66

Well, well, well

Where to begin? Of all the things I thought might happen to the Warriors this summer — and that’s a mighty lengthy list — Baron Davis passing on $17.8 million is not one of them. Of course, that’s because Baron was telling everyone who would listen it wouldn’t happen.

First off, let’s cover some turf that was discussed in the story you’ll never read — the one I sent into the office around 6 p.m. or so last night, or just in time for me to call back within the hour and say, “Tear that sucker up.”

Obviously, this was before BD dropped his bombshell, so I’m not sure this stuff still has relevance in the new Warriors world, but . . .

Don Nelson had this to say at Monday’s press conference for rookie picks Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix: “Matt Barnes and Cro, those guys will not be back, so there’s going to be some minutes there (at the forward spots). The team is going to take on a different shape, a different look. So there will be more opportunities for our youth.”

Chris Mullin didn’t necessarily agree, but did say it wasn’t realistic to think the Warriors could bring back both Barnes and Mickael Pietrus. And he said Patrick O’Bryant is as good as gone.

For his part, Barnes said, via text message: “(Nelson) is the boss. I would love to be a Warrior. I owe so much to Nellie and to the organization. But with the tough season I had last year, it doesn’t look like I’m wanted. . . . This is a cold game and a tough business.”

As for the point guard . . .

Here’s a Nelson quote that I couldn’t get into the paper due to language restrictions: “Opting out of a $17 million contract, that’s ballsy. Nobody can say Baron doesn’t have balls.”

Although I’m sure that a certain radio host who’s not a media member will disagree with me, the Warriors most definitely have been lowballing Baron. Consider this: When Chauncey Billups was 15 months older than BD is now, he got four guaranteed years worth approximately $11.5 million per season. When Steve Nash was 18 months older than BD is now, he got five guaranteed years worth $13 million per. BD was being asked to take significantly less security than that.

Thing is, nobody should be shocked by this turn of events. Lowballing has been the Warriors’ default negotiating position for a few years now; it’s how they chiseled Barnes down to a lone season at $3 million after his breakout year in 2006-07, and how they forced Pietrus to eat the one-year qualifying offer last season. It’s why the books look better and has worked for the team.

In this instance, however, it appears to have backfired. The Warriors have had plenty of opportunities to discuss an extension, but by sticking with their usual modus operandi, when Elton Brand opted out with the caveat that he’s returning to the Clippers, the opportunity was there for Davis to go home. And he’s jumping at it. According to multiple sources and several different reports, he will try to head to L.A. as a free agent as soon as possible, with Brand taking a less-than-max deal to make it happen.

“We’re grown-ups, and we understood that it was a possibility,” Nelson said. “We didn’t think it would happen, but it did and we’ll deal with it.”

According to the Washington Post, the Warriors’ first thought in dealing with it was to make a run at Gilbert Arenas, which would be great except — as always when it comes to Agent Zero and this franchise — the salary-cap cards are stacked against the W’s. The Wizards can and are willing, according to the Post, to pay Arenas for one more year than the Warriors can (six versus five), and can give 10.5 percent yearly raises instead of the 8 percent that Golden State can give. The total amounts will depend on the salary cap numbers, since the maximum allowable starting salary is a percentage of the cap.

If Arenas is not an option, where do they go next? Atlanta forward Josh Smith, an RFA, would fill the Warriors’ hole at power forward, but the contract would have to be large enough to make the Hawks give up on matching the deal. And that presumes Monta Ellis is ready to run the team on his own.

– 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.

  • Robin Miller

    Geoff, please tell readers what the Warriors have offered Baron. Without that information, it’s impossible for us to know whether the Warriors were, in fact, “lowballing” BD. You must have those figures, or else you would not have made this statement.

    Your two comparisons are hardly apt. Billups is widely regarded as having a terrible contract, and Nash is a much better, and healthier, player than Baron.

  • Action

    Baron is not the one being ballsy it is the coach who was being ballsy with leaving Baron on the bench for the last game to go to the offs.they need to give Don nelsons money to the Oakland fans that got gaffled last year Pay somebody and keep them instead of using players and letiing them go which is trademark for the warriors.

  • Rob W

    The more I think about this (yes, I’m shocked as well) is that Baron needs to go elsewhere. What about this Udrih guy from Sacto?

  • Eric

    “Lowballing … has worked for the team”

    I think Mickael Pietrus was unhappy with his financial situation leading to poor performance in the first half (plus) and if he played like he did in the second half, the warriors would have had a couple of extra wins (all they needed).

    I really don’t know how much two payoff games are worth in revenue. I’d guess missing the play-offs but having MP savings versus having two 1st round games has not “worked for the team”.

  • darkknight01

    If Baron is going to sign with the lowly Clipps then the W’s should look into possible tampering. Lets hope the Warriors make a run at Arenas, if not then Udrih…

    Baron is an idiot to pass up on 17.5 million. haha

    That will come back to bite him….

  • Josh

    Chris Mullin is an absolute idiot. I am not shocked by Baron’s choice to opt out. The Warriors have made it perfectly clear that Baron is not in their long term plans (though he brought them from the blunt of every one’s jokes in the NBA to a legitimate Western Conference team) and prefer to build for the future. Monta Ellis is NOT an NBA point guard and cannot do what Baron could. The Warriors will be a lottery pick team for the forseeable future again. Chris Mullin built a very good team, then beginning with Jason Richardson, began dismantling it one piece at a time. And what was the point of trading JR? Mullin let the trade exemption expire without making the team better. Explain that logic Chris. The Warriors deserve to suck again. Chris Mullin couldn’t successfully run a Taco Bell.

  • Scott

    I say pry away Josh Smith from Atlanta and make a play for Javaris Crittenton from Memphis. In three years, Javaris is younger, cheaper, and likely better than Baron when Baron will be old, slow, injured, and expensive.

  • believer

    I say, get Josh Smith and see what we have this year, meaningn play Monta at point, Huge minutes to BWright/Anthony and AB. However, we may have to overpay Josh Smith, but it is worth the risk, the guy is only 22 year old with unlimited potential. He could be franchise saviour ala CWebb for Sacramento kings.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    What in the heck are the Warriors thinking? Rebuild yet again? Baron Davis is the heart and soul of a team that, in the Eastern Conference, would have been a top tier playoff contender and they allowed him to opt out. NOW WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? I have been a Warrior fan since they won it in 1974. I saw Robert Parrish come here and management let him go (there has been a lot more talent since then that got away). At some point they’re going to have to spend the money to lock someone up and, Baron Davis is that someone. I am sick and tired of a losing basketball franchise in the bay area. At first it was ” we want guys of character on this team”. Well that got thrown out the window with the acquisition of Sephen Jackson (which I am glad they got). There was another thing about “not wanting guys right out of high school” that got thrown out the window also (Al Harrington and Monte Ellis). Now, lets go ahead and give Baron Davis the contract he wants and keep on winning.

    Come on Chris Mullin, give him what he wants and lets get busy winning a championship. Baron Davis likes this team and the bay area. I at least want to see the Warriors win the Western Conference before I pass away. I am only 39 years old, but at this rate it won’t happen before I die and, it looks like the Warrior management and owners will be the death of me.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    I have no idea what Mullin was thinking. Maybe he was trying to bluff? But you don’t bluff when you have a WINNING HAND. You play your cards and win the pot. Just like Mullin should’ve done. Maybe they’re trying to do like the A’s do and put a CONTENDING team on the court. The thing is, the Warriors just started contending. The A’s at least can win the AL West. The Warriors ain’t even won the Pacific Division yet. What the heck is really going on?

    Great post @ #6:

    Josh Says:

    Chris Mullin is an absolute idiot. I am not shocked by Baron’s choice to opt out. The Warriors have made it perfectly clear that Baron is not in their long term plans (though he brought them from the blunt of every one’s jokes in the NBA to a legitimate Western Conference team) and prefer to build for the future. Monta Ellis is NOT an NBA point guard and cannot do what Baron could. The Warriors will be a lottery pick team for the forseeable future again. Chris Mullin built a very good team, then beginning with Jason Richardson, began dismantling it one piece at a time. And what was the point of trading JR? Mullin let the trade exemption expire without making the team better. Explain that logic Chris. The Warriors deserve to suck again. Chris Mullin couldn’t successfully run a Taco Bell.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    Robin @ post #1, I don’t really believe Nash is a better player than Baron Davis. Different kind of point guard, yes, but better? no!!!!!

  • Torsky

    Action wrote: “it is the coach who was being ballsy with leaving Baron on the bench for the last game to go to the offs.”

    Baron’s birthday was the night before that game, and he stayed out at a club til all hours getting faced (this with the team still in the running to make the playoffs). When he played like garbage for the whole start of the game, Nellie pulled him. And I don’t blame him. Who parties their ass off the night before such a big game?

  • EJ

    i think everyone is overreacting a little bit on the baron situation. i’ll be the first to say that with the departure of jrich, baron has been the heart and soul of this team. but facts are facts. baron played all-star caliber basketball the entire season last year and we STILL missed the playoffs. i’m not saying that this is baron’s fault. the point i’m making is that losing baron doesn’t send the warriors on a free fall from being championship contenders. they weren’t that anyway. losing baron would be a devastating blow to a franchise that has made tremendous strides to be a highly competitive and entertaining basketball team, but nellie is only running this team for another year and monta needs to be handed over the reigns at some point.

    there’s no way the warriors get better and at the same time keep baron. the blazers are more formidable than last year with oden back and with the draft they just had. if baron stays, then maybe pietrus, barnes, and cro are back next year. that won’t be good enough to make it back to the playoffs. maybe it is a good idea to rebuild. we’ve got some young talent that needs to develop. it isn’t like the old days where we’ve got 2nd tier veterans out there every night (bimbo coles, terry cummings, etc.). maybe our young guys suprise the league like the blazers did?

  • EJ

    how about sign and trade pietrus in a package with harrington to denver for melo? melo can play 2, jack at 3, monta at point with jack occasionally at point forward.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    Hey EJ,

    The Warriors had a 48 and 34 record last season. NO went 56-26, the Lakers went 57-25, Suns 55-27, Utah 54-28, Denver 50-32, San Antonio 56-26, Houston 55-27 (22 game winning streak, Dallas 51-21. Those are the ONLY reasons the Warrios missed the playoff.

    If the Warriors played in the ease, they would’ve been a 3rd seed. Get real.

  • EJ

    yeah, and if portland played in the east they’d be the 6th seed. and if sacramento played in the east they’d be the 8th seed. the league doesn’t work like that, so you can’t think like that.

    really, only the 8th seed in the west is available. it’s fight between denver, golden state, portland, sacramento (they’ll be better than they were last year), and possibly the clippers (if they get it together).

    so yeah, the ONLY reasons the warriors didn’t make the playoffs is because all the other teams were better? uhhh….yeah!

    i’m tired of the whole “well, if we were in the east we’d be in the playoffs” measuring stick to success. but here’s my shot at it:

    “well, if the warriors had lebron james, tim duncan, michael jordan, wilt chamberlain, magic, and angelina jolie all in their primes at the same time we’d win the the finals and rule the world”.

    it’s irrelevant. thanks.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    I know what you’re saying EJ, but with 48 wins under the belt and a team that WAS rising, you just don’t let the best player get away. You said, “well, if the warriors had lebron james, tim duncan, michael jordan, wilt chamberlain, magic…..all in their primes at the same time we’d win the the finals and rule the world”. I don’t remember those guys teams letting them go while they were on the rise.
    All i know is, you give the best guy on the court what he wants. With all the controversy that surrounded Kobe and the Lakers at the beginning of the season, Jerry Buss ended up giving him what he wanted in order to win. Isn’t that what it’s all about? The Warriors have strung together 2 winning seasons in a row, some teams don’t make the playoffs because they’re sorry teams (The Warriors from 1994 – 2006). Not because the other teams in teh conference are better. There is a difference.

  • Jason

    Baron opting out for the clippers, how much money would Brand have to sacrifice. I’d like to see more of that in NBA, sacrafice to win the title.

    You always have big time superstars who want to win, but then they’ll take every penny from the team and wonder why they don’t have the sufficent talent around them.

    I’d say this makes clippers relevant again if they can pull if off..as for Warriors there not entirely in bad shape they got Monta,Stephen Jackson,Al Harrington,Biedrins and a few good young players to keep them basically were they were with west being even better for next season..having Baron would only be a finacial burden and his injury history is bad.

  • chippy

    Geoff,

    Have you heard anything in terms of the Warriors extending an offer to Kelenna Azubuike?

  • justin

    Personaly, I’m excited to see Baron go. He is a great player, but I doubt he has many good years left in his rickety knees. If the Warriors offer him a long-term deal they will be sorry after year-two when he is only playing half a season and eating up a huge chunk of their payroll. Think about it people, the Warriors had more wins then they’ve had in a decade and still didn’t make the playoffs in the West. 48 wins were great, but we overachieved and Baron played every game. The Western Confrence is only getting better. It’s time to go with a new plan.

    Monta is ready to run the point. No, he is not a pass-first point guard, but there is nobody better in the league at getting to the rim and Monta is a willing passer now. When he is handed the task of full-time point, he will be All-Star caliber.

    The two-guard will be a big question, but i wouldn’t mind seeing Pietrus there more often. He defends, is extremely athletic, shoots the ball well from 3, and rebounds the ball really well for a 6’6″ guy.

    Stephen is obviously the starting small forward. He will be the team leader (a little scary, but has been nothing but awesome since coming the the W’s). Anthony Randolph is a 3 right now so let him get some run behind Stephen.

    Brandon Wright should be our starting power forward. I would loooove to see Josh Smith here, but who are we kidding? We gave up a lot to get Wright so we need to give him every opportunity to succeed. Al will back him up as a great energy guy or can be traded for some more bench help.

    Anrdis is our center. He will need some help off the bench and I have no idea who. Maybe, just maybe Hendrix can be in the mold of Ben Wallace. He has all the tools to be a rugged defender and rebounder, but he can score better.

    There are a thousand different ideas on how to build a team. I for one am excited to see the future. It’s time to do something different. We maximized what we could with BD. I loved him while he was with us, but good riddance. Don’t be scared of the future because the future is now.

  • EJ

    I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson,

    free agency and billionaire owners changed the way players are moved. you don’t see the 15 year contracts of the 70′s and 80′s anymore. there’s too much money to be made without having a guaranteed contract or incentives. those guys i mentioned are once in a lifetime type talents and personalities and are no way a comparison to baron. not even close.

    the inept chris wallace gave the lakers the possible missing piece to their championship, not jerry buss. all buss had to do was say yes. if the did end up winning the title, executive of the year would’ve had to have been re-awarded to chris wallace.

    you’re right in saying they’ve strung together 2 winning seasons. but with the way the west continues to progress, that’s not going to be good enough anymore. and both times their seasons came down to the last game. that’s saying a lot about the strength in the western conference. the possible subtraction of baron doesn’t take them out of contention for a title, because they weren’t even at that level anyway. it would definitely hurt, but monta’s emergence will help ease the transition. that’s a luxury the warriors have and can use that as leverage with baron.

    baron is a top 5 point guard when healthy. but there’s always that caveat of “when healthy”. like marcus said in his previous blogs, getting a back up for baron is not really an issue because if he goes down the team will stink anyway. now, if the warriors do lose baron i don’t think mullin and co will stand pat and go with a team of monta, jax, al, biedrins, wright, belinelli, buike, and a bunch of fillers. there will be some manueverability with the cap, especially if baron elects to go with a sign and trade.

    i know the point you’re trying to make, but i just don’t agree. to each his own. but go warriors!

  • Niners in 2009

    Geoff, Fitz is an idiot, I lost alot of respect for him last week when he went at you on the radio show. Keep up the good work, hardcore Warrior fans are greatful.

  • http://ahennefer@hotmail.com blah

    Shocked but okay, what is the point? with our team we get swept in the playoffs anyways. i’m glad we missed and drafted Randolph, hes got as much potential as anyone in that draft.

    Lettting BD play out his contract is stupid. If we’re going to keep him, sign him now and save some money this year(i.e. 15 mill verse 18), and make him happy with a longer contract. Unhappy BD = team cancer. I’d rather not have him. Plus if we can’t find another C or big PF, having two 6’3″ guys on the floor is just too small in the west. ~See half court defense against pretty much anyone. Monta’s got grow up now and run a team if we can’t get Gilbert (who’s much better than BD).

    like i said before, trade BD to Miami for Beasely, and sign GA. that make us “contenders” for years to come. Oh, and please don’t use the word “contenders” in reference to a team trying to make the 8th seed. Get real.

    PS. should have drafted Devron Hardin, how many PF do we need?

  • Mr B

    Always a damn rebuilding team. Ws have/had two good point guards (BD and Arenas) but they cannot seem to hold on to good players. Its so tough to get a decent point guard let alone an above decent point guard like BD.

    Suit up Sidney Moncrief!

  • nevin420

    What happened between Geoff and Fitz??!

  • H

    you miss two points

    Baron has missed a lot of games in his career. He projects to play far less than %100 of his games in the future

    Baron’s game is more based on his legs. These types of players age the most quickly

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    EJ,
    You’re right about the Kobe thing, but in the end Jerry signed the check. That is what I am talking about. I am tired of the Warriors being like the Clippers (or worse). I think a 5 year contract would’ve made Baron happy and I don’t think that is too long. Hell, who else are they paying?

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    Blah,

    We had Gilbert and let him get away also (along with Jamison). Had the guy for cheap. he was a rookie free agent, didn’t even get drafted and we let him off the hook. I loved him when he was a Warrior, those 2 guys are the heart of teh Wizards team. Why would he want to come back to the bay area?

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    Hey EJ,

    Do you think Denver would take that package for Melo?

  • commish

    Get Iggy baby! If not Iggy then Udrih if he wants mid cap money. If not him, the Arroyo or Duhon would be decent starting PG’s. Then go after Josh Smith and if that fails, get Childress to play 2/3 with Jax. I wouldn’t tie all our resources up with Arenas and his two knee operations. If Mullin did that, then I would know he is dumber than dirt, which I already think anyway. Let Baron go and God bless him for playing his heart out. We are on the verge of transitioning from an older team to a younger team anyway so why wait the extra year. Do it now. As some of the Western powerhouses age out, let the Dubs, Portland, and probably the Lakers and for sure the Hornets be the top four teams in the West in two to three years. We have the nucleus, but please don’t go after Arenas. Not to mention there will be some great FA’s the summer after this if we keep some cap space.

    On the other hand, if Cohan doesn’t come close to hitting the cap, then shame on him and let him suffer the consequences of screwing the fans and the team.

  • http://ahennefer@hotmail.com blah

    Cliff,

    GS was not able to offer GA as much money at the time he left as another team could. Since then, the rules have changed allowing a team who drafted a player match any offer even if it extends beyond the salary cap. it’s commonly refered to now as the Gilbert Arenas rule. We got screwed.

    That aside, yes W’s made some very bad moves, Jamison is only one of them. Let’s remeber drafting Tof fuller over Kobe to begin with. that guy couldn’t even jump on a phone book.

    But at last my prayers came true the day the W’s fired Gary St.Jean (Sp?) the WORST GM of all time.

    why would he want to come back? He was very public about wanting to stay a Warrior. If he didn’t have major doubts about his currnet team he would have signed a long time ago with them as they’ve been trying to lock him up for a while.

  • darkknight01

    Losing the heart and soul of the team is ill advised…..

  • Niners in 2009

    BARON IS GONE> 5 years/$65 MIL to LAC, ESPN, LA TIMES REPORTING

  • http://CocoTimes D Brown

    Way to go Warriors-you blew it again. The organization should be ashamed of themselves!!! Finally we get a good thing going here in Oakland and they go screw it up by being cheap. Good luck filling those seats with skinny new dude and last years skinny new guy. I sure am glad I paid for my season tickets already-NOT.
    C ya.

  • Sammy Warrior

    I think it’s a blessing in disguise. Nobody expected Monta to bloom as fast as he did last year. I think he’s a hard worker with a clear desire to get better. I think he’ll take this challenge and make it work. Everybody tells him he can’t play PG, but if you watched the last 30 games of the season, he was taking the ball up and dishing it out to give Baron some a break from running the plays. Monta made some great driving baseline attacks into the chest of the shot blocker where he’d then wrap around the pass to Andrins for the dunk. Monta can definitely play PG, especially with that clear desire to be better.

  • Joe

    Nice move taking the high road with Fitz… NOT. It would be really nice to know what number you think “lowballing” is. Four guaranteed years worth approximately $11.5 million per season seems fine. Is that considered too low? Over $15 mil per year seems to high but $12 mil for four or five seasons seems quite fair. It would help to know what Lepper defines as lowballing.

  • Matt

    At first, I was pretty upset about Baron opting out and now apparently signing with the Clippers. It has been a fun ride with that team and Baron is the BIG reason why it all started.

    However, the more I think about it, the more I am glad Baron will be gone. We will never see him play a full season again (either will the Clippers) and there was no way he was going to stay beyond next season anyway. With Monta and Andris still building and the rookies coming in, there is a great opportunity here for the Warriors to start a long-term thing. Why break the bank and put yourself in the hole for multiple seasons on an unsure thing?

    I’d really like to talk to Baron, though, and tell him what a fool he is for making the fans believe he really wanted to be here. Quote after quote I’ve been reading how he wanted to stay a Warrior, blah blah. His heart is on LA, living the Hollywood life (which is a NO NO in the Bay), and making movies. Good, he got his wish. I thank him for the great 2.5 years he was here and how much fun watching the Warriors is again…but I will boo him when he returns. Baron could never mean as much as J-Rich did. I will give Jason standing ovations every time he returns.

  • VegasBill

    What it looks like to me is this is Baron being Baron. People have said he changed since he got to GS. But, it looks like he is just as slimy and greedy. It also appears that Brand and Baron got together and made a deal before they both opted out. That is just HORRIBLE and slimy. Also, if the Clips had not been talking to him how did they get a deal done in less than 24 hours? I think that the Clips and Brand tampered with Baron, but that is hard to prove. But, the Dubs should have the league look into this because it does not smell right and like T.O. says if it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, well….Also, it looks like there is more to the benching at the end of the season than Nellie and Baron are talking about. It appears that Baron has not gotten over this and is letting this affect his decision. Baron should realize 1 thing: He owes Nelson and the Warriors a ton. Nelson and his system made Baron relevant again. If it was not for the Warriors he may have gone somewhere else that his game did not fit. But, he does not appear to understand this. He should have been honest with the fans, media and Warriors about his intention. I think he was dishonest so the Warriors would trade him to Detroit or do a sign and trade somewhere else. He planned all along to leave, but wanted to go where he wanted not where the Warriors sent him. This is Baron being Baron. What a JERK!!!!

    Also, from what I heard the Dubs were offering baron 4 years at an avg salary of 11 million. That is not much of a low ball for a person with his injury history. I think 44 million is a ton of faith in a guy who has only played 82 games in a season 4 times in his career. Last year was the first year he had done that in a while. 3 of the 4 years he played all 82 were his first three in league, last being 2001-2002 season.

    I hope the old Baron shows up and he gets hurt next year. Karma works in mysterious ways. I hope it bites Baron in his greedy ASSSSS.

  • Mr B

    I guess BD has a verbal agreement with the Clips. See ya. It would be surprising if he plays 60 games this year.

    See ya

  • manhattanproj

    losing baron is big. losing baron as a trade piece is even bigger. but 5 yrs for 65 mil – what are the clips thinking? they are banking alot on this season and maybe the next if they are lucky.

    overpaying josh smith wont improve the w’s and wont help the development of wright and randolph. now with BD gone, i wouldn’t even think about signing josh smith. no point as the w’s wont be a contender. save the money.

    i would try to work out a deal with shaun livingston. he probably won’t play til late in the season or at all. but w’s could probably get him at a cheap price. then see if they can work out a deal with griz for one of their PGs, conley, lowry, or crittenton, without giving away any major pieces. or with bobcats for felton. AND if the mullin and co. are really really desperate, there is tinsley from pacers or marbury, robinson from knicks.

    there are options. but just dont expect too much. next yr is probably a development season for the young guys, kind of like the blazers of last season. it can be a good thing for the team in the long run, as w’s get to see how good the young guys are going to be, something that won’t happen if baron sticks around. that’s the silver lining.

  • Stallion

    So dissapointing. Cohan is so effing cheap I can’t stand it. The stadium is packed every single night and they can’t sign the one player that made them relevant again. The Warriors have this $10 million dollar trade exception that they are doing nothing with. They need to go throw as much money as they can at Elton Brand.

  • the510

    Losing your star to the Clippers is a reminder that as far as the Dubs have come, they are still …. the Warriors. Wow. How humiliating.

  • Andy

    Oh…man.. how Baron will regret what he did…

  • Dan

    I can understand Baron opting out, but the fact that he said he wouldn’t certainly had to play some role in the Warriors not using the trade exception or drafting a point gaurd. Since the Clipper deal materialized so quickly, I feel like there had to be some tampering going on. If this is the case, aren’t the Warriors owed some compensation? If not, what is the point of having negotiating periods start and end at certain times?

  • doubles

    Barack O’Monta!!!! A point guard change we can believe in.

  • Chris

    I’m hearing the “Big 3″ of the west already, but I’m not buying it. There are many big3′s more legit than Brand+Davis+Kaman in the west. Had this team been in the East, I’d say they’re a contender for conf final, but not the west. The brutal schedules will eventually wear down the clippers, and BD and Brand’s bodies simply won’t hold up for 82 games plus the playoffs. Having said that, they do look good in the long run as Kaman and bench mature. So, clippers fans (including me), you may have to wait for a couple more years before you see a contending team.

  • qbanis

    Not since CWebb’s Ws have I given a rat’s booty about this terrible, putrid stench of a franchise. Many years I forgot they were even in the L. Until Baron, that is. An amazing athlete, BD also knows how to run a team, and is a ‘true’ pg. The Ws became the Sac Kings of ’01, an incredibly fun team to watch that came out of nowhere and could also win games. That’s now all gone. Period. GS back to bball purgatory, where it belongs.

    C’mon, BD is better than Nash easy. BD has made it as far in the playoffs with less talent (Hornets w/ Mash & Zo) than Nash has had (Amare, Shaq, Diaw, Barbosa, Marion, etc). Nash might be a slightly better passer, but BD is clutch, hitting at least two playoff game-winners and making crucial plays in the final minutes, whereas Nash too often disappears or straight chokes with pressure. I’ve never seen or heard/read about him hitting a gw-shot ever, but I remember him missing countless clutch free throws – though he’s like 92% for his career! Dude is a choker, soft as his boy Dirk. But great in the regular season (a la Dirk too).

    The only pgs in the conversation with BD are CP3 and DWill. The only negative on him, and it is admittedly a biggie, is Baron’s injury history. I’m not a doctor, so who knows (none of you do) what his long term health is projected to be, but I do know that he was healthy most of the last two years and playing at a very high level. I feel bad for SJax and Monta and the fans who appreciated Baron. Welcome home, BD.

  • qbanis

    Forgot: Nash and defense like dubya and wit, they don’t even TRY to get along anymore. BD a solid defender.

    Kidd can’t shoot, never could. You don’t even have to guard him anymore since the end of the ‘illegal d’ rule. Great player and defender, though.

    T Parker needs to improve his passing, but he’s real close. His D isn’t great either, but he’s improving.

    Nash is a great player, don’t get me wrong, but BD is better.

  • Chris Gatling’s headband

    Um, why would would Baron regret this $65 million deal? Sounds like he made the smart move.

    While Mullin might have been playing this smart in the long run, Billy Beane style, it is a disaster for me as a fan.

    Baron Davis gave me that feeling that we could beat any team in the league. That is special, and hard to replace.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    Should have at least done a sign and trade dea and, got him out of the west. The dubs already have to deal with Parker, Nash, Iverson and, Chris Paul all the time. Now we have to face BD with a grudge?
    But I believe the dubs should’ve given him a 5 year deal. I said that in post #27.

  • I Liked Clifford Ray Richardson

    It just really pisses me off to see the dubs lost BD. I mean, how in the world do you let your best player go and get nothing in return? I know a lot of you are “looking at the so-called bright side”. But, there is no bright side to a bad deal. I know the dubs have a lot of players with high potential, but BD was proven. The guy wasn’t being slimy or greedy, he wanted a long term contract. It’s called job stability and, I don’t know anyone with a regular 9 -5 taht doesn’t want that.

  • Pale Rider

    Let’s get real guys…

    No way an organization on the cusp of contending can gamble $65 mill for five years on ANY 29 year old point guard. You can find 2-3 examples of 31+ year old guys playing at a high level, but most are on a steep down slope by that age. Would have been great to keep BD for a year or two more, but that’s all you can reasonably hope for with his history. So, if the Clippers offer crazy money, it’s best to move on.

    The centerpiece of the future is Monta, regardless if he plays 1 or 2. Personally, I think Azubuike and Pietrus are complementary players with different skills that fit nicely into the 2 or 3 rotation. Stephen Jackson can still lead/contribute as a 2 or 3 for another year or two. Wright must step up big at the 4. From his limited minutes last year, he shows a lot of promise. Andris is servicable at the 5, but we need some more flexibility at the position when we run into the beefy frontlines.

    Harrington could be great at a couple of positions, given his versatility. He would be great to hang on to, if his head is right. Bellinelli just has to show he won’t get scorched on D every time he’s on the floor and he could work in to the guard rotation as well. I am still hoping he can be the W’s version of Manu Ginoballi, though he’s more of a shooter than a slasher…still he could be used as a “spark” kind of guy.

    Randolf & Hendrix, who knows…hopefully we can get some useful minutes out of them, particularly Hendrix at 4, where we can get pushed around. We do need some true point guard backup minutes.

    Now that we know Baron is gone and Udrih will re-sign, I’d look hard at Duhon. He’s a pass first, defense kind of PG which could be a complementary role for some minutes at the 1. Not a killer contract either.

    I’d also, hold your breath, sniff around Kwame Brown at as backup 5. I know, I know, it’s Kwame Brown, but the guy’s 6’11″, 270 and can run. He can come off the bench and be an energy guy, with low expectations. Since his price will be low, he could be worth the risk.

    Hopefully, the team will revolve around Monta, Wright & Jackson this year with Randolf stepping into Jack’s role a couple of years from now. If this all plays out, we could still be competitive and maybe even improve a bit in the near term. If our young core develops, we could contend in the west.

    Forget Maggette, Josh Smith, Arenas…those guys are not going to get us contending and would either interupt development of our core or would change the personality of the team too much.

    Keep it real, W’s…

  • EJ

    i think it would’ve been a mistake giving him a 5 year deal. this was going to be monta’s team in a couple of years anyway. i can’t be mad at baron. if you’re a 29 year old point guard with a history of injuries and someone from home offers you 100mil over the next 5 seasons, you take it. i just wish he would’ve opted out before the draft. i wonder how that might have impacted the warriors selections? i like randolph, but i’d like to see the warriors go after josh smith (who i think will be better than shawn marion). if the warriors were at all serious at retaining davis, they would’ve locked him up before the draft.

    what will be interesting is to see how gets along with coach dunleavy.

  • Dave

    Fact is this is complete inept management.

    Number on rule of sports is get along with your star player and take care of him. So even if BD wasn’t in the long term plans you work with him to get him his coin and not wind up with nothing.

    They haven’t even started negotiating with Monta?

    They low balled AB last season.

    Remember how Arenas left? J-Rich?

    The problem is the Cohan regime refuses to respect players or fans and now has a well earned reputation that absolutely impedes the team’s ability to improve.

    Nobody wants to come play for this ownership and management and that is the single biggest problem.

    You cannot have all star type players like Arenas, BD, J-Rich and even marginal guys like MP, AB, Damp or Foyle continuing to rag on the organization. In the small world of the NBA perception = reality.

    Expect AH and Jax to request trades immediately.

    Nothing will change until Cohan sells this team! Even if he is willing to spend the money, which I doubt, he is clueless about class and integrity.

    There is no respect for the players or the fandom. I am done with this team unless someone buys it.

  • Danzster

    The Dubs boxed themselves into a corner. Internally, their long term development strategy was finally getting some credibility ( Monta, Andris, Wright, and hopefully Randolph) but was being balanced against their 2007 miracle season and hightened expectations, the result of two good Mullin decisions ( BD and Nelson) and a lucky homerun when “The Trade” landed us two hard nosed players for two miscast role players(Mullin “learning curve” mistakes), wrapped around the improbable magic of our playoff victory over Dallas.

    That fooled too many of us into believing that, by simply having some of our young players get one year better and having Jack and Al for a full season, we were a complete and playoff caliber team.

    Not so fast, and not in the West. The tried and true “formula” is a minimum of two horses, and more recently three studs are required to take you deep into the playoffs and a legitmate chance at a championship. The W’s only had one player that could be cast in that role, and he is ……was…..a long term question mark due to his injury history. The rest of our team was either very young and in need of experience, or very good role players (4th and 5th options on a championship team).

    So, our mgmt gurus were left with this scenario: Just when the W’s youth movement is finally ready to really pay off, say in 2010 or 2011, Baron is likely on IR, more interested in SoCal and his post NBA career in entertainment, sucking up big cap numbers,and the Stephen Jack / Barnes / Harrington magic of 2007 is a distant memory. And, while Monta and Andris and Brandon all have the potential to be a “horse”, they also have flaws that may or may not be resolved.

    So, the “win it now” strategy of giving Baron what he wanted would still require trading or signing for one more stud (An immediate answer for prime time boards and matching up with the other guys’ inside power). That would have most assuredly meant trading one or two of our Youth Guys, and abandoning our “tall and athletic” vision of the future.

    If we were a team, prior to 2007, without 13 consequtive years of playoff drought, most Bay Area fans would weigh the risks of a long term BD signing, and give the mgmt group the benefit of the doubt. Since that is not the case, I suspect that this year, if we go forward with the current roster plus one new 2nd Tier point guard to backstop the Monta at the point project, you will see empty seats in the 2nd Deck and hear very angry comments directed at Mully and Nelson……..and at Jack, if he is still here. His previous emotional outbursts fueled our desires to fight back. If we are 10 games under 500 in mid-January, the fans won’t be in a “fight back” mode…….we will simply be pissed off! At everybody, but most directly at ourselves for “Continuing to Believe”.

    So, we are now left with two choices: Mully lands a stud who will be a prime time player two years from now as well as today (Gilbert, come home!)or, to stand pat for one year and jump into the FA market next year with all of that sexy cap room we now have.

    Given the teams fiscally conservative approach and the probability of landing a Gilby type FA, I think scenario #2 is more likely. Which means, next years highlights are most likely not going to be about a playoff run, but more about that highlight reel slam that Wright grabbed three feet above the rim.

    And, about speculation for the summer of 2009. Will we spend the $$$ and land the missing stud, or throw the opportunity out of bounds? Hey…….it’s not like we haven’t been here before!!!!

  • EJ

    harrington and perovic for larry hughes.

  • Mr B

    We are saving $$ for Salary Cap but for what? Ws have been doing that for years but don’t have anything to show for it – no star players…

    Baron did not play a full season – agreed. At the end of the day, he was there at the end of the season to help and try to get us into the playoffs. He delivered during the playoffs. If had a better team around him, Ws could have gone deeper into the playoffs. Now the options being throw around are Josh Smith? Jason Terry? If your lucky Chauncey Billups??
    Holly Molly!!

    Should have given him the money and played for three to four years. His expiring contract would have been attractive to other teams for a trade down the line.

  • EJ

    correction. i put 100mil instead of 65.

  • CO_GSWfan

    Baron will not regret this move. It gives him some long term security and take him home to LA. It is the Clippers who will regret overpaying him … especially come years 3, 4 and 5 of this contract.

  • Jaysohn

    The Warriors were stuck between damned if you do, damned if you don’t with Baron. If they had signed BD to a long term contract along with Beidrins and Monta then what? At best they would have continued to fight for the last playoff spot in the West for 2 or 3 years with no real shot at being a top contender. Baron is a very good player but not a great player. He’s probably the 4th best point guard in the West behind Nash, Deron Williams and CP4. What the Warriors desperately need is for one of their young players to develop into a star, a difference maker. That is where Baron will be missed the most but I believe Baron had taken this team as far as his talents were going to take them. Nellie and Baron made the Warriors relevant again but their style of play can only take a team so far. If Mully can make a few right moves we should end up with a more balanced team with a brighter future.

  • bleedingfinger

    guys, lay off mullin! think about it; if its true that the dubs were offering a 2 year contract, and the clips a 5 year deal, baron has no choice but to go to LA. But by offering him 2 years, mullin did the SMART thing. As much as everyone loves BDiddy, he has always been hurt, and even tho he played 82 games last year, am I the only one that remembers that he was almost completely invisible the last 6 weeks of the season?

    We have a boatload of $$$ now, so before we rip management, let due process run and see if they can get Josh Smith or J. Crittenden and go from there. If they sit on this money and do nothing, then i’ll be on my megaphone ripping Mully and co along with the rest of the ‘Dub nation.

  • Jaysohn

    Please please stop bringing up Arenas as an example of the Warriors making a bad decision. It has been noted over and over again that the Warriors could not offer Arenas anything close to what his market value was due to the rules at the time. There was nothing they could do to keep him. That’s why the rule was changed afterwards. Also its uninformed to suggest that the Warriors don’t spend enough money. In fact with Dunleavy, Murphy, Richardson and Foyle the problem was that they spent too much money on mediocre players just to show loyalty and commitement. The Warriors play within the salary cap limits just like almost every other team in the NBA outside of the Knicks and maybe the Lakers. The Spurs and Detroit our top teams and they don’t spend anymore on players. The issue is spending the right amount of money on the right players. It helps when you have an all-star and a top 25 player or two to build around. That has always been the Warriors problem. As good as Baron is he’s not a player like Lebron, Duncan, Kobe or even Chris Paul that you can build a playoff team around and the Warriors could not afford to pay him like he is. Thats the reality that Mully was faced with and what we as fans have to wake up to.

  • darkknight01

    i think the W’s played the cards wrong with Baron.

    They could have signed him and traded him….instead they let him walk away without anything to show for it? Not good. Somebody fell asleep at the wheel and should have maintained conversations with Baron or his agent the day of the opt out deadline or the day before….so that the W’s knew his true intentions and planned accordingly. Lets hope they get Arenas or Brand otherwise ownership just suckered season ticket holders.

  • darkknight01

    I think the W’s should sign Brand and then trade Harrington to Detroit for Billups.

  • john

    Geoff,

    great writing. i listened to you on knbr last week when Bob Fitzgerald went all “homer” on you. totally gutless and classes act on his part. the guy is a complete hack-

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