We know you are a big BD fan, so I ask you what many people in Warrior Nation are asking: is he worth his $15 million salary for roughly a half of season if you look at his last few years of playing. Or to put it another way, should the Warriors try to trade him for our greatest need, a defensively oriented PF? Maybe it’s not that simple, but if it came to trading BD as all or part of getting what we really need to improve for the future, what is your call? And if your answer is to keep BD, what about J-Rich as trade-bait (in spite of how much we love him and all he brings)?
Make that $15.7 million. Either way, the answer is no. Especially when players like Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups and Gilbert Arenas are making less than he does.
That said, you can’t look at keeping or adding players based on production-per-dollar. If you day, very few would be worth keeping. You have to look at it more from a needs-of-the-team perspective. Once you figure out what kind of team you want to be, the more important question is who provides what the team needs?
One thing is for certain, and Nelson has said this, he needs a good-to-great point guard. In Nellie’s system, the point guard is like the quarterback in a run-and-shoot offense. It’s the one position where you can’t be subpar or the system won’t work. If you trade Baron for a “defensive-oriented PF”, then you will need to find a point guard.
Nellie needs a playmaker who can facilitate, or, at the very least, a facilitator who can make plays. If you can find a better option than Baron for this system, heck yeah you move him. The problem the Warriors face is identifying such a player and being able to acquire him – especially if the PG you identify is cheaper. But how many are out there?
To me, it will be harder to move Baron and find another capable point guard than it will be to put capable talent around Baron. It will be easier to somehow get Baron to play the way you need him to play (the only major adjustment, other than stay healthy, is to take fewer bad shots or not as many shots), than to find another Steve Nash.
So, the more important question is, “Is Baron the best available option at point guard?” If you can find a better fit at point guard, you do it.
As far as my opinion, Monta isn’t that point guard yet, and it is no certainty he will become that point guard. If you can sign-and-trade for free-agent-to-be Chauncey Billups this offseason, I wouldn’t be opposed to that. But unless you land a point guard who can run this show and in the process add another piece you need, I say keep Baron.
As far as J-Rich, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to move J-Rich, especially if you can land a star such as Vince Carter or Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett. I like Jason because he’s good value, but he may not be the kind of player Nellie needs for this system to work because of his ball-handling problems. If you can upgrade at the shooting guard, with Ellis backing up both, that would be a good move. It would have to be a certainty, because you know what Richardson brings.