For Warriors, never a better opportunity to overhaul


For Warriors, never a better opportunity to overhaul

With the new collective bargaining agreement and theamnesty clause it includes theres never been a better time to completelyreshape your NBA team. When teams rebuild or overhaul, the process of gettingto ground zero can sometimes take a little time, maybe a year or more.In other words, it takes some time to tear down before youcan start construction. Not anymore. Not with the amnesty clause, which allowsa team to waive a player and have his salary come off their books. The playermust still be paid, but he comes off the cap.If youre a team thats so inclined, using the amnestyclause can jump-start your makeover. Take the Warriors for example. TheWarriors have an opportunity to completely remake their team, right here, rightnow, if they really want to.

If owner Joe Lacob really wanted to emphasize fresh startand follow through on his promise of bold basketball moves, hed use theamnesty clause to get things started.First though, the Warriors basketball team of Lacob, JerryWest, Bob Myers and Larry Riley would have to acknowledge that the MontaEllis-David Lee-Stephen Curry three-man core isnt going to get itdone.Individually, each of those players have legitimatestrengths, but if theyre together and theyre the three best players on yourteam, youre not going to go deep into the playoffs.Not this year, not next year and not the year after. Not tomention, as long as those three guys are on your roster and taking up bigpayroll the prospects of getting a difference-maker are slim.The reality is that the upside for that core is probablymaking the playoffs. So, if thats not good enough for you or Lacob andcompany why not clean house, start from scratch?Or at least start building around Curry, the most logicalplayer to build around?All Lacob would have to do is amnesty Lee, then beginseriously looking for a trading partner for Ellis. Theres no doubt any numberof contending teams would have interest in Ellis, particularly if they couldkeep most of their core intact.Rest assured, the trade for Ellis is not going to look good,with a big-time scorer leaving and a lesser statistical player coming back. Butmaybe the player you get back for Ellis is a piece and when I say piece Imean piece to a really good team, an elite team. Maybe its a role player orrotation player; it wont be a star. So be it.Perhaps that player is instrumental in actually changing theculture to a defensive one. Lets be honest, even if new coach Mark Jacksongets the Warriors to buy in theres only so good they can be defensively witha nucleus of Curry-Ellis-Lee.Anyway, you amnesty Lee and get his 65 million or so offyour cap, and you trade Ellis and his 30-ish million owed. If you want to putthe finishing touches on the demolition, you move Andris Biedrins and his 9million to a contender. Championship-caliber teams can never have enough bigmen.Make no mistake, this year would hurt. The Warriors wouldstruggle. But you could make a case theyd have more upside if they went inthat kind of direction. First of all, the silver lining of a bad season for theWarriors is that they would likely end up with a top-seven pick in the 2012 NBAdraft and therefore get to keep it.Remember, if the Warriors end up with the No. 8 pick orlater, the pick will go to the Utah Jazz, via New Jersey. And the 2012 draftfigures to be very good.The other upshot of starting anew would be that youd send amessage to Curry that hes your guy. Curry has said all the right things aboutbeing with the Warriors long-term, but hes also expressed a pang for playingin front of his hometown fans in Charlotte.Now look, theres a perfectly reasonable approach in whichthe Warriors would use the amnesty clause on Charlie Bell. That could put theWarriors about 10 million under the salary cap, and they could be a player inthe free agent market.Not a big-time player, but a player. But its certainlyconceivable that by waiving Bell the Warriors could find two rotationplayers with that money or perhaps even a starter and a rotation player. The thinking there would be that the Warriors could turnlast seasons 36-46 into a 35-31 this season and squeeze into the eighthand final playoff spot in the Western Conference.It would also mean Lacob would have fulfilled his playoffpromise to season-ticket holders. But where would the Warriors go from there with the same locked-in core and Curry coming up on free agency?Common thinking is that Lacob wont amnesty Lee because Leeis one of Lacobs favorite players. And according to Lacob, he was in on theLee signing despite not officially owning the Warriors at the time. All thatmay be true.But whats also true is Lacob has talked for more than ayear now about being bold. To his credit, hes been bold with his front officemoves. But right here, right now, hes never had a better opportunity to bebold with basketball moves.

Mike Brown responds to Tyronn Lue's opinion: 'It's cute'

Mike Brown responds to Tyronn Lue's opinion: 'It's cute'

Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue made headlines on Wednesday.

"The stuff (the Celtics are) running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing," Lue told reporters.

On Thursday, Warriors interim head coach Mike Brown responded.

"That's his opinion. It's cute," Brown told the media.

If the Cavs beat the Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night, it will be Golden State vs Cleveland in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

More to come...

New Hawks GM Travis Schlenk issues goodbye message to Warriors fans

New Hawks GM Travis Schlenk issues goodbye message to Warriors fans

On Thursday, the Hawks officially hired Travis Schlenk to be their new general manager.

Schlenk, who joined the Warriors prior to the 2004-05 season, delivered a message to Dub Nation on Thursday morning.

"The thing that I'm gonna remember most about my time in Golden State is the fan base," Schlenk declared on 95.7 The Game. "When I first got there in 2004 -- sitting behind the bench and the team was winning 32, 36 games every year -- and you'd look out and there would still be 18,000 people in the stands every game and they were into it.

"We always said, 'Man, if you could get a winner here this place would go crazy.' We got a small taste of that with the 'We Believe' Warriors 10 years ago. And now, to be where we are now, culminating with the championship parade ... people have asked me about that -- that was the most humbling thing I've ever been a part of. To be in that parade -- probably a million people out there cheering and screaming -- and people calling you out by name, and thanking you.

"They're genuine with their happiness ... the loyalness and the support that the people of the Bay Area gives the Warriors -- that's really special and I hope you guys never take that for granted there."

Schlenk is finishing up his fifth season as assistant GM with Golden State.

He revealed that he had to put in his resignation immediately because the NBA does not allow executives to work for two different franchises simultaneously.

Schlenk chose to start his duties with Atlanta immediately because as he put it -- "there's too much work I need to do here ... I gotta be here and get started."