Can Warriors replace Rush? Should they?

672818.jpg

Can Warriors replace Rush? Should they?

It stinks what happened to Brandon Rush. He tore the ACL inhis left knee in Fridays game against the Memphis Grizzlies and will miss theremainder of the season.Rush, who averaged 9.8 points per game and shot 45 percentfrom 3-point range last year, was the teams best wing defender and an integralpart of the improved Warriors bench.Hes tough to replace. But the question is this: Can theWarriors try to replace him?The answer is yes, but there are challenges the Warriorswould face in terms of replacing Rush on the roster with another player. Itsdoable, but is it worth it?The first thing the Warriors would have to do is apply tothe league for a disabled player exception. That exception would likely begranted, which would mean the Warriors could use 50 percent of Rushs salary toacquire a player either by way of a free agent signing or a trade.Rush is earning 4 million in 2012-13, so the Warriors wouldhave 2 million to use.Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Sunday the teamis looking at its options.But heres where it gets a little tricky. The money you useto sign a player or trade for a player counts toward your payroll. In theWarriors case, their payroll is slightly more than 70.3 million, which is theluxury tax threshold.At this point, the Warriors are considered a tax-payingteam, but they have several ways to get back under the tax by the end of theseason when the tax is actually computed.If you are a tax-paying team, you must pay one dollar forevery dollar over. In addition, the Warriors would be ineligible to receive anymoney generated from the penalty money that is redistributed to non-tax-paying teamsby the leagueIf the Warriors were to use 2 million to sign or trade fora player or a portion of that it would make it that much more difficult toget back under the luxury tax by the end of the season.Also important is that if the Warriors were to acquire aplayer with the exception, they would have to waive a player. Right now theWarriors roster is at the league-maximum 15 players.They have 14 guaranteed contracts. Kent Bazemore is on apartial guarantee.Going out and getting someone to replace Rush let alonesomeone you want to contribute comes at a price. The free agent names arisingare Mickael Pietrus, Maurice Evans, Josh Howard and Kenyon Martin.Also to consider is the Warriors have Richard Jefferson, an11-year veteran who has more playoff experience than anyone on the roster. Hecould fill in. Or perhaps there might be times when you could squeeze DraymondGreen into the small forward spot for Rush.Heck, what's the problem with giving rookie starter Harrison Barnes a little more wiggle room?You can certainly expect coach Mark Jackson to use more of alineup that includes Jarrett Jack at point guard, Stephen Curry at shootingguard and Klay Thompson at small forward.The Warriors certainly have enough bodies to cover for theabsence of Rush. Could they try to acquire a player? Yes, they could. But atthis point, theyre doesnt seem to be a great need to.

Instant Replay: Warriors' offense hits on all cylinders in win over Suns

Instant Replay: Warriors' offense hits on all cylinders in win over Suns

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – Scorching the nets with a season-best 62.8-percent shooting, the Warriors rolled to a 138-109 rout of the Phoenix Suns before a sellout crowd Saturday night at Oracle Arena.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry with 31 points. Klay Thompson poured in 26 points, Kevin Durant had 20, while David West and JaVale McGee came off the bench for 11 each, season highs for both.

Forwards Draymond Green and Durant had quietly monstrous games. Green put up nine points, a game-high 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals. In addition to his scoring, Durant also submitted eight assists, four rebounds and three blocks.

The Warriors (17-3) recorded 37 assists, the 14th time they have reached at least 30. No other team has done it more than four times.

Guards Eric Bledsoe (27 points) and Devin Booker (21) combined for 48 points to lead Phoenix (6-14) scorers.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS

This night belonged to many Warriors, but mostly to Curry and Thompson.

Curry’s line: 31 points (10-of-15 from the field, including 5-of-7 from deep, 6-of-6 from the line), two rebounds, two assists and a steal. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-15.

Thompson’s line: 26 points (10-of-17, 6-of-7), five rebounds, three assists and two steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-24.

TURNING POINT

When the Suns took a 26-25 lead on an Alex Len dunk with 2:57 left in the first quarter, the Warriors responded with a 25-4 run that yielded a 48-30 lead with 9:25 remaining the second quarter.

When Phoenix battled back, getting as close as eight (68-60) early in the second half, the Warriors recovered with a 15-4 run to go up 19 (83-64) with 7:07 left in the third quarter.

The Suns drew no closer than 20 in the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Anderson Varejao was a healthy inactive. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the D-League.

Suns: F T.J. Warren (head injury) was listed as out. F Derrick Jones Jr. is on assignment with Northern Arizona of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Monday night, when they face the Indiana Pacers at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:40.

Warriors pledge $50,000 for Oakland fire victims: 'We're all devastated'

Warriors pledge $50,000 for Oakland fire victims: 'We're all devastated'

OAKLAND – Warriors coach Steve Kerr walked into his pregame news conference Saturday afternoon, and before a question could be asked, reached out to the victims and families affected by the deadly Oakland fire.

“I want to start out today and offer our condolences to the victims of the Oakland fire,” Kerr said. “It’s just a devastating tragedy right here in the East Bay. It’s hard to comprehend. As an organization, we want to send our thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families, their friends and people who were injured.

“I don’t know if it means a whole lot – I should say I know it can’t cure the pain – but we’re thinking of you and the whole organization, the team and everybody here at Oracle tonight, when we have a moment of silence. We’re all with you out there, and we’re all devastated today.”

The fire occurred in a warehouse in the Fruitvale district, a couple miles from Oracle Arena. Early reports indicated at least nine fatalities, with as many as several dozen more still possible.

The Warriors not only had a moment of silence before the game against the Phoenix Suns, but also pledged a donation of $50,000 to support those affected by the fire.

“When a tragedy of this magnitude hits this close to home, we feel it’s imperative to do our small part to help our community and those impacted,” said team president and COO Rick Welts. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”