Which free agents will Warriors pursue?

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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.

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

The Warriors are NBA Finals bound for the third straight year.

Following their Game 4 victory over the Spurs on Monday night, Pau Gasol opened up about the Western Conference champions.

“They’re in a groove,” Gasol told Courtney Cronin of the Bay Area News Group. “They know what it takes to win and obviously they’ve been champions, they’ve established records that have never been set before and they’re on a path to get another championship.

"In all my years in the league, they’re playing at the highest level right now.”

Gasol entered the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft.

He won championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

The Warriors are the first team in NBA history to enter the Finals with a record of 12-0.

Their average margin of victory in the playoffs is 16.3 points.

Agony still present, Kerr uncertain if he can coach Warriors in NBA Finals

Agony still present, Kerr uncertain if he can coach Warriors in NBA Finals

SAN ANTONIO -- Those following the Warriors and their effort to rage through the playoffs should put away those thoughts and hopes that Steve Kerr will return to full-time coaching later this week or sometime before the NBA Finals.

Forget about it, unless you know something he doesn’t.

And if you do, he wants to hear what you have to say.

Don’t get it wrong: Kerr wants to coach, would love to coach. That’s why, even as he feels like hell, he’s hanging around the team like a languid groupie. He wants to be with the Warriors in the heat of battle because they’re his team, within the culture he instilled, and he would like nothing more to get another chance to win The Finals.

But because the procedure he underwent more than two weeks ago at Duke Spine Center did not deliver the relief he’d hoped for, Kerr knows he’s not up to the task and, therefore, continues to operate as sort of a associate head coach to acting head coach Mike Brown.

“Mike is doing great,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com late Monday night, after the Warriors clinched a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals with a 129-115 Game 4 win over the Spurs. “He’s such a wonderful human being. He’s so unselfish and team-oriented. I’m proud of him and the job he’s doing, along with the rest of the staff. I wish I could be out there with them. And maybe I will. I don’t know. We’ll see.

“He’s a great partner. And we’re in this together, obviously, but he’s got to make decisions with the staff without me. He’s done a great job of navigating the games. We’re undefeated, so he’s doing something right.”

Kerr can only help from the perimeter. The demands of the job require the coach be able to function at near-peak levels, particularly before and during a game, and he simply can’t. He knows there will be times, all too often, when the discomfort becomes unbearable to such a degree he hardly can think straight.

The agony is visible. The players see it. The staff sees it. Brown sees it, feels it and hears it. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is one of Kerr’s best friends -- as well as a good friend of Brown -- was able to see it during the Western Conference Finals.

“I've spoken with Steve and Mike; we're friends,” Popovich said two hours before Game 4. “We've known each other a long time. But as far as Steve's concerned, it's just a crap situation.

“You know, he's done a phenomenal job. And when you're going through that pain every day and that frustration of not being able to do what you want to do, it's hard to enjoy it at the fullest level. So I feel badly for him all the time but hopeful that stuff will get figured out.”

Nobody wants that more than Kerr, who has tried nearly everything any respectable specialist has recommended. So far, there has been no miracle.

So Kerr forges ahead, getting his Warriors fix by being around the group. By meeting with coaches and players. By meeting with general manager Bob Myers. Kerr was with the Warriors throughout their stay in San Antonio. He was at practices and shootarounds, sometimes on the floor and sometimes sitting in the stands observing from afar.

“I need to be around the guys,” he said. “I don’t want to miss this. Just being in the locker room, being able to talk to the guys means a lot to me. I’m thrilled for them. It’s fun to see how happy they are with three straight trips to The Finals. It’s pretty incredible.”

Kerr has been with the team for at least a few hours every day since May 10, less than a week after his procedure at Duke.

Kerr’s presence has been invaluable, both physically and psychologically, according to staff and players.

“Coach just empowers everybody,” Kevin Durant said. “His message is still the same. Even when he wasn't there in the Utah series, you could still feel his presence. That's what great leaders do.”

Participation, making himself feel useful, is one form of therapy that gives Kerr a semi-satisfying break from the misery.

“He watches film, and he watches the game,” Brown said. “So he gives his perspective from where he is. He gives insight on what we should be doing going forward, what he felt we could have done better, what we did that was good. So he just gives his input, mainly. He addresses the team every once in a while. He doesn't always do that, but he'll address the team from time to time.”

There was some belief that Kerr could return to full-time coaching within a week or so after the procedure, for which he declined to provide details. Warriors CEO Joe Lacob expressed hope Kerr might return “sooner rather than later.” Had it been as successful as Kerr and the doctors hoped, he would have.

That was May 5. Kerr announced he was stepping aside on April 23. As of Wednesday, he was been on leave for a full month.

Asked if he plans to travel during the NBA Finals, Kerr said he hopes so: “It’s like a month away,” he said, exaggerating the nine-day layoff.

He’d rather say with certainty that, yes, he will be accompanying the team because, after all, he’s the head coach.

And he will say that, the moment his body tells him it’s OK to do so.