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Blog Question

“For fervent fans there is a feeling the mighty Nellie and Mully (Mulson) has struck out. The lack of any significant movement is deafening and now we find out that Austin Croshere and Kosta P are signing. That takes us to 14 of the 15 allotted slots with nothing happening so far with MP or Barnes. As the ex-beat writer and current NBA scribe for the CC Times, what do you make of what is and is not going on? Are you as frustrated as the rest of the Warrior Nation or do you think, once again, Mulson has something sneaky up their sleeves?” — Commish

I think they did strike out, but I don’t think it was a bad offseason. I just think the chances of them making that significant move was slim because there weren’t that many options out there. The Warriors need a pretty special type of player. He has to have size but be able to run the floor. He has to be able to rebound, block some shots and defend the post, but he also has to be able to give the Warriors something on offense.
That was their major need going into the offseason, and there aren’t too many players who fit that. KG was perfect, but they didn’t get him. That was probable.
The problem is that while they were trying to get KG, some of the other options signed, such as Darko Milicic. But, you have to wonder if the plan Bs and Cs are the right player, too. Darko fits the athletic and offensively capable part, but he’s not a rebounder or defender. Other than KG, the players out there fall short in some way, shape or form.
There were only a couple players in the draft (Kevin Durant, Al Horford) who could give the Warriors what they need now, but the Warriors couldn’t move up that high. So, in hindsight especially, what chance did the Warriors have of making a significant improvement.
Since the Warriors lost Game 4 at home to the Jazz, I’ve been racking my brain for the addition they could get that would help them get to the West Finals. The list is slim, because of Nellie’s system and the Warriors’ needs. Actually, in the end, I think they ended up doing the next best thing — get more athletic and more efficient on offense. It may not payoff right away, but Belinelli is a serious shooter and Brandan Wright is a special athlete. If both of those guys turn out to be something, the Warriors will be even tougher to defend. If they can’t get stops, their best bet is to be unstoppable. That’s why I was in favor of going to get Ray Allen or Paul Pierce, but those are expensive options. If Belinelli turns into a 20-point scorer, the Warriors made out good. If Wright can get them 15 and 10 eventually, the Warriors turned out great. Plus, you have to remember the salary cap flexibility.
I know it looks bleak based on the expectations. But realistically, it was KG or marginal improvement, if not a step back. I always thought that if the Warriors didn’t get that really good four, they would take a step back because that run last year was magical. That’s not happening twice. But the chances of them getting the player that was going to make them better next year was slim because there aren’t that many — unless they revamp the roster.
I don’t think it was a great offseason (it would have been had they gotten KG). But I don’t think it was a bad one. Realistically, especially from a long-term perspective, they made out all right considering the circumstances.

Marcus Thompson

  • beau

    and, you have to remember, the w’s still have the trade exception, which will be even more valuable come trade deadline time. one could certainly conceive of them staying in the playoff hunt until then, and perhaps being able to fill that need then. with whom, i don’t know. i still think odom is a perfect fit, but don’t think the trade is doable with the lakers.

  • Jim

    Chris Taft looked like a promising player. I wonder how he is doing.

  • drew

    I still cant believe they havent offered Barnes anything? What gives. He is way better the Pietrius.

  • tisdale fan

    I’m really just exhausted from all the could be’s…

    I think they need to save their Richardson trade exemption, foyles expiring contract, their #1 next year and package them all to get up in the draft high enough to get that real difference maker — how many guys might like that might be in next years draft?

  • commish

    Marcus, you say we didn’t have many options, but I am pretty sure we have the bi-annual exception, the TPE, and most of the MLE. What the heck else would we need to have gotten someone of value? And speaking of which, since everyone is asking, what in the world happened with trying to re-sign Barnes? Now that is really strange, don’t you think?

  • Rob

    I really like your take on this off-season, Marcus. While its disappointing that the Dubs couldn’t get kg, they did make improvements by replacing jrich with a quality 2 in Belinelli and a potential stud 4 in Wright. There is little doubt that Belinelli will bring it when the season starts. Maybe not 20 ppg like Jrich, but he’ll contribute. Will Wright be able to provide quality minutes and provide strength inside? If yes, then the W’s will elevate their position dramatically as the team will be more balanced and lethal. The fans will then not bemoan the work of the Mulson this summer.

    Sign Barnes and pick up a decent back-up pg and this should be an improved season.

  • Marcus Thompson

    Commish,

    I don’t mean options as far as wherewithal to get somebody. I mean options as far as players to plug in who could make a difference. Take KG out of the equation. Who else could the Warriors have added, someone reasonably available, that could get them further in the playoffs than last season? Who was that difference maker the Warriors could’ve acquired that was going to turn them from Cinderella to serious contender?

  • commish

    I know it is harder to pull off trades and pick up the pieces you need because everyone is looking for the same things and wanting bargains while giving up very little. But it wasn’t just not landing who we needed, per se, it was not moving Cabbages and POB (forget about mentioning Foyle til next year at least). I would have made a serious run at AK47, presumably a perfect fit for Nellie’s system. I would also have significantly tried to get Posey to play SF and White Chocolate to back up Baron. We are still without a backup point guard. I would have considered Sheed for the toughness we need or baring that at least look at PJ Brown for a one year contract. These are just off the top of my head. And there is still no accounting from you or Geoff as to what happened to resigning Barnes–that is really strange. It seems to me, and I hope I’m proved wrong, this off season is about settling for–at best!–a low playoff seed and saving a bunch of money to extend Beans and Monta next year. It certainly hasn’t been about going deeper into the playoffs. And maybe it is about picking up one or two big name free agents the following year if Baron leaves. My strong bias is with Cohan as the owner, we will always be looking at the bottom line and not winning a title.

  • zgreat

    Within reason… I think Boykins could be a perfect fit depending upon how much he’s asking for, for how many years.

    Commish – while I think AK47 would fit in great, we can’t afford him. He’s set to make like $18 million some time during his contract.

  • manhattanproj

    i think the w’s should just let the season play out. when they couldn’t sign kg, there’s no point in trying to find help from anywhere else. the team as it is now is not a serious contender. play out the season, dont re-sign davis, then go into next offseason with cap flexibility of signing arenas or davis if he proves he can stay healthy this season.

    if they suck in 07, then maybe you can find that big in the draft or plug a guy like oj mayo or derrick rose. if they can stay competitive, then look for a mid-season trade. if nothing happened, losing in the playoffs isnt the worst thing in the world considering years of irrelevance. but that’s from a fan perspective

  • TPG

    Wow, I really wonder what the Warriors could have done this season in the playoffs, if they would have kept Jason Richardson and still managed to pick Belinelli. With another year under Don Nelson, the W’s could have easily brought the most playoff ready players into the postseason – Davis, Richardson, Jackson, Harrington, Biedrins, Ellis, Barnes, Pietrus, Harrington, and now Belinelli. That’s a lot of firepower and depth – perfect for the up-tempo style that the W’s play. The only team that would have been able to keep up with the W’s would have been Phoenix. And although Utah exposed the Warriors weakness in rebounding and interior defense last year, the signings of Perovic, and Croshere certainly strengthens the W’s this year in those areas.

    As for what to do now, the W’s first need to get more out of the players they have now and that means dealing Foyle, Jasikevicius, and O’Bryant. All good team players, but they just won’t play in Nellie’s system. I suggest trading Foyle and O’Bryant for Seattle’s Kurt Thomas and Robert Swift. It looks like both teams are trading similar players for similar players, but Seattle is in a rebuilding mode and is looking to contend 2-3 years down the road. Foyle gives them a veteran who can mentor Seattle’s younger players for a good 2 years, where Kurt Thomas certainly leaves the Sonics after 1 year to look for a championship ring. After 2 years, Foyle’s expiring contract is huge for the Sonics who will be looking for key free agents to aid them in their playoff run. As for Patrick O’Bryant, he looks like a big upgrade over Seattle’s Robert Swift, but still needs 2 years or so to get stronger. He should be ready for the Sonics when they make their playoff run. So, what do the Warrior’s get? They get Kurt Thomas’s and Robert Swift’s expiring contracts this year; trade bait to acquire a key player from a cash-strapped team not making the playoffs, or money to extend Davis, re-sign Biedrins and Ellis, and obtain a key free agent next year. To me, Devin Harris would look great in a Warriors uniform and the look on Mark Cuban’s face would be absolutely priceless.

    As for the power forward that the Warriors need now, Marcus Camby, may be the veteran that fits. He rebounds, blocks, and can get up and down the floor. I think Denver is also over the salary cap with most of their money going to Alan Iverson, Kenyon Martin, and Carmelo Anthony. So, expiring contracts may be the way to get him. Otherwise, the Warriors need to be patient and wait for Yi Jianlian. I’m sure Milwaukee is looking to get whatever they can for the 6th overall pick in this years draft, but I don’t think the Warriors need to trade Wright to get him. A combination of either O’Bryant, or Perovic, or Barnes, or Pietrus, and future draft picks is plenty of compensation. If I were Milwaukee’s owner, I’d take O’Bryant, a 1st and 2nd Round Pick in next year’s draft for Yi. The Bucks have Charlie Villanueva and now Jake Voskuhl in the power forward spot; they really could use a young center to backup Bogut and Gadzuric.

  • Reth

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…….. Maybe Mullinelly planning a even bigger trade with Ainge for Garnett packaging mighty Croshere, POB, Adonal Foyle, and Al Harrington. LOL!

  • Jerbroni

    Perhaps! Ainge wanted Croshere to so Mullinelly maybe planning a blockbuster trade where they will make this trade happen sending Pat O Bust Bryant, Adonal never get 2 play Foyle, and Al the headband Harrington during the trade deadline. LOL!

  • dareedle

    The KG loss has set us back 5 years, just like when we lost out on the Steve Nash sweepstakes. It is hard to make up for losing the chance for a franchise all-star type of player. Newsflash, Darko is not a franchise player and so far neither is Biedrins, Ellis or BD. We have 5-6 good players and one player that coulda, woulda, shoulda been a consistent all-star in BD, but time will tell if his body can stand up for another playoff push. Its not doom and gloom, like the Spurs, Mullie needs to manage the cap and having cap clogs like Murphy, J-Rich, Dunleavy means we have to deal good players just to keep away from the luxury tax.

  • jaysohn

    I think Mully has so far played this the best way he could. He took a chance on getting KG, the only difference maker, and it didn’t happen. There were other players he could have tried to sign but at the prices it would have not been worth it my opinion. The only guy I would have taken a chance on was Darko but I think he price tag was too much. Mully just signed Barnes on the cheap. If he can somehow turn a conbination of Cabbage, POB and Pietrus into a trade for a backup PG, then we can be a playoff team again.