Warriors' cap situation less than ideal

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Warriors' cap situation less than ideal

There are still details to emerge from the NBAs newcollective bargaining agreement, but the framework of the deal is coming intofocus.And what Warriors fans will see when its all said and doneis something that doesnt look a whole lot different from the old system.With free agency a little more than a week away, it seemsapparent the Warriors wont be big players in the market, unless, that is,owner Joe Lacob and his front office team are prepared to make a bold, riskymove.The bottom line is the Warriors appear to be in aless-than-optimal position not far enough under the salary cap to do majordamage and not over either, preventing them from using the mid-levelexception.The Warriors have committed more than 31 million to DavidLee, Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins for the upcoming season. Theyve gotanother 12.5 million committed to Dorell Wright, Stephen Curry, Lou Amundsonand Ekpe Udoh.Thats approximately 43.5 million with the salary cap being58 million.Theyve also got Charlie Bell on the books for 4.1 million,and throw another 4 million in there for Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler, CharlesJenkins and Jeremy Lin.That puts the Warriors at about 51-plus million or about6-plus million under the cap. If the Warriors use their amnesty clause onBell, they could conceivably get 10 or 11 million under.While that sounds like a nice chunk of change, its stillprobably not enough to get a player such as Nene, considered perhaps the bestfree agent big man available. It is probably enough to get you Clippers centerDeAndre Jordan, but the Warriors would need to think long and hard aboutoffering him a contract in the 7- to 9 million range particularly withBiedrins still earning 9 million per.Even if the Warriors get to 11 million under, best casewould likely be acquiring two role players. Keep in mind, even teams above thecap will have the mid-level exception, worth 5 million in Year 1.Now, the Warriors could become a big player in the free agentmarket with one big-time move using the amnesty clause on David Lee or AndrisBiedrins. Making a move like that would give the Warriors big-time cap roomthis offseason, but would also leave them extremely short-handed in thefrontcourt and they were shorthanded when they were at full strength lastseason.In other words, if you amnesty Lee or Biedrins, you betterbe able to sign a frontcourt player better than the one you get rid of andthere are no assurances of that.It might behoove the Warriors to not use the amnestyprovision this year therefore remaining about 7 million under the cap. Thatwould give them more financial clout than teams with simply the mid-levelexception and they could still be bold next season or the year after andamnesty Lee or Biedrins.The Warriors are by no means in a dire situation when itcomes to the salary cap, their payroll and financial flexibility. But theyrefar from sitting pretty, either.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.