Stephen Jackson is a beast

He has some bad habits (bad shots, driving into traffic), but after one game, it’s clear to see he is superior athletically and has much more potential to be dominant consistently than Mike Dunleavy.
He took over with his defense early on. How often have you seen that from any of the guys who were traded to Indiana.
I know it’s his first game. I know there are some bad ones to come. But you can already see what he can bring. The question isn’t can he do it, but will he consistently.
Remember, anything you get from Jackson is a bonus. The primary aspects of the deal were the $30-plus million in cap relief and Harrington. If Jackson can be close to what he was Saturday on a regular basis, that’s icing on the cake.


Pistons Offering Mohammed

The Warriors have at least talked with Detroit about a trade involving Pistons center Nazr Mohammed. It’s just talks at this point, as Chris Mullin is always willing to listen. But based on what I’m hearing, I wouldn’t expect it to happen.
The Pistons want perimeter help. They especially want a back-up point guard. According to a source, they have tried to lure Monta Ellis, Mickael Pietrus, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Matt Barnes away from the Warriors. But it’s unlikely, at least not until the trade deadline, for a few reasons.
First off, Mullin wants to look at his new team for a while first. He wants to see what they chemistry is like, how the new guys produce, how the incumbents respond. Then he’ll decide if he’s willing to part with anybody.
Secondly, Mohammed’s contract might be just too big. He signed a five-year, $30 million deal with Detroit this summer. He has four years, $25 million remaining after this season. The Warriors just cut a chunk of salary cap space for the future. I doubt they’d want to give it back right away for Mohammed.
Thirdly, the Warriors have Foyle making good money on the bench. The Warriors would be better served using him as Biedrins’ back-up. They don’t need too many big men anyway. They’re going small, remember.
I don’t think Mohammed is worth giving up one of the perimeter players anyway. At best, he’s a rebounder and a defender who maybe gets a few touches a game. Remember, he rode the bench in San Antonio during the playoffs because Gregg Popovich didn’t think he could match-up with the tempo of the Kings and Mavericks. I trust Pop. Mohammed probably wouldn’t fit the Warriors style no more than Foyle.
Fortunately, they’re just talks anyway.


Ten Reasons

I’ve had time to think about it, sit back and reflect. The more I think about it and analyze it, the more I am convinced this was a great trade for the Warriors — even with the inclusion of Ike Diogu, who I admittedly was enamored with. But, there are some who think the Pacers got the better end of the deal. I simply can’t understand that thinking. Even worse, some fans and experts think the Warriors didn’t get anything out of this deal. Unbelievable. Nonetheless, here are Ten Reasons this was a great trade for the Warriors.

10.No More Skinny Headbands – Can you imagine Stephen Jackson, or Sarunas Jasikevicius, sportin’ the soccer scrunchie?

9. No More Missed Layups – Perhaps the worst parts of Dunleavy and Murphy’s game was their inability to finish. The two combined to miss more layups, wasted more three-point play opportunities, than the CBA should allow. The Warriors added two guys who know how to finish. I can’t wait!

8. Free Throws – There’s no question who will be shooting the technicals. Sarunas shoots 92.2 percent. Jackson shoots 82.2 percent.

7. Games Missed – Jackson hasn’t missed more than two games in a season because of injury in the last five seasons. Save for last season in Atlanta, when he missed 16 games, Harrington has been consistently healthy the last five years. Can’t say the same for Murphy and Diogu.

6. Better Flexibility – The Warriors exchanged Dunleavy and Murphy’s contracts for more moveable contracts, which will help come the Feb. 22 trade deadline. Dunleavy’s base year status wasn’t that bad (the Warriors could only take a salary back of up to $4.5 million for Dunleavy, which was feasible), but it the remaining $37.5 million over four years was a load. Murphy’s deal was long and hefty. Jackson, if he can keep his act together and ball for the next month, has a much easier contract to move (three years, $21M after this year). As is Harrington, who signed a four-year $35 million deal this summer and has a player option for the fourth year. Sarunas has one year left for $4 million with a player option and Josh Powell is an expiring contract. Now, the only lengthy, costly contracts the Warriors have are Richardson’s (which is movable because of his production) and Foyle’s.

5. Back-Up Point Guard – Sarunas is tough, can penetrate, and is a good shooter. He’s won before, he’s been a star. He has enough experience that Nellie should be comfortable resting Baron.

4. Competition is Good – How motivated do you think Pietrus is, now that the Warriors brought someone in who plays his position? What about Richardson, who has been pushed further into the back of the people’s mind? And Barnes, who seems to thrive as an underdog and has to fight to keep his spot in the rotation? Nothing like new talent to keep everyone on their toes.

3. Change is Good – The Warriors were going nowhere fast. There’s nothing like a trade to inject some life into a dying season. It happened two years ago when the Warriors traded for Baron. Only this time, they have a chance to make it count.

2. Better Fastbreak – With two supreme athletes, the Warriors transition game just stepped up a notch. Imagine Baron leading a break with Pietrus on one side, Stephen Jackson on the other. Imagine a two-on-one with Ellis and Harrington. Now imagine Keith McLeod leading a break with Dunleavy on one side and Murphy on the other.

1. Cap relief – That’s over $30 million they have freed up and can use to sign Andris and Monta, and/or go after a star.


Another Good Note About Trade

Notice Harrington and Sarunas’ 3-point field goal percentage. Harrington is at 45.8 percent and Sarunas is at 37 percent. Especially in Sarunas, the Warriors have two reliable, proven shooters. It’s going to be refreshing to see players hit open outside shots with some kind of regularity.


Deal Saves Warriors A Lot of Money

The best part about the deal is how much cap space the Warriors freed up. First off, both Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson only have three years left after this season. Dunleavy and Murphy have four. So right there, the Warriors just shaved off about $22.5 million off the cap for the 2010-2011.
But even over the next three years, the Warriors will save money. Dunleavy and Murphy were scheduled to make a combined $57.38 million over the next three seasons. Harrington and Jackson will make $49.1 million. That’s a savings of $8.28 million! Add the 22.5 millionm and you’re at $30.78 million.
McLeod and Powell are both expiring contracts, so they cancel each other out as far as the future is concerned. So, assuming both team options on Diogu would have been picked up, the Warriors would have paid him $5.2 million over the next two seasons (after this season). Instead, they have Sarunas, who will get $4 million next season. There’s another $1.2 million saved, pushing the total to $32 million.
But check this out. Sarunas has a player option for next year. Say he decides he doesn’t want to play for the Warriors next season an opt out (remember, there was talk of him going back to Lithuania earlier this season), that’s $4 million the Warriors would save, which would push the total to $36 million.
Check this out: Harrington has a player option for 2008-09. If he decides to opt out, and take a big pay day with someone else, the Warriors will have saved another $10 million. All total, the Warriors could have shaved $46 million. When you consider the salary-cap move the Warriors made this summer by giving up Derek Fisher, which saved the Warriors $19.7 million, and you’d have to conclude Mullin is doing a good job correcting his past signing mistakes.

Perhaps most important, though, is the salary cap help this deal provides. While the salaries for this season the teams swapped are fairly close (the Warriors shipped out about $19.2 million and took in about $18.5 million), the Warriors freed up significant future space.
Dunleavy was in the first year of a five-year, $45 million deal that was going to pay him some $37.5 million over the next four seasons. Murphy has about $42 million coming to him over the next four years. McLeod will be a free agent at the end of this season. There’s a team option on Diogu’s contract each of the next two years, which if picked up will pay him $5.2 million.
Harrington – who signed a four-year, $35-million deal with the Hawks as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Pacers – will get a bit over $27 million the next three years. Jackson is due just over $21 million over the next three years. Jasikevicius has one year left for $4 million and Powell will be a free agent.
That’s about $31 million the Warriors have freed up, $32 million if you assume Diogu’s options will be picked up.


What Was Indiana Thinking?

I get it. They were tired of Stephen Jackson’s act and wanted to get rid of them.
I understand Troy Murphy fits better into their system and can stretch the floor for Jermaine O’Neal.
And maybe they really think highly of Ike Diogu.
But I don’t see why they would make this trade. I don’t think what they get is enough to justify signing off. They are taking on bigger, longer contracts. They are getting shortchanged in the talent department. While Murphy may be good in their system, they have gotten worse in the chemistry department. They now have 58 forwards (no way Dunleavy starts over Granger, right?). They took a team that had mediocre offense and solid defensive and added players who are streaky offensively and poor defensively.
I think Murph will be good for them. I do. That style fits his game better. But do they really feel as if he and Dunleavy are better fits than Harrington and Jackson?