NBA mailbag: Amnesty of Charlie Bell still hurts

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NBA mailbag: Amnesty of Charlie Bell still hurts

Mailtime Does theCharlie Bell amnesty hurt the chances of Brandon Roy coming to Golden State?Chris, Parts Unknown.Steinmetz:There is little debate that using the amnesty provision on CharlieBell last year was a strategic mistake for the Warriors. It was short-sightedin that it didnt do the Warriors any good last season in terms of anacquisition and it didnt do them any good in terms of long-term flexibility. Bellscontract was set to expire at the end of the 2011-12 season, so by waiving him beforelast season began, the Warriors got rid of an expiring contract, which couldhave been used to their advantage at last seasons trading deadline.REWIND: Warriors amnesty Charlie Bell
Instead, theWarriors waived Bell and cleared out more than 10 million in cap space tomake a run at DeAndre Jordan. But Jordan wound up returning to theClippers.Now, depending onyour perspective that could be a good thing. In fact, you could make a casethat had the Warriors chosen to amnesty Andris Biedrins instead of Bell, thatthe Warriors could have then made a bigger offer for Jordan one the Clipperswould not have matched on.But under thatscenario, the Warriors would have Jordan under contract at more than 10-12million a season and probably wouldnt have Andrew Bogut. Jordan had a verydisappointing season for the Clippers in 2011-12.The reality is theWarriors should have abstained from using the amnesty clause lastyear.Had they not used ita season ago, they would have still have the ability to use it one time thisyear or beyond and Biedrins would have been a legitimate amnesty possibilitythis season.Being able toamnesty Biedrins this summer would have and could have dramaticallyaffected the Warriors approach in free agency.The freeagents on your list dont seem impactful. A trade might be the only way. IfDallas was looking at Hasheem Thabeet before Oklahoma city signed him, wouldthey consider making a move for Biedrins. Scott, Modesto.Steinmetz:If weve learned anything over the years its that no contract isuntradeable. Corey Maggette, said to have one of the NBAs worst contracts, hasbeen moved a couple of times since he signed a 50-plus million deal yearsago.Biedrins wont beeasy to trade, but its not outside the realm of possibility. First off, if theWarriors move Biedrins dont expect them to get much, if anything, inreturn.What team out therewould acquire Biedrins, who has been ineffectual for the past three years, andgive up something worthwhile? It seems like a longshot. Now, there could beseveral contending teams that would want Biedrins as insurance maybe in athird-center-off-the-bench role.Miami is always inneed of size, and they would seem to be a possibility. I could also see theDenver Nuggets being interested.But even if theWarriors make a deal for Biedrins, and its hard to envision at this point,its unlikely they will get much tangible from such a deal. Best they could dowould likely be trading Biedrins for a player or players whose contracts expireat the end of this season getting the Warriors out from under that deal ayear early.Do youthink Brandon Roy and the Warriors are a good fit? Scott, Fremont,Calif.Steinmetz:That all depends on Roys health. If hes the player he was two orthree years ago or a semblance of the player he was two or three years ago then hes a perfect fit: Someone with size who can play both guardpositions.The real question iswhether Roy is a fit with where hes at at his career. Roy, 27, may not havemany years left considering hes already retired because of chronic kneepain.So, will he reallycome to the Warriors who dont have a boatload of cash to offer? On thesurface, it would seem like Roy would be more interested in playing for acontending team.But if the betterteams are leery of Roy, then the door may be open for the Warriors to pluckRoy.Who do youthink will be the starting small forward next season -- Harrison Barnes, DorellWright or Richard Jefferson? Maggie, Davis, Calif.Steinmetz:I would say that Jefferson will start early in the season, but thatBarnes will eventually supplant him. Im taking Dorell Wright out of theequation because I just cant seem him the opening night starter.And I see that fortwo reasons. One, its no secret the Warriors have a glut at small forwardright now. Theyve got Wright, Jefferson, Barnes, Draymond Green and we haventeven got into Brandon Rush, whom the team hopes to re-sign. There are just toomany players for that position.So, I see theWarriors looking to move Wright, who has just one more year remaining on hisdeal. Also, even if Wright doesnt get traded, I dont see himstarting.The reason beingthat coach Mark Jackson is not a big fan of Wright. That became apparent overthe course of the season, with Wright seldom playing when games were on theline.

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.