There are still some things to wrap upfrom the Monta Ellis-Bogut trade and other Warriors related matters headinginto Fridays game against the Milwaukee Bucks.--- There are a lot of people wonderingwhy the Warriors also acquired the retired T.J. Ford in the RichardJefferson-for-Stephen Jackson trade that included a pick.Heres my understanding: the tradewould have worked salary-wise whether Ford was included in the deal or not. TheWarriors took on Fords salary, a little over 1 million, because getting theSpurs pick was worth it from Golden States point of view.As far as the Spurs, they could very well be a luxury tax team and would be penalized a dollar-for-dollar amount at the endof the season. So, by moving Ford to the Warriors, they take more than 1million off their books now, but also will save themselves another million inpenalty money down the road.Moving Ford also gives the Spurs moreroster flexibility in terms of possibly adding a player down theline.As for the Warriors, theyre notexactly on the hook for all of Fords salary anyway. Insurance will take careof most of it.--- Warriors general manager Larry Rileysaid the team, doctors and Stephen Curry are still working on a course ofaction for the rest of the season regarding his injured anklefoot.It is possible and some would sayexpected that the Warriors will soon announce they are shutting Curry downfor the rest of the season. In the short term, Riley said earlier this weekthat Curry would definitely not play in either of this weekends games vs.Milwaukee on Friday and at Utah on Saturday.--- At this point the Warriors will haveat least three picks and possibly four in the upcoming 2012 NBA draft. TheWarriors now own San Antonios conditional first round pick, which would be theNo. 27 overall pick right now.The Warriors also have the New JerseyNets second-round pick, which would be the No. 36 pick overall right now. Andthey also own the worst of Atlantas two second-round picks, which at thispoint would fall between the Nos. 45 and 50 picks.Of course, the most important pick forthe Warriors is their own. If the Warriors wind up with a top-seven pick in thedraft, they will keep the pick. If the Warriors end up with the No. 8 pick orworse, the pick will be conveyed to Utah.
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.
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.