By Marcus Thompson
Saturday, May 10th, 2008 at 7:23 pm in Uncategorized.
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.