thats not the worst strategy in the world. After all, thereare worse things you could do. Remember Corey Maggette?The Warriors signed Maggette to a 50-million contract inthe wake of Baron Davis spurning them for the Clippers. That was back in 2008,and the Warriors spent the next couple of years trying to get Maggette offtheir books.The point is there are mistakes to be made right now andyou want to be sure not to make them.The nice position the Warriors are in is theyre still in agood spot with the cap and have a variety of different avenues they could theoreticallygo in. They could still get way under the cap, although there doesnt seem tobe a reason to now. Or they could get just get under in the amount they need totake a crack at a contributor or two.Maybe its signing Kwame Brown to split the center dutieswith Andris Biedrins. Perhaps you take a run at Milwaukees Luc Richard Mbah aMoute, every bit the defender Chandler is only not at the center position. Mbaha Moute is a restricted free agent, but the Bucks are reportedly adding MikeDunleavy and the Bucks arent exactly big spenders.Maybe you consider bringing Jason Richardson back givesyou some size in the backcourt, a steady veteran leader and more toughness andcompetitiveness overall.Are any of those three difference-makers? Of course not. Andif you acquire a player or two like that there will certainly be someeye-rolling around the Bay Are. But so what?Sure beats the alternative giving big-time money tosomeone whos not a big-time player.

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

OAKLAND -- One day after every member of the Warriors participated in a full scrimmage, the official health updates were released.

Veteran forward Matt Barnes, out since April 8, is listed as probable for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals that begin Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out since sustaining a finger/hand injury in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland on April 16, is listed as questionable -- but with an asterisk.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Livingston said after a light workout Saturday.

Livingston informed NBCSportsBayArea.com earlier this week that he would have been available, hypothetically, if the Warriors were facing a Game 7.

As for Kevin Durant, who missed five weeks with a knee injury before returning April 8, only to sustain a calf strain in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, he’s fully available.