Waiting could serve Warriors well in free agency


Waiting could serve Warriors well in free agency

While many NBA teamshave been busily trying to reach agreements with free agents, the Warriors havebeen quiet. Actually, some might suggest theyve been more than quiet. Somemight suggest dormant.Outside of missingout on Brandon Roy, it doesnt seem like the Warriors have been in onmuch.But its not thetime to panic.First of all, theWarriors were never going to be a player for the big names. They just donthave that much money to spend somewhere in the 3 to 4 million range,according to GM Bob Myers.But theres anotherreason Warriors fans shouldnt fret about their teams inactivity. Because nowis when the big mistakes are made.In other words, ifyoure not in the game at this point, you cant make the kind of monstermistake that can set your franchise back. On one level, it makes perfect sensefor the Warriors to hold tight right now, and wait for the going rates ofplayers to come down a little bit.Thats what usuallyhappens as free agency continues and more and more money dries up.Here are some dealsthat down the line may prove to be costly blunders:Omer Asik,three-year offer sheet with Houston worth 25 million: Look, Asik isintriguing, no doubt. But he played 14 minutes a game last year, averaging 3.1points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He hasnt proven hes an NBA starter yet, forcrying out loud.JamalCrawford, four-year deal with L.A. Clippers worth 25 million: Thelast two years of this deal dont appear to be guaranteed, but still. Thats alot of money for Crawford, who has become mostly a sparkplug off thebench.GeraldWallace, four-year deal with Brooklyn worth 40 million: Wow. Hey,Wallace plays hard, and hes a nice piece. But 10 million per season isridiculous for him. Then again, money is no object in Brooklyn so whats it toyou?Jeremy Lin,four-year offer sheet with Houston worth 29 million: Few NBA playershave burst onto the scene out of nowhere like Lin did last year. Still, whenyou strip away all the hype and all the buzz, is Lin capable of being astarting point guard on a very good team? We dont know the answer to that. Butif he cant be, then youre spending an average of more than 7 million per seasonon a backup. Risky.MichaelBeasley, three-year deal with Phoenix for 18 million: Youve got tobe kidding me.GoranDragic, four-year offer sheet with Phoenix for 34 million: Didntthe Suns just trade Dragic for Aaron Brooks a little over a year ago? And nowthey want him back at more than 8 million per year. Yikes!EricGordon, four-year offer sheet with Phoenix worth 58 million: Hey,Gordon is a pretty good player, but is he a 15 million per year player? Thatseems awfully high for an undersized two guard who is coming off injury and whohas never been much of a defender.But the bigger pointis this: If Phoenix executes its plan, it will have spent 110 million onGordon, Dragic and Beasley. As Ernest Hemingway would say: Somecore.NicolasBatum, four-year offer sheet with Minnesota worth approximately 45 to 50million: Batum is a heck of a defensive player, but his offense needswork. Hes an improving player, no doubt. But were talking about a contracthere worth between 11 million and 13 million a year. Be glad your teamdoesnt want to pony up that kind of money for that kind of player.LandryFields, three-year offer sheet with Toronto worth 19 million: Landryis a role player, a glue guy, if you will. Lots of teams would love to have him but not at 6-plus million per season.

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.