15

Marion Now an Option?

Phoenix may have paved the way for the Warriors to get Marion, though they’d likely have to pay the tax to get him.
Miami, who acquired the Matrix on Tuesday, will either have to sign him to an extension (he can opt out at season’s end, walking away from $17.1 million) or trade him. Otherwise, he walks as a free agent.
The Heat certainly would not have the same apprehensions as Phoenix about sending Marion to Golden State. Miami may even be looking to build around Marion and Wade (and don’t look now, but they just cleared a lot cap space to make a run at a free agent-to-be, such as Baron Davis). The Heat can’t afford a rebuilding process as Wade has just two years left on his deal after this season. But if they can get more value out of Marion on the trade market than on the court, the Warriors could be a real player. A running, finishing, rebounding, defending power forward would fit well in Nellie’s system. And he’s a career 34 percent 3-point shooter, which is better than BD and Jax.

4

Blog Question

“How do we get better given the depth in the West? With Monta and Beans playing so well, their agents will be demanding top dollar for their new contracts. And even though we have leverage since they are restricted free agents, we may have to dig deep. If Baron stays, we keep Monta and Beans, and keep Bukie and maybe Barnes, we will still have to sign and pay two new rookies plus Wright, Kosta and Bellineli. If all that happens, wouldn’t we be at our cap limit and not be able to sign a free agent, even Webber if he works out? So how do we get better if not this season than at least next?” – Commish

Their agents can’t demand anything. The market will determine what they get. Unless they negotiate solely with the Warriors and agree to a deal Mullin likes, the Warriors will likely wait to see what offers they get, then match. Pretty much what they did with Pietrus, accept at some point they come to terms.
Biedrins and Ellis will probably get less than everyone expects. Restricted free agency isn’t the pot o’ gold it used to be. Teams will probably not be willing to sign these two to an offer sheet because a) they know the Warriors will match, b) their cap space could be locked up for seven days while the Warriors decide; c) there will be other, perhaps more desirable restricted free agents, such as Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala and Emeka Okafor, who will hog the offer sheets; d) they would have to go above and beyond the market value to get the Warriors not to match.
You’re right, if they keep every body, they will be over the cap and can’t sign a free agent. The only way they have cap space for free agency is if Baron doesn’t come back, or if Beans and Monta walk, which is unlikely.
The way the Warriors get better: trades. They have Harrington, Pietrus, Barnes, two draft picks, four young players. Who knows, they may be willing to part with Biedrins, too, depending on who they can get for him (Okafor?).

12

J-Rich Awful in Return

His line — 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting, no rebounds, four assists — was better than his actual performance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen J-Rich look so bad.
He was a total non-factor, missing lay-ups and looking lost. I expected him to go off, to be honest. Just to send a message.
Instead, he made that trade look even better than it does on paper. He’s having a good season, and this game was more an anamoly, but I feel bad for the guy. You know he has to miss playing here, miss performing in front of this crowd and in this atmosphere. I don’t care what he says.

11

Lakers One-Up Warriors

Leave it to the purple and gold to upstage the Warriors.
After making national news by re-signing Webber, the Lakers outshine the Warriors by stealing Pau Gasol from Memphis. Welcome to Warriors World, where winning a first-round series is a feat, where former players become All-Stars and the Lakers always make a bigger splash.
If all they gave up was scrub Kwame Brown, rookie guard Javaris Crittendon, AARP treasurer Aaron McKie and future first rounders, why couldn’t the Warriors have gotten Gasol?
Clearly Memphis is just trying to dump salary, taking back expiring or cheap contracts and draft picks. The Warriors could’ve done that, right? Patrick O’Bryant, Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes are all expiring. Marco Belinelli and Kelenna Azubuike are cheap. The Warriors could go five years without a draft pick, all the projects they have on the bench.
So why couldn’t they do it? They would’ve been way in the luxury tax bracket, as Gasol is pulling in $50 over the next four years after this one. The Warriors probably would’ve wanted to give up Al Harrington to lower the tax penalties, but Memphis obviously didn’t want salary back.
The bottom line is Buss has endless pockets, Cohan doesn’t. Lakers win.