Warriors: troubling signs in free agency


Warriors: troubling signs in free agency

So much of what goes on in free agency is unknown. Yes, youeventually find out where players are heading and for how much. But you dontalways hear details such as which other teams might have been involved in thepursuit or whether another team offered more money or not.Its often hard to tell when teams emerge in negotiationsand when teams fall out of them. Sometimes, you dont even know if a team wasinterested in a certain player or not.With that, some troubling signs are showing up for the Warriors -- at least as it pertains to free agency 2012.Its not that the Warriors havent signed a big-time freeagent. Nobody expected that given that theyre over the salary cap.
The cause for concern is that players who Golden State likelyhad its eye on -- particularly when it comes to the guard position -- are signing elsewhere. And at salary cap friendly prices.
Andre Miller, Jason Kidd, Kirk Hinrich, Brandon Roy andChauncey Billups all agreed to very sensible contracts in the past week. Or putit this way -- sensible enough contracts that the Warriors could have, or shouldhave, been in the ballgame.Heading into free agency, the Warriors figured to have 5million -- or their full mid-level exception -- to use. Yet just two daysinto free agency, Warriors general manager Bob Myers indicated the team wasunlikely to use all of that amount.The Warriors won't use that money because they are less than 5 millionunder the luxury-tax threshold, and ownership wants no part of the penalty for exceeding it. So, Myers suggested the Warriors didnt quite have 5 million tospend, and that it might be more like 3 or 4 million -- give or take.While that certainly wasnt positive news for fans, itshouldnt have put them on the sidelines, either. But thats where the Warriorshave seemed to be thus far. Here are some of the deals to date:Andre Miller: re-signs with Denver forthree years, 9 million.Jason Kidd: signs with New York for threeyears, 9 million.Kirk Hinrich: signs with Chicago for twoyears, 6 million.Brandon Roy: signs with Minnesota for twoyears, 10.4 million.Chauncey Billups: re-signs with the L.A.Clippers for 4.3 million.Of those five players, the Warriors only seemed to be in therunning for Roy.It seems apparent that the Warriors either didnt make a runat those players or that the offers they made werent competitive. Anotherpossibility is that the Warriors made competitive offers, but players arechoosing to go elsewhere.Regardless of which it is, its not an encouragingsign.There is still time for the Warriors to find a backup guard infree agency. But a lot of good ones already have signed with other teams -- and whatsmost hard for Warriors fans to swallow is just how little theyre signingfor.

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.