Which free agents will Warriors pursue?


Which free agents will Warriors pursue?

OK, so enough talk of whether to amnesty David Lee or AndrisBiedrins. Probably wont happen so lets not spend another minute on it. Letstalk about a more likely possibility: That the Warriors amnesty Charlie Belland have about 10 million in cash to spend in free agency.Using that scenario, the Warriors plan would be to keeptheir core Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis and David Lee together for a littleand go get a player or two on the free agent market to give them ahand.Which free agents would you shop for if you were theWarriors?Lets take a look at some free agents at each position, and assessa little bit whether the Warriors would have the wherewithal or interest toacquire them.
POINT GUARDS: Delonte West, J.J. Barea, Anthony Carter,Rodney Stuckey, Mario Chalmers, Sebastian Telfair.TAKE: You could certainly make a case the Warriors need acompetent backup point guard. Jeremy Lin is learning but not yet reliable. Itwould be nice to have a legitimate one behind Curry, and then be able to moveCurry to the shooting guard at times.Problem is, if you really want to do that, youll need apoint guard with size and there arent a lot of guys on this list with that.The exception is Stuckey, but Im not sure I see him as a good fit with theWarriors.West wouldnt be a bad option, but he comes with baggage theWarriors likely arent going to want any part of. Telfair is a littleintriguing, but again, not the biggest point guard in the league.SHOOTING GUARDS: Jamal Crawford, Anthony Parker, DeShawnStevenson, Arron Afflalo, Rasual Butler, Marcus Thornton, Jason Richardson,Nick Young, Vince Carter.TAKE: As long as the Warriors have Ellis on their roster, itdoesnt make a lot of sense to go shopping for big-minute shooting guards. Aslong as Ellis is on the team, he will get most of the minutes at that spot, andfor now, rightfully so. Between Dorell Wright and Klay Thompson, both of whomcan play a little two, theres just not a big priority here.Sure, it would be great to get Afflalo but hes going tocost some money (Denver has right to match) and youre acknowledging youregoing to deal Curry or Ellis sooner rather than later. Who would be againstRichardson coming back to give the Warriors backcourt depth? Then again, ifyou do that, the message is clear: Were going for the eighth spot.SMALL FORWARDS: Maurice Evans, Marquis Daniels, CaronButler, Jamario Moon, Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy, GrantHill, Peja Stojakovic, Andrei Kirilenko.TAKE: Wright had a breakout year for the Warriors in2010-11, but he played too many minutes more than 38 per game. If you cut hisminutes down, chances are hed become more efficient and get back to hisdefensive roots. So the idea of adding another small forward has appeal.Question is, how much do you want to spend there and howmuch is the player realistically going to play? Could you get Battier or Princewith some of that 10 million? Maybe.But how much does that really help? If you bring Battier orPrince in here at 6 million or so per year, does that push you into playoffterritory? Not sure.POWER FORWARDS: Glen Davis, Leon Powe, Jonas Jerebko,Chucky Hayes, Josh McRoberts, Kris Humphries, Carl Landry, Thaddeus Young, LucRichard Mbah a Moute.
TAKE: Despite the Warriors acquiring Lee last offseason,there are still some clamoring for a bona-fide, traditional power forward. Youknow a back-to-the-basket player who gets double-teamed.While nobody is disagreeing the Warriors could use someonelike that, the reality is they cant get a guy like that with Lee on theroster.One guy who could be desirable is Mbah a Moute, adefensive-minded player, first and foremost.CENTERS: Jason Collins, Nazr Mohammed, Kwame Brown, KurtThomas, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler, Jeff Foster, Jarron Collins, DeAndreJordan, Spencer Hawes, Greg Oden, Samuel Dalembert, Nene, Joel Przyzbilla.TAKE: Yes, the Warriors need a frontcourt player. But theissue with this list of centers is that the high-end ones are probably going tobe out of the Warriors range: Gasol, Chandler and Nene.Thats OK, because theres a good chance each of those guyscould end up getting significantly overpaid. Jordan, of course, is anotherintriguing name, and a player who used to be a client of Bob Myers, now in theWarriors front office.Jordan is an athletic shot-blocker who is improving.However, he isnt there yet as a player and there are no guarantees he willever get there. You could probably get Jordan for 6 or 7 million per, butthen youve got 15 or 16 million tied up in your centers (Biedrins makes 9million) and no assurance that the position is fully stabilized.It might be more advantageous to try to sign someone likeBrown, whom you might be able to acquire for a few million a year. In otherwords, you might get more value for Brown at 9 million over three years thanJordan at 28 million over four.

Whether Brown or Kerr coach, Warriors sticking to same blueprint

Whether Brown or Kerr coach, Warriors sticking to same blueprint

OAKLAND -- For the first time since he joined the coaching staff last summer, Mike Brown on Wednesday morning arrived at the Warriors facility a man in charge.

As acting head coach, he would decide when practice started and when it ended, and conduct proceedings in between.

The general activity was not much different for anyone else, though, as it continues to become evident that everything the Warriors do for the foreseeable future will be a Brown-Kerr, or Kerr-Brown, production.

“Steve is going to be a part of this process the whole time,” Brown said after practice. “Almost before I do anything, I’m going to consult with him. The only time I won’t consult with him is probably during a game.”

Since Kerr’s announcement last Sunday that he was taking an indefinite leave to attend to personal health issues, Brown has been wielding the clipboard. He actually coached Game 3 against Portland last Saturday, in Kerr’s absence, before knowing in advance he’d also coach Game 4 Monday night.

Brown is 2-0, with the Game 4 win clinching a Warriors sweep of the Trail Blazers. Yet Brown is quick to remind anyone that he is following the plan laid out by Kerr. The two exchanged texts Tuesday and, according to Brown, “spoke at length” after the game between the Jazz and the Clippers -- one of which will face the Warriors in the next round.

Though the Warriors are operating under a different head coach, all indications are the atmosphere around the team remains stable and relatively unchanged.

“Obviously it’s different personalities, but when you make it about the players, when you make it about winning, all that other stuff really doesn’t matter,” Kevin Durant said. “He coaches us. He coaches the game of basketball and he does it very well. Our whole coaching staff does the same thing.

“When it’s about basketball, it’s not about trying to have authority over us. He’s just coaching us. He’s just coaching us up. He’s just telling us the proper way to do things on the basketball court. It’s pretty simple when you try to do that. Then it’s on us to try to execute.”

Execution has gone well, particularly over the last six quarters of the series against Portland. The Warriors wiped out a 16-point deficit in the second half to win Game 3, and then rolled to a 35-9 start in Game 4 before coasting to the closeout victory.

Brown was on the sideline in Game 4, with Kerr watching the game from the locker room.

It’s fairly apparent, though, that everyone involved feels a heightened sense of accountability and ownership.

“Mike has had a pretty big voice throughout the whole season,” Durant said. “He’s been a head coach before, understands what it takes to be a head coach. And the coaching staff is just so smart, and they empower each other.

“Anybody, if you’re around us on a day-to-day basis, anybody can tell that they work well as a group. Coach Kerr does a great job. He spearheads it all by empowering everybody, from the coaches to the players.”

After sweeping Blazers, Warriors relishing some needed down time

After sweeping Blazers, Warriors relishing some needed down time

OAKLAND -- After arriving in Oakland in the wee hours Tuesday morning, the Warriors took the day off, went through a light practice Wednesday and will take another day off Thursday.

Slackers, eh?

Not really, when the next game is at least four days away.

The semi-lax scheduling isn’t the decision of acting head coach Mike Brown. It’s not even the decision of head coach Steve Kerr, who was not at practice Wednesday and remains out indefinitely. It’s a common sense call that was made between the two men, with players and staffers on board.

“If you can sweep every series,” Kevin Durant said after practice, “then that’ll be perfect.”

This is one of the perks of sweeping a first-round opponent. By eliminating the Trail Blazers in four games and with their next opponent undetermined, the Warriors are able to balance work and rest.

“With this group here,” Brown said, “the continuity that the nucleus has and how intelligent the guys are, with the big-time veterans we’ve brought in, we feel that rest for their bodies and mentally (are) more important than coming in here and having practice on a daily basis.”

They also have a couple guys recovering from injuries. Forward Matt Barnes (right foot/ankle bone bruise) has been out two weeks, and guard Shaun Livingston (right index finger sprain/hand contusion) has missed the past nine days. Both, however, are expected to be available for the next series.

The soonest that would be is Sunday against Utah, which owns a 3-2 series lead over the Clippers and can close it out Friday in Salt Lake City. If the Clippers win and push the series to seven games, the Warriors would then open against the Clippers-Jazz winner on May 2.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have no choice but to prepare for both, with plenty of time to do so.