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Playing with Fire?

According to a source with knowledge of extension negotiations between Baron Davis and Warriors management, the Warriors are playing hardball with their star point guard. President Rowell and VP Mullin came at Baron with an “insulting” offer – so much so that B. Diddy is questioning whether the Warriors view him as their franchise player.
Tough negotiating is hardly a bad ploy, especially considering the Warriors’ history of fiscal irresponsibility. But there is a time and place for it, and this may not be the time. It was last offseason, when Don Nelson and Mickael Pietreus were looking for too much icing on their cake. But now might be a bad time for Warriors management to throw around its weight.
Why? Because Baron, the team’s best player, had already issued the first peace offering. Instead of threatening to opt out, instead of seeing which desiring team he could use to sweeten his deal, Baron bowed down. He said he wanted to stay a Warrior and he wasn’t going to demand a ridiculous amount of money. He conceded his leverage. Even if he recognized he had very little, it was a relatively commendable gesture because he made himself vulnerable by voluntarily setting aside his options.
The proper response to that is not to stick it to him, or make him think you are sticking it to him. Sure, get the best deal for the team, but don’t make him regret throwing himself at the mercy of the execs.
Why not, you say?
• The Warriors need Baron. Losing him means starting over, it means getting back in the skimpy market for a proven frontline NBA star, a franchise player. Even if you are of the belief that Monta is Baron’s replacement (which I am not, especially not yet), then the Warriors will be needing a No. 2 or No. 3 star, which is also hard to coup. Plus, he’s the reason guys like Al and Jax, and anyother player with the Warriors
on their short list is Baron.
• The Warriors will be sending a bad message to players, future and current. In less than a year, three players have voiced their disapproval with how they were treated by management (Jason Richardson, Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes). That’s not a good way to land a top motivated talent, which the Warriors will need to do. Players won’t want to come if the Warriors are not shelling out big money and have a rep – justified or not – for lowballing.

Marcus Thompson

  • Remi

    The Spurs have done just fine with managing their cap and winning titles. They pay their stars top dollar, but don’t overpay. Richardson had a big contract and was traded, every team makes trades, that’s the nature of
    the profession. It was smart to give Barnes & MP one year deals because they are still unproven and inconsistent.

    Management has learned from the Foyle, Dunleavy and Murphy deals. Imagine if the Pacers had not taken Dunleavy & Murphy. They would have never made the play-offs and nobody would really care about them.

    If they cave in to BD and Cohan refuses to pay the tax
    they will have a hard time getting past the marginal
    play-off contention position they are in now. And the odds are BD will start to miss games because of injuries. I believe that BD has the talent to be a impact player, to take the team to the next level.
    But I believe he plays to win on his terms, taking too many bad shots and attempting too many low percentage highlight plays, unlike younger PGs like Chris Paul and Deron Williams. He is not a winner or a player to stake your future on as he gets older.

  • http://www.707voice.net Daniel

    Hate to tell you but regardless of how this franchise is perceived, if the Warriors have the money to spend, and offer it to a worthy player – that player will take it if there’s a offer, regardless of past negotiations with other players.

    Baron has clearly demonstrated he is not a max player. His “play when I wanna” attitude, lack of effort on defense (steals notwithstanding) and on court pouting when officials don’t “respect him” all offset and nullify his random late game heroics. He deserves NO MORE than $10Mill/year. Anything more and we should all be happy to see him go. There are younger, better players to be had.

  • bballer

    gsw will barely make the playoffs in 08-09 and is not going to compete for the championship. bdiddy has 3 good years left in him, more if he stays in shape. low balling him will be a smart thing to do. if anything let him walk. retool with ellis, belinelli, biedrins, wright, sjax. draft a pg, keep azubuike, barnes and pick up a defensive c. gsw should identify their big 3 and take it from there. teams are spending tonnes of money without getting good results, while detroit and the spurs keep within the luxury tax and competes for championships yearly.

  • garlicboy

    Baron was hungover for the biggest game of the season, that’s why he’s not a franchise type player or should get franchise type money. Great player but there are questions about his off court decision making. What will happen next year when he turns the big “3 0?” Hammered again?

  • Bill

    Marcus,
    Knowing that Warriors management never negotiates in the press, your “source with knowledge of extension negotiations” has to be Baron’s agent, who your colleague Geoff Lepper quoted in an article yesterday. Are you really comfortable serving as a tool for Baron’s agent in the negotiations?

    So, if you think this is a bad time for tough negotiating, are you saying that Mully and company should just roll over and give Baron whatever he wants? Thank God you’re not the GM of the Warriors. And you just take Baron’s agent word that the offer was “insulting”. Did he tell you the offer? If so, why don’t you share it with the rest of us so we can see whether it was insulting or not. I bet you don’t even know what the “insulting” offer was.

    And as for Baron’s “peace offering” of not opting out, that’s nothing but a sham. If he opted out, there isn’t a team in the league that can offer him anywhere near the $17.8 million the Warriors are due to pay him next season. Only two teams, Philly and Memphis, could maybe manage to scrape up $11 or $12 million, and even if Baron opted out, both of those teams have greater needs than a point guard with a questionable health record.

    Why do you think it is that Baron doesn’t make the All Star game any more? Why do you think he isn’t invited to the Team USA tryouts? That’s because he’s not supported by the coaches in the league who make those selections. That’s why no team is going to break the bank trying to sign him.

    I agree with you that the Warriors need Baron and that he is currently their best player. But is he better than Chauncey Billups or Tony Parker. My bet that the Warriors’ “insulting” offer is closer to the $12 million a year that each of them make than the $17.8 million that Baron is going to make this year and probably feels he deserves for years to come.

    And do the Pistons and the Spurs, probably the two best run franchises in the league, get a reputation for “low balling” when they pay Billups and Parker $12 million a year? I don’t think so.

    Marcus, stop acting as Baron’s PR agent and act like a reporter. Look at this negotiation in an objective eye and figure out if Baron is really asking for more than he deserves in the current marketplace, and is acting “insulted” when the Warriors offer him his market value, not a contract based on his own inflated opinion of what he thinks he’s worth.

  • We_Are_the_Littles

    If you think singning BD to a big contract to keep him happy is the answer, then I have to say you are…. WRONG!! BD is their player, but at times, he’s also the worst. Low percentage shots, 3 happy, lack of speed and quckness he used to have to get around defenders, missing crucial free throws, fading away on jump shots like there’s no tomorrow, etc.

    He has the talent to be an all star again, but he needs to get back to basics. Give me 15 points and 10 assists a night, and the Warriors are a better team.

    But back to the salary issue, BD is not worth a max contract. And tell me, exactly what offer is considered insulting. If someone pays you to play ball for $8 to $10 million a year, you would be insulted??? Just goes to show how much of an ego BD really has. I like the kid, but he needs to show more, if he wants to get more.

    –WAtL

  • petaluman

    from GL, “Some comparables to Davis in terms of veteran point guards would include Phoenix’s Steve Nash (who is playing on a six-year, $63 million deal), Detroit’s Chauncey Billups (five years, $60 million), Washington’s Gilbert Arenas (six years, $65 million) and Dallas’ Jason Kidd (six years, $103 million).”

    Also, Parker is making 11.5M next year. Excluding the Kidd deal (which we would never pay), all of these deals are around 10-13M/year. I’m sure the Warriors are offering Baron something in that range (Harrington is making 9M next year). This may be a big drop from 17M, but I think it’s consistent with his value in the NBA. It seems pretty unlikely that any team is going to offer him anything like his last contract.

    I think the most likely dispute is over the number of years. Baron will be 30 in less than a year, and this could be his last “big money” contract. Of course, I have no idea what actual terms are being discussed, but he might well prefer (say) 4/50 over 3/40, even though it’s a lower average pay per year. Maybe we can offer him a contract with a declining pay rate over a longer time. This would give him the security he wants, while also paying him the most when he’s most likely to be worth it.

  • commish

    Ok, what do I know but I read from other blogs is the “insulting” offer was $12M a year for three years after this season’s big payday of over $17M. Personally I don’t think Baron is the franchise player–I think Monta is. Regardless, with Baron’s age, injury history, and how he has been known to play when he is unhappy (hello New Orleans), I would offer him $13 a year for three years and go up to $15.

    The worst case scenarios is if he stays and is unhappy. If he leaves, that is $17M of additional cap space to rebuild around our young core next season. The 2009-10 season will have us in an admirable position of two big expiring contracts (Jax and Harrington) and Foyle’s cap salary is about $650,000 if I remember. Anyway, it is a lot less than the $6.5M this coming season.

    What I don’t know is whether we can do a sign and trade before June 30th. I’d move Baron in a minute to draft Rose if the numbers could work. Or I’d move Monta to point and go after a really good SG free agent.

    My feeling is Baron is not KG, LeBron or Kobe and therefore doesn’t deserve a max salary at his “advanced” age and questionable knees. Now if he was Deron Williams that would be a different story.

  • http://rstjean@springfieldlumber.com rick

    17 mil like he’s going to opt out.
    at this point no one will pay
    him that. maybe this is pay-back
    for his late night habbits

  • Marcus

    It’s amazing how nobody is paying attention.
    First off, I NEVER said pay him anything. I especially NEVER said give him the max, or even give him more than what they offered. I said, don’t make him feel like he’s being hustled or slapped in the face.
    Look at the other guys listed, especially Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups. Hear about them coming away from negotiations wondering if they are wanted? Chauncey Billups took quite a bit less than what he could’ve gotten. You think he did that because he felt like the organization didn’t want him? You hear other GMs saying we want this guy, we’re going to do what it takes to get it done. Why? Because it’s all about perception.
    Sure, Daniel, if the Warriors are big spending, players will always sign with the money. But the Warriors don’t have money to spend, and try their hardest to stay under the luxury tax, perception does matter. Players have to WANT to come here and perhaps sign for less. Right now, Jackson is cheap considering his production. What happens when its his turn for negotiations, and he’s watched J.R. shipped off unceremoniously, Baron leave the team with a bad taste in his mouth? Think he’s going to “hook” the Warriors up like Chauncey did in Detroit?
    And, another thing (and I know EJ will agree), you guys are CRAZY if you think Monta can carry this team at this point. Especially if he’s playing PG. You think he can compete with Parker, Paul, Williams, Iverson, etc. Monta thrives because he’s playing with Baron. Put him in a backcourt with Azubuike, and teams would key on stopping Monta, and you will see how much he needs to grow. Be for real.
    Commish, if you get rid of Baron for a rookie, you can kiss the playoffs goodbye for another three seasons at least, pushing back a championship even further. Baron is not KG, or LeBron. He’s a good enough point guard to win if he has help.

  • Marcus

    Bill,

    I had to address you separately, because you are about as off base as anybody. I am a tool for the Contra Costa Times. They pay me. I could care less about the agenda of Baron’s agent, Warriors management or any agenda other than that of my job detail. Remember that before you start ignorantly questioning my integrity.
    Secondly, you don’t know what I know, only what I tell you I know. Did I tell you everything I know? Of course not. Some things I am restricted
    from sharing by journalism ethics, which I adhere to religiously. Do I know everything? Of course not. If you are regular on this blog, you know I have sided with or against just about everybody. Just last week or so, I gave Mullin an A in part because he didn’t shell out loot so freely, and people disagreed with me for that, which is great. Does that make me a tool for Mullin?
    Since you did not actually comprehend my post, let me break it down even further. Baron may not be Mr. Right when it comes frontline stars, but he is Mr. Right Now. He is the best player the Warriors have and are going to get based on their cap situation. My point is, why make him disgruntled knowing he has a year left? My point is that it is bad for business to have the organization feel like they aren’t wanted. I am not saying this because of Baron, but because of the recent wave of disgruntled players. My point is that now is not the best time for more of that. Only seven players are under contract, which means the Warriors are going to need some players to take less money because they want to be here. My point is that they need Baron plus more to contend in the West. Swapping Baron out for another star does nothing. Remember, the only reason KG even thought twice about coming here is because of Baron.
    So stop acting like the Warriors PR agent and look at these negotiations from the broader perspective and not just in the light of your feelings about Baron. Pay attention to the state of the team, recent history and the rest of the league and decide what the Warriors’ best move should be. I would not give Baron the max, or close to it. I wouldn’t give him $15 a year (I guess I’m fired as Baron’s PR agent). But my three-year, $36-39 million extension would come wrapped in an “I Want You Here” ribbon. Because the coaching situation is unsettled, the roster is uncertain and the Warriors won’t be major players in the free agent market. And as you said, his rep is such that you won’t get much in return by trading him. The most value you get for Baron, who won’t opt out, is him being an All-Star caliber player on the roster. He won’t do that if he’s feeling unwanted

  • EJ

    Marcus,

    You’re exactly right. The Warriors need Baron because Monta needs Baron. Just like in Denver, there was a reason JR Smith is able to light it up every now and then. With the defense keying in on Iverson and Melo, that leaves Smith open on the break and too spot up on the wings (kinda like what Monta does). Now I don’t want anyone to think that I’m comparing skill levels with Monta to JR Smith. At this point in Monta’s career, having guys like Jack and Baron are really going to help move him along.

    I do think that losing Baron would be devastating to this franchise, especially with the players that we’ve already got on board. Baron has said all the right things thus far and hasn’t even made his feelings about the proposed deal public. You have to respect him for that. That tells me that he really wants to stay. But 60% of me is thinking that talks are going to break down at some, and I really hope thats not the case. You don’t find many franchise point guards in the NBA nowadays. You look back at the Warriors’ history since Tim Hardaway left and it’s OBVIOUS we need Baron: Avery Johnson, Keith Jennings, BJ Armstrong, Bimbo Coles, Vonteego Cummings, Mark Price (an OLD Mark Price), Derek Fisher, etc. The Hawks passed up on Paul and Williams and have ended up with Bibby at the tail end of his career while they hope Acie Law will turn into something decent.

    He played about 70+ games at full strength this season. Nelson pushed him to his limits, so I can’t really blame him for breaking down at the end of the season. The mistake at the end of year was leaving the ball in Monta’s hands rather than Baron initiating the offense, but that’s a whole nothing topic.

    I say give Baron what he’s due. He did everything management and the fans wanted him to do, except lead them to the playoffs. If management would’ve given him a little help for some air, I bet they would’ve made it.

  • petaluman

    Marcus,
    I’m assuming that you are talking about 3 years, beginning next year, keeping him here for 4 years. Could they also terminate the current contract and sign him for 4 years outright? This would allow them to manipulate his cost in 08-09.

  • commish

    This is the best exchange we’ve had all season. So many good points made by every poster. Its hard to sum it all up, but I do think EJ made a really good point by saying management did not help the team through the trade deadline (my words) and Nelson’s style to “win-now” was just too much for Jax and Baron at the end.

    Marcus, without being defensive, my main point regarding Rose was that IF Baron and his agent want to play hard ball and not find a compromise, then we are better off biting the transition bullet and getting the PG of our future. $40-42M for three years seems a pretty good payday for a player whose stengths and weaknesses have been detailed in these posts and of course others. I would like Baron to be happy and be a Dub for the next four years, but not at the ultimate expense of the team.

    And, according to your own CC Times colleague Gary Peterson, Baron and his agent have no strong case and leverage with which to deal since there doesn’t seem to be a strong fan uproar to get Davis what he wants. At least that is what henwrote that in today’s column

  • PhilB

    If Baron opts out of his last year, I do see at least two teams that would overpay for him: Miami, especially if DWade whines for help this summer like Kobe did; or the New York Knicks, if D’Antoni starts whining. Personally I think that 3 years @ $36mil is good market value for Baron. He should make more than Monta at this stage because he’s a better player than Monta.
    Baron should also be commended for playing a full schedule, and some consideration should be made for the enormous workload that Nelson imposed on him. I just think that if Baron could play at the level he played at when he first joined the team mid-season ’04 – ’05; you know, when he made Mickael Pietrus and even Zarko Cabarkapa look like All Stars, then that would be worth $17mil per.

  • cw

    Marcus seems pretty angry today!

    I think it may be because this was a weak post and he is overcompensating. I have total respect for him in general, and, with his access, he probably is right in his analysis of the offers.

    However, based on WHAT HE WROTE it seemed kind of weak — especially the lack of numbers. What does “insulting” look like? Does non-insulting leave room for re-signing Beans and Monte?

    Don’t violate your journalistic ethics, but also don’t assume we should agree with you if you don’t give us any data.

    There is no doubt that without Baron, this is no longer a very potent team in the short term. However, it should be remembered that Baron can’t play any better or healthier than he did last year and this year, and yet the team is still second-tier.

    As a long-suffering fan, I think we SHOULD pay Baron whatever just to continue being an exciting team. But if I’m Mullin, I might not make the same decision — I might be worried about give a fifth of my cap to a broken-down point guard three years from now.

    Remember, point guards often decline rapidly after 30, exceptions like Steve Nash aside.

  • manhattanproj

    First, let me just say this: where was this when we were talking about ellis in all those threads. i was hoping you would come in and provide a few words of wisdom like this:

    “And, another thing (and I know EJ will agree), you guys are CRAZY if you think Monta can carry this team at this point. Especially if he’s playing PG. You think he can compete with Parker, Paul, Williams, Iverson, etc. Monta thrives because he’s playing with Baron. Put him in a backcourt with Azubuike, and teams would key on stopping Monta, and you will see how much he needs to grow. Be for real.”

    that’s what i’ve been saying all along. monta ellis is not a franchise player now, nor will he ever be. and i really believe that. he will never be good enough to be even a gilbert arenas caliber of PG, let alone the nashes, the pauls, or the d. williams. slight build, iffy handle, casual attitude with the ball, poor vision and terrible playmaking skills. if you really think he can drastically improve his PG skills, that’s wishful thinking. he’s just a tweener, a good undersized SG. he’s thriving now because of all the attn paid to baron and jax. asking him to a franchise player and paying him like one is going to doom the w’s and back to the antawn jamison-led warriors days.

    depending on the contract talks and how much he demands, ellis is the first one i would move to ease the cap.

    back to the topic,

    it depends on what that low-ball/insulting offer is, though, to be fair. i would pay davis up to 15mil/yr for 3 years max. anywhere from 12-15mil would be fair deal for davis, considering his age and history. if davis was looking for more, i think that would be unreasonable. and if w’s were offering less than 12mil, then i can understand why davis is mad. davis is an all star, frontline PG. he’s the box office ticket, so i would over pay him a bit to keep him here. he’s that important.

    with davis, w’s are a borderline playoff team, esp with the up and coming blazers and the return of the clippers. without davis, no chance whatsoever. losing davis or having an unmotivated/disgruntled davis is a big loss and a locker room distraction.

    but for the w’s future and us fans, it would be better to gauge the trade interests of both davis and ellis. if w’s can get derrick rose for monta ellis, i would do it in a heart beat. rudy gay for ellis, i would still do it. this frees up the cap to keep davis for another 3 years. and probably best plan and best for the w’s long term future.

    if w’s can’t get either player with ellis as the bait, then look to trade davis. if the heat has a top 2 picks, see if riley wants davis for derrick rose, haslem, daquan cook, dorrell wright, and spare parts to make it work. davis, wade, and marion, riley must be licking his chops. w’s will be in rebuilding mode but should still be competitive.

    i would rather keep davis and trade ellis. if this report is true (i’m assuming he’s low balling davis so he can keep monta ellis with a mega deal), mullin and his people are going about this the wrong way. like i said, mullin has no vision of how to build a team.

  • Marcus

    CW,
    I wasn’t asking you to agree with me. It’s better when you don’t. I was just saying pay attention to what I said. People were saying I said give him a max deal. I wasn’t. And that Bill thing, I had to defend my integrity. I just had to set the record straight. I’m hardly mad, though.
    I love this stuff.

    Commish,
    I got your point. I’m just not a fan of rebuilding. But if you can surround Rose with help, especially a big man, I’d sacrifice Baron.

    manhattanproj,
    You are a bit more down on Ellis than me. I think he’s going to be really good. You think he’s a shade above Sebastian Telfair. :o )

  • manhattanproj

    let’s face it, forcing ellis to play PG is like putting a square peg in a round hole. if iverson, with a much more complete skillset to be a PG than ellis will ever “developed”, is best used as a 2-guard, i dont see how ellis can play the 1 spot full time.

    if ellis were 6-6, or even 6-5, he would be a franchise-type of player. no question. if he were build like ben gordan, even at 6-2/6-3, i would have no problem putting him at SG.

    but with his slight build and lack of PG abilities, he doesnt have a position. it limits what the w’s can do in terms of personnel. what happens if you have a chris paul on your roster? there arent too many true and big PGs like davis and deron williams. most likely you are stuck with the eric snows. it hurts the team as a whole more than it helps, much like jamison did.

    i think the best role for ellis is to be the instant microwave. be a vinnie johnson or barbosa. then the question becomes: are you going to pay ellis franchise type of money to be a 6th man?

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    I’ve enjoyed reading this thread; however, my feeling is that the Baron situation will work itself out — he’s either here next year, or he’s hear for 4-5 years — I really can’t imagine him leaving $17.5 mill on the table — as Rick says, there’s just no market for him at that number. He can want an extension, but his leverage is to take a $5-7 million pay cut this year in exchange for a guaranteed, larger amount money over the next 3-5 years, which he would get anyway with a new contract, barring injury. If Baron insists on an extension, he’s as much as saying he thinks he’ll get hurt.

    Anyhow, y pipe dream is that Brand opts out, and the Warriors work a sign and trade, sending back Wright, Harrington, this year’s number one, and the trade exception. Why am I grasping at straws like this? Because without a great rebounding forward, the Warriors are likely back in the lottery, even with Baron!

  • EJ

    Marcus,

    On an unrelated topic, I don’t agree with Tim Duncan making with the all-defensive first team. He doesn’t even guard the other teams best big man. That assignment usually went to Oberto and then to Thomas when he joined the Spurs. I can understand Popovich’s concern with keeping Duncan out of foul trouble, but don’t the better defenders stay out of foul trouble? You can’t even make a case for his zone defense because the Spurs don’t play zone. I hardly ever see him guarding Boozer, Yao, Sheed, KG, Dirk, or Amare. I would’ve given the first team spot to someone like Tayshaun Prince or Josh Smith. Both guys usually guard the other teams best perimeter player, be it Kobe, T-Mac, Melo, Lebron, etc. So, Duncan gets defensive first team honors for guarding offensively skilled guys like Jason Maxiell, Erick Dampier, Kendrick Perkins, Carl Landry, Tyson Chandler, Darko, and Kenyon Martin???? Please clear this up for me, Marcus.

  • Marcus

    It’s more a nod to the Spurs team defense than anything. But Duncan, while he doesn’t usually guard the best big man, is the anchor of one of the leagues best defense. Bowen gets to play up on his man without concern for getting beat because Duncan – thanks to Oberto and Thomas – is patrolling the middle and can help off his man. Parker, Ginobili, Finley, they don’t have to worry about their man blowing by them because Duncan corrects their mistakes. He always rotates properly, he’s a good shot blocker, and, in the fourth quarter, he can guard the opponents best big man. Just his presence often does the job. Plus he’s an excellent defensive rebounder, which every great defense needs. In fact, Oberto (4.2 rpg for his career) is allowed to focus on stopping his man because he doesn’t have to rebound as much while playing next to Duncan (11.8 rpg for his career)

  • dareedle

    Why is everyone concerned about BD? Shouldn’t our number 1 concern be dumping the ball hogs to see if BWright is can actually play and develop into a solid post player? Less shots for Jackson and BD means more minutes and shots for Wright. The subtraction of any player with a paltry 42% field goal percentage despite the offensive talent and questionable defense can only help the development of a young post player that needs touches.

  • commish

    What if Baron and his agent and the Dubs dig in their respective heels? Given Antoni is now with NY and will want to go in a different direction and has mucho money at his disposal, offer to sign and trade BD and MP for Randoph and Robinson plus we give them our 14th pick for their 5th pick. I know this is very hypothetical but would you make that trade? Would the Knicks?

  • Wilson

    I assume the Warriors’ offer was “insulting” mainly in the eyes of Baron’s agent and maybe Baron. Marcus, unless you know different, “insulting” could be only 2 years at only $12 million after next year. In other words, the Warriors may have said, “Here’s the best we can do at this time. If you don’t take that offer, then go out and see what you can get on the open market after next year – determine your market value – and we’ll match it.” I don’t see anything wrong with that, if that’s how it was presented. I think Baron will definitely be overpaid next year at $17M, based on his performance last season.

    Here’s a question. Suppose there is divine intervention and the Warriors get the first pick. Who would you pick? Rose would be tempting because then Baron would be expendable. But I’d pick Beasley, keep Baron, and we’re ready to challenge for a championship.

  • commish

    Wilson, I like your optimism given Mully seems to be missing the “luck of the Irish” on draft day. I’m not sure how others would vote, but I go with Rose and dream of CP3 in a couple years. Interesting timing in that the draft is a few days before Baron has his option come due. From what I’ve read the Dubs have no plans of making an offer anywhere near June 30 and are willing to wait into the summer. Frankly, in all of sports, I have never understood these standoffs and then, most likely, a deal gets done late into the process. If you want to make a deal, make it and let both sides have a win-win. But what do I know, right?

  • manhattanproj

    #23

    i think we are talking about building a winning team. let brendan wright play and get more touches? leave davis and jax? what are you talking about, building the next memphis grizzlies?

  • manhattanproj

    #25

    I’ll take rose over beaseley.

    beaseley, as good as he is offensively in the low post, he is still a bit undersized at 6’9″. he’s going to have trouble defending the bigs and rebounding. those are big questions around beaseley. it’ll also be interesting to see if he can operate against the bigs in nba.

    rose is a fantastic prospect at PG. great size, strength, quickness, vision, playmaking skills, and a winner at the college level. one weakness is his shot. but he’s everything you look for in a pg package and then some. he’s more of a jason kidd type right now because of his shot. so his success depends on the system he’s in. in nellie’s system, he’s going to thrive.

  • petaluman

    Marcus,
    I’m assuming that you are talking about 3 years, beginning next year, keeping him here for a total of 4 years. Could they also terminate the current contract and sign him for 4 years outright? This would allow them to manipulate his cost in 08-09.

    For example, instead of paying him 17/11/11/11 = 50M, they could make it 14/13/12/11 (also = 50M). This would allow them to reduce his impact on the cap next year and partially compensate for Monta and Andris getting escalating contracts.

  • JustPuked

    Damn Marcus I missed a hella good exchange. I get your point and agree it makes no sense to ruffle Baron’s very temperamental feathers if you don’t need to. When Baron’s in a good mood and sporting a positive attitude he’s in the same class as DWade. When he’s sulking and pouting, he’s a step above Stephan Marbury. If Baron, according to the friends of his with whom you have contact is truly insulted we can only hope he spends another summer getting sage advice from Mr. Logo.

    But in the spirit of fun, what’s up with your sources? I know you’re not going to spout off for anyone’s agent but what’s to keep Baron’s peeps from playing the PR game with you on BD’s behalf? Baron’s a smart guy and if the offer really was 12mil a year that sounds damn fair considering both the comps and his available options. If making a little fuss bumps it up a couple points then it’s easily worth having Baron’s boys act indignant with you on the hush hush. The media attention last summer definitely helped Nelson get his guaranteed dough, why wouldn’t Baron or his peeps at least try some of the same? Okay, enough breaking your chops, I see you’re more than willing to break back recently!

    I don’t want to dip too much into the Ellis debate (but I can’t help myself), as intelligent folks have been known to disagree. He’s a fine young player and a classic combo guard. Knocking him because he’ll never be a point in the class of Paul, Nash, Kidd and Deron is too limited an evaluation. He’s got a highly valued skill that’s can’t be undersold: the ability to take just about anyone off the dribble. Penetration wrecks havoc on team defense and Ellis can do that now.

    On the other hand, he doesn’t have the innate vision that great point guards have but that’s not the end all be all for point guards. It’s not like Billups and Parker (for example) came into the league displaying amazing vision. Both of them took a few seasons to learn how to play the point in the NBA and both do it with vastly different styles. My point is, there is no single mold for being a very good point, so don’t disregard Monta’s potential based solely on comparing him to the current models.

    If you can’t get past the comparisons remember, Ellis has yet to play a single season at the point. When he did, for a few months in 06-07 while Baron was hurt, Ellis was dropping 5 dimes a game. Not too shabby for a kid in his second year out of high school. No one can know for certain just what kind of a point guard he could be. Great point guards are uncommon but very good point guards can be taught. I’m not saying Ellis will get there, but his story is yet to be written.

    If you’re a stats person, compare Ellis’s stats against your personal picks for the top ten point guards in the league. Ellis will compare favorable with the guys in your 6-10 slots and remember; Monta doesn’t play the point most of the time he’s in the game, he’s only played three years and he’s only 22. It took Billups five years to get more than 4 assists per game, and Ellis is already scoring as well as any of the top point guards right now. He may never be THE franchise player but he fits the bill as one of a team’s big three. No denying Baron makes him better, but let’s acknowledge Ellis is a special player in his own right.

    Let’s at least put one part of the mythos to rest. Ellis isn’t tiny. Everyone seems to always reference his listed size when he was a rookie, 6’2 180lb. I ran into Ellis at the player’s/vip entrance at the beginning of the season and he’s definitely not that small anymore. Ellis looked like he was about 6’4 and 200-210lbs at the time.

    Marcus, you’ve most assuredly stood next to Monta in the locker room, how big would you say he is now? And what’s up with the media guides. I notice they rarely get updated from season to season even when a player is clearly taller or weights a lot more. Will they the Warriors/NBA update Wrights weight to reflect the muscle he’s put on since last summer?

    Petaluman, I like your idea, I think Chicago did the something similar a while back.

  • Marcus

    Petaluman,

    I don’t think they are supposed to be talking about that because it is against league rules. I think they can only talk extension at this point. I think. I’m not sure. But July 1 is when they can get into those talks, if Baron opts out on June 30. I could be wrong. Will find out later and report. Will they still talk about it, privately? Of course. Who wouldn’t? If Baron opts out, you know they have a deal in place, because he’s not walking away from $17 million.

    JustPuked,

    Monta has definitely gotten bigger. He even looks stronger in person. He is visibly taller than Baron now. He’s still light, which is what people mean when they say small. He’s a feather compared to the other body’s. But he’s stronger, which really shows in his ability to finish.

  • JustPuked

    To the Fellas

    Ellis is still a little on the lighter side, not doubt. He’s just not as “small” as I keep seeing him listed on various forums/blogs. Every time I see another poster dismiss Ellis because he’s “only” 6’2”, 180 it makes me roll my eyes. He may never be a 6’6” 240 rock but the playing size he’ll reach by the time he’s 24 of 6’4” 220 he’ll be more than large/strong/quick enough to give most shooting guards fits. Guys like Jamison hurt teams not because they don’t have position but because they don’t play defense. If Monta has a primary limitation to how valuable he can be it’s his defense not his lack of supernatural point guard instincts.

    His second season he started playing ball hawking D and making a point of trying to shut down the drive. His weakness at the time was allowing everyone to take him down low and abuse him. Last season he’s made a point of closing off post ups before they happen and overcompensating against bigger guys that look to drive. Unfortunately lost in his current defensive mindset is the attention to closing out of perimeter shooters (Rumor is he’s also been coached to play the boards by lagging off shooters but for now I’ll blame this one on Monta). Because of this, every Tom, Dick and Harry knows they can shoot over him without being challenged.

    On the bright side is, that’s the easiest element of his defense to fix. Monta playing just better than average D coupled with his burgeoning offensive prowess is going to be a match up nightmare for opposing coaches even if he is a tad smaller than the average off guard. Where others see only limitations (and I clearly do see them, I was one of the first last year to harp on his D when he started exploding for 30 point games), I focus on the opportunities for his skills to be used for multiple advantages. But I could be wrong, I once thought Marcus Liberty would be the shnizzle.

    Hey, can we find out own David West, Paul Millsap, Ronnie Turiaf diamond in the rough? I know, I know Monta and Biedrins were a great finds and Wright/ Belinelli could end up being almost as good but damn, it’s been a few years ya know? We have to do better than Taft, Digou, O’Bryant etc. David West may be a pompous A-Hole but he can be a punk on my team any day because he brings it. It’s funny how often winning and arrogant go hand in hand. I’m not saying it’s the most desirable character trait, just noting the trend.

    In honor of this year’s crop of players too full of themselves to respect anyone around them but the guy in the mirror, I give you the 2008 NBA All Attitude Team:

    G Chris Paul
    G Kobe Bryant
    F David West
    F Carlos Boozer
    C Tyson Chandler
    -
    Coach: Byron Scott

  • manhattanproj

    let me just say this: i think monta ellis is a terrific player. he’s a dynamic scorer, no question.

    but basketball is a TEAM game, like the adidas commercial, it’s a game of five. it doesn’t matter how good an individual is, statistics wise, at the end of the day, it’s about wins. look at michael redd for an example. i’m knocking on ellis because of his impact to a team. can you positively say, the w’s can build around ellis and be a winning team.

    there are questions with ellis. what position will ellis play? and look at his frame, he’ll top out at 190. he’ll never be strong and/or tall enough to hold off 2 guards in the nba. his size says he plays PG, but his skill sets and mentality say SG.

    if he plays PG, he’s going to kill the team offensively. iffy handle, questionable vision, questionable playmaking ability, casual attitude w/ the ball, patience, scorer mentality. can he make plays for others and can he set up the offense? these aren’t skills that you can just “develop.” and really forcing him to play PG is going to take away his best asset. if he can’t even be a PG at the college level, how can he be a PG, full time, in the nba?

    (side note: ellis beats ppl with his quickness. that’s why he struggles against quick guards like AI. he is not a penetrator. he doesnt beat ppl off the bounce like tony parker or chris paul. have you seen him weave through traffic? wreaking havoc with his penetration? what!?)

    if he play SG, he’s going to hurt the team defensively and compromise the team personnel. how is going to defend the 2 spot? strong guards like the kobes and the brandon roys are going to post him up to death. then the lanky ones like kevin martins and mcgrady’s can shoot over him all day. then if you solve that by pairing him up with a big PG, well how many big PGs are good. and really how many true PGs are even big at all. w’s are lucky to have davis now. but there are more eric snows then there are the baron davis and the jason kidds. what happens when davis is gone? it hurts the team.

    ellis is who he is. he’s a scorer and a good one at that. but just scoring isn’t going to help the team win. you have to look at the big picture and at the team as a whole. can ellis lead the team? can the w’s win with ellis manning the starting 1 or 2 spot? can the w’s find the guys that can mask ellis’ weaknesses? and how confident are you that ellis can develop the other parts of the game: handle, vision, playmaking, patience, decision making, etc? to some extent, we’ve said alot of the same things about j-rich, and how much has he improved?

    the w’s are at a crossroad, in a sense, they are almost rebuilding. it’s more than just finding a scoring big men. davis is near the end of his career. so they need to figure out if having ellis is better for their long term future. to me, that depends on his contract. at 6-8mil, yes keep him. at 10-12mil, no. so if w’s can get rudy gay or derrick rose by trading ellis, i would do it, esp for derrick rose.

    and i cant understand why some ppl, in this board and kawakami’s board, keep talking about ellis as if he’s the next best thing or a can’t miss prospect. to me, i just dont think he is. i dont think ellis can be a franchise type of player. ellis is a good player like carmelo anthony or michael redd. he is not the franchise changing type like kobe or lebron.

    just look at the upcoming draft, no team is jumping around or thinking they can build a franchise around jerryd bayless.

  • Wilson

    Nobody thought Ellis was worth a first round draft pick. Nobody thought he would be as good each of the last two years as he turned out to be. Ellis is a unique player. Never been anybody like him. Your argument is that if he isn’t Kobe or Lebron, we shouldn’t get excited about him? He’ll be an all-star next year, in my opinion, and the most fun player to watch in the NBA.

    Figuring out how good a player will be is a tough gig. Nobody is anywhere near perfect at it, and every team has draft busts. But when you have a player who has dramatically improved for two years running, the smart money is that he will continue to get better and better. It would be crazy frustrating to watch him become a top ten player in another uniform.

  • Dig

    Good post Manhattanproj, I agree with Ellis value being over-stated by many Warrior fans who invision him as the next great thing. Much easier to look better when teams are not gameplanning to stop you. First on everyone’s board is to stop Baron not Monta. I would not not build a team around an undersized SG.

  • JustPuked

    #33 manhattanproj

    Overall I don’t disagree with a lot of your assessment, but it would be a lot stronger if you had the facts on Monta’s size correct. Again, Monta is already 6’4 and in person looks to be more than the 190lbs you indicate he’d “top” out at and…he’s still growing. That skewers the nice profile a bit as he’s on the cusp of having the necessary size to man up on the very SG he’s not supposed to be big enough to defend. Other than that, a fairly good analysis although a bit condescending. I wasn’t aware basketball was a team sport, lol, thanks for the insight. (I’m guessing you didn’t really mean it that way, so no sweat).

    I agree, he’s not, at this time, a franchise player and he most likely won’t ever quite get there. But to summarily dismiss the possibility is a bit shortsighted especially when you consider how rapidly he’s both, improved his skills and how much larger he is than when he was drafted. He’s come a long way in a short while. I’m not betting on superstardom yet, but he’s already an above average player at both the point and sg. Not too shabby for a guy without a position. Plenty of players have had wonderful careers and never fit the standard positions. With Monta it will always come down to his ability to defend and that is still a question mark. A smart coach will know how to use Monta to gain an advantage. The average coaches will only try to protect against his potential weaknesses.

  • manhattanproj

    yes, ellis has improved the last 3 yrs. but in which areas has he improved? mostly as a scorer.

    the biggest room for growth for monta is as a PG, which i dont see happening. i think the monta that we see is probably a conservative 85% of what monta ellis will be. i just dont see he will ever be good enough to be a full time PG.

    depending on the next w’s coach, he could be a system PG. but if a coach needs a true PG, he’s not going to cut it. like i said, as a PG, he’s not even gilbert arenas caliber.

    side note: monta is 22, will be 23. he can’t keep growing forever. he’s 6’3 and is going to be 190. i’ll give you 200 top. anything more is going to ruin his game. look at his frame, he’s pretty much filled.

  • JustPuked

    manhattanproj – At this point, I realize we’re really not that far off in our opinions of Ellis. I actually miss read one part of your previous post:

    “i dont think ellis can be a franchise type of player. ellis is a good player like carmelo anthony or michael redd. he is not the franchise changing type like kobe or lebron.”

    I completely share that view. Comparing his potential to Carmello is apt. He’s not there yet and he may never get there, but he’s not that far off. In today’s NBA you can’t let that caliber of talent walk.

    As a “system” point guard he’d be pretty devastating. Monta on the Lakers or Spurs would be wicked, from the point of view of maximizing his abilities as a system point. That’s the crux of it right there. As a system point for another coach he’d light it up. Nobody wants to see someone with that ability, that much potential and that young leave, even if it means over paying a little bit to keep him in the fold. It’s not that everyone believes Monta is mini Kobe; it’s that losing Monta would be demoralizing to the Warriors franchise in a multitude of ways no matter where you think the ceiling is on his talent.

    My last quibble his on his height. I say bunk on the listed stats. Face to face, the kid is 6’4″.

  • haastheman

    I really, really, really, like what baron did this year. However, how many quality years does he have left in the tank? What kink of money does he think he’s worth? I hope he doesn’t want a raise.

  • Holy Toledo

    You make a good point about Warriors management, Marcus.

    It seems they, quite typically of them, overreacted to how foolishly they threw money at bad players by now playing way too hard a hardball with the good ones.

    That said, in general, the latter is preferable. Just do it with some sense of class.

    And, regarding JRich….firstly, the trade was the right move, as we’ll all see more and more as time goes on. At most, keeping JRich would have gotten the W’s beaten badly in the first round and a pick or two later. Who wants that? And really, who wanted to risk not being able to re-sign Monta and Dre?

    But the main reason JRich perhaps talked poorly of his experience is because going into the offseason he was told or heard the team had no interest in trading him.

    While it’s understandable that after all that emotional investment in the W’s JRich had dashed he’d be upset, the game demands, to get full value, that teams never suggest their trying to trade a guy…position of strength and/or value go down. JRich was cool to be momentarily upset, but ANY objective look at things could see why the trade was made. The team could not risk going into this offseason scrambling around to create the cap space to keep their two young studs, AND Jason played the position easiest to replace, both from what the W’s had already and what is most available league wide, SGs.

    I know many of you more shortsighted fans love JRich. Believe it or not, i did too. But since we’re not the Yankees and there is this annoying thing called a cap, it had to be made.

    As for Barnes, he is a journeyman. Cool cat, but thems are the facts.

    As for Pietrus? I wouldn’t worry too much about the effect what Pietrus thinks about the W’s will have.

    As for BD. This is one of those situations where if we could guaruntee ourselves a pretty decent replacement for BD, i’d go for it over the huge risk he’d be to resign. But, that’s unrealistic. Who can do what BD can do for us? Not many.

    So, i love to keep him, just not for the kind of deal he’s going to want, specifically, the amount of years. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to be worth his deal the last half of his deal if it’s for 6 years or something like that. If a player could actually be cool, FOR ONCE, and think about his happiness being linked to winning, and that he could win more if he took a 3 year deal, this would be the time for it.

    Think of the team and yourself BD. You ARE getting older and you ARE injury prone and a huge, long deal for you really COULD cripple the team for a long time. (i realize the futility of this kind of thinking, just sayin.)