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TPE or not TPE, that is the question…

… whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous luxury-tax payments or take arms against a sea of poor trade options.
OK, OK, I’ll stop massacring the words of poor William Shakespeare. But today is the day: the Warriors have until midnight California time to make a deal and bring in a player to “complete” the Jason Richardson transaction on the salary-cap ledger.
Chris Wilcox? Kyle Lowry? Javaris Crittendon? Brian Cardinal? OK, maybe not that last one.
Based on Chris Mullin’s conversations with the media in recent weeks and what we know of the team’s financial realism as imposed by Robert Rowell, the biggest problem is this: Using even $5 million of the exception will almost certainly guarantee the Warriors pay the luxury tax next summer. And Mullin isn’t going to be able to sell that unless he’s sure the player it nets will push his team into the top four Western Conference squads. And a player of that caliber is most likely going to have made more than $10,099,999 in 2007-08, which that the maximum amount that the Warriors can take on. (BTW, this is why Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich is not a possibility for the exception — his front-loaded contract paid him $11 million in 2007-08.)
Wilcox would provide another option at power forward, but though he probably could be had, word out of Seattle is that the Sonics are not desperate to move him.
Lowry or Crittendon would make sense as a backup point guard, but not if the Grizzlies, who took on an added contract load (Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner) in order to pry O.J. Mayo away from Minnesota, want to offload additional salaries on the Warriors’ books.
If something does happen, expect it to take place relatively early this afternoon. While the exception does not technically expire until midnight local time, it’s very likely that any movement will be finished before the close of business in New York, unless it’s a deal for a player who suddenly becomes available at the last minute.

– Geoff

Geoff Lepper

Geoff Lepper has covered the Warriors since 2005 for the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times. Before that, he covered baseball and college sports for the Marin Independent Journal.