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Wrapping up BD’s departure

Tying up some loose ends: One thing the Warriors did not do after Baron Davis opted out Monday was attempt to up their previous best offer — which appears to have topped out at two years and $30 million (including all potential bonuses; the value easily could have been more like $25M). Todd Ramasar, Davis’ agent, said he did not hear Monday night or Tuesday morning/afternoon from the team, which seems to have cut the cord as soon as Davis sent his termination letter Monday afternoon.
As for free agents the Warriors have talked to, in addition to the well-chronicled Gilbert Arenas pursuit, a league source told me late Tuesday that Golden State took a run at Clippers forward Elton Brand, offering five years and $80M. Brand, however, is still set to go back to his old team, and it’s hard to see how that comes derailed now that Baron’s on board.

Without Davis, the Warriors could have something along the lines of $17M to $18M under the salary cap, with another $12M or so free before they hit the luxury-tax threshold. That means the club could spend as much as $30M on acquisitions (with at least some of them being trades). Add into that the contract of Al Harrington ($9.2M), presumably to be first on the list of players slated to go, and that’s a huge amount of cash to remake Golden State. Thanks to the free-flowing money, it’s easy to envision a bevy of restricted free agents lining up for meetings so they can claim the W’s are seriously interested and drive up their prices. What’s going to be tough is identifying when Golden State is actually interested versus when it’s just a ploy.

As for the point guard position . . . Nellie says he’s ready to see more Monta at the point this season, and while that may be true, it’s crazy to think that the Warriors can get by on nothing but C.J. Watson and Marco Belinelli if Ellis were to get hurt.

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So, who’s available? Well, Sacramento re-upped Beno Udrih, the Raptors locked down Jose Calderon and Agent Zero appears set to go back to the Wizards, with the Warriors once again left second-best in the bidding for Gilbert. (Perhaps the Gilbert Arenas Rule needs to be amended to read, “Gilbert Arenas will play at least one more season for the Warriors before retiring.” That might be the only thing that gets him back here.) Aside from Baron, those were pretty much all the sure-bet, starting-caliber point guards available in free agency.

If the Warriors go the trade route, the Sonics (Russell Westbrook, Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson) and Grizzlies (Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry and Javaris Crittendon) are still oversubscribed at the position (although Seattle may be less interested in dealing now that Watson has broken a thumb and is expected to be out until training camp). And as Tim Kawakami pointed out in his column today, the Knicks could part with Jamal Crawford (not a true point, but could team well with Ellis) — unless Mike D’Antoni manages to run Stephon Marbury out of town, of course.
There’s been no indication the Pistons have changed their mind about wanting to deal Chauncey Billups to make room for Rodney Stuckey, so that’s still a possibility. Jamaal Tinsley’s departure from Indiana is a foregone conclusion, but reteaming two of the combatants from Club Rio — notwithstanding Stephen Jackson’s oodles of good works over the past year — might be seen in Warriors headquarters as unnecessarily courting trouble. Kirk Hinrich is available in Chicago, and his front-loaded deal, which steps down $1 million per year, would actually fit well with a team that has a ton of space now but will be paying out big money to its youngsters later.

Second-tier free agents include Anthony Carter (who told the Rocky Mountain News he has been contacted by the W’s), Carlos Arroyo, Tyronn Lue, Jason Williams, Sam Cassell and my personal favorite: Jannero Pargo. After bouncing around the league for three years, he finally found a niche with the Hornets. He can shoot the 3 (although he has a fairly dreadful overall FG%) is great from the line and would have no trouble adjusting to the Warriors’ uptempo style. The biggest obstacle — and it may very well be a deal-breaker — is that he’s 6-1 and 175, so there’s no way that he can play with Ellis. And Ellis, it seems very clear, is going to play 40+ minutes a night, every night, for the foreseeable future as the centerpiece of this team.

– 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.

  • doubles

    first? anyway, I’d like to know more about Crittendon-his name seems to pop up alot in many warrior blogs.

  • josh

    what about josh smith? I know he’s a RFA, but can’t we make an offer that atlanta would have trouble matching?

  • bleedingfinger

    Geoff,

    Why not go another direction and offer Josh Smith the max, home he comes over here, and that would give us one of the most athletic,long and fast starting 5 in the league: Ellis, Jackson, Smith, Wright and Biedrins? Maybe work the phones as well and see if we cant pry J Crittenen from Memphis?

  • bleedingfinger

    Oh, for those of you who what an idea of what kind of prospect Crittenden is:

    http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=8&c=1&nid=836101

  • Niners in 2009

    All those options suck! We should go after a 2-guard who can handle like Andre Iguodala. He’s young, he’ll fit right in with our young core.

  • JLee

    I’d like to see them go after Livingston with an incentive based contract. He could turn out to be a very good player for the W’s (He’s 6 foot 7 paired with Monta) and he would probably do well in a free flowing system. Let’s just hope his knees are healthy.

  • Ewok

    Question: Just What are Warriors without Baron Davis?

    Answer: The Clippers.

    Stephen Jackson once said something to this effect, “Baron is like our uniform, We can’t play without our uniform.” I wonder what he has to say about the team right now.

    Baron Davis = 20 pts, 8 assist, 4 rebounds a game. How the hell are we going to compensate for that (Whether you are Davis fan or not)?

    In Mullin’s defense however, 17 million dollars for one year before renegotiations is one hell of a money to ignore.

    Perhaps Tim Kawakami, with all his beef against Baron, was right about Baron afterall. He planned this all along.

    But with Davis around, we were in the right direction. Without him, It’s now Mullin’s direction and it is so unclear. Let’s see where this will lead us.

    Are we crumbling again?

    It’s too early to say that. But keep cherishing those Baron years with us… Just in case it might take a while before we have those fun again.

    Monta will lead the pack now. Is he ready to be a leader now aside from just being a great player? Is he ready to manage the team on and off the court?

    Kelena better be back.

    Wright and Bellineli better be factors.

    Randolph better be the deal.

    Becuase….

    As of now, July 2, 1630 News from the grapevine is Elton Brand isn’t going anywhere. (See, money isn’t the only factor)

    Jamal Crawford and Leandro Barbosa could be temporary options.

    After all those years of rebuilding, I hope we’re not back to square one.

    If Clippers are on the rise, Where will that leave us?

  • Ewok

    Go for Billups now.

    Now that’s a Band Aid.

    As far as Im concerned, Nash is the only validating replacement. Yet, he is not a good one on one guy like Baron.

  • dominmatrix

    Geoff,

    What about a guy like Marcus Williams? He can be had, along with Hassell and Van Horn (expiring deals) for Al (throw in CJ Watson) to The Nets.

  • Andrew

    We Believe…ha ha ha

  • Maverikc

    Instead of looking at Josh Smith, why dont we take a run at Emeka Okafor, he would be the defensive inside presence we need. Also Carlos Arroyo might be viable at Point Gaurd

  • Derek

    Billups, Monta, Steven Jackson, Josh Smith and Briedrens, with Magette and Wright, Buki, and the rookies coming off the bench.

    (not sold on Bellinelli)

    We’d be ready for the season.

  • Mr B

    W’s would be lucky to win 20 games this season. what a mess.

  • EJ

    For Geoff or Marcus:

    HYPOTHETICALLY, with the cap space the Warriors have couldn’t they make offers to both Brand AND Arenas? Crazy, I know. Brand longs to play with an elite guard (Arenas) and Arenas can come back home to CA and play with an elite power forward. Would Cohan and Co. be willing to enter luxury tax territory if that were a possibility? I see it being something similar to what the Clippers are trying to accomplish. 16-17mil for Arenas and 13-14 for Brand? Am I dreaming or could this actually work?

  • Justin W.

    From the beginning, low-balling a player of Baron Davis’ caliber was a critical error. Davis was the key factor in putting the Warriors back on the map – so key that we let J-Rich go, remember? He deserved that respect! Davis is a match-up nightmare, posting up smaller players (like Ellis, possibly 4 times per year w/ the Clips) and blowing past the bigger ones, which made him the the perfect point-guard for Nellie – and Nellie is nothing without a quality point-guard. Especially not now that point-guards are all the rage in this newer, faster NBA.

    Ellis is a great player but he doesn’t have the court-vision or handles to be suited to the task.

    I am and always will be a Warriors fan but I have to call it like I see it: the Warriors 08-09 season is doomed. Thanks Mullin (and Nellie).

  • kirk henrich

    get kirk henrich hes a past first gaurd i expect ellis to be up to around 25 a game beidres scoring should go up as well. Josh smith would be great…if that guy devolops a outside jump shot look out…..ellis biedres and josh smith is a nice group of 22 year olds

  • http://aol.com Paul

    Trade Harrington for Hinrich! This trade makes so much sense it is almost ridiculous. Harrington does not fit here and his departure will free up more time for B Wright and our 2 new picks. Hinrich and start in the back court with Monta immediatley and I can only imagine that he will flourish in an uptempo system.

    The still need to make some additional moves, but a great way to start would be to solidify the back court.

  • Ewok

    Very confusing.

    We offered Arenas a solid 100 million for five years, but we couldnt offer Baron his money, about half as much as Arenas and to think that the offer for Arenas came after Davis gave his strange hint.

    It sucks. If Dunleavy and Murphy can get their money, Why can’t Baron who didnt ask for the moon, just a respectable amount of money? Baron resurected this franchise.

    It appears however, the Warriors organization is not completely sold on Baron.

    On the same token, Why would Baron give up 17 million for one year before another round of negotiations?

    (That’s a lot of money for one year! Unless you know youre not healthy for the next two years or so!)

    Is it perhaps because he is trying to get a solid contract BEFORE those knees blow up again, perhaps permanently?

    Is he trying to do this because he knows his game will regress sooner or later amid the likes Chris Paul, Monta Ellis and these up and coming wards showing up?

    Is he trying to get this contract before Monta finally gets the helm of the team?

    Then, we want to get Brand, and offered him the Arenas package. Brand is indeed a great player but we just drafted two types of power forward recently.. So what is the point of that?

    We need a point guard, a solid one.

    ….and Why are giving this type of money if the priority is to keep Biedrins and Monta? and we have more players to take care of.

    It’s a mess! Historically speaking, The Warriors organization is always a mess during the off season. From controversies to bad decisions. Name it.

    I thought the Jinx is gone. But it appears that its back again.. I hope not.

    If Mullin comes on top of this “crisis’, then he is the best manager in the league(But he has to come up with a star player in the roster). If he fails to compensate for the Baron’s departure, then It’s like Gary St. Jean all over again.

    Very Confusing.

  • http://cctimes eric

    Why isn’t anyone mentioning Chris Duhon? Don’t you all remember how he torched the W’s this past year when the Bulls came to town? He is a guy who has shown some skill in limited playing time with the Bulls. I say if we can’t land Brand or Josh Smith, we should look to sign a few players to short term deals and save cap space for the upcoming years. No need to spend the money on players who are overpriced just because we have cap space.

    Get Duhon, let him share time with Monta at the point, Jack at the 2, Randolph / Buke at 3, Wright and Al at 4, and Andris at the 5. Let the young guys play, get their spins, and take the best point guard in the draft next year, with plenty of money to sign an impact free agent (like Shawn Marion)

    If we can land a franchise player like Brand, lets do it. Otherwise, keep the cap space open for players who we can actually build around

  • kirk henrich

    I still like kirk henrich more of a open court point gaurd den duhon is…..jamal crawford would be fantastic, as him and monta would be hell to deal with on a fast break….josh smith would be great also as he can run the court and finish him and monta would fit great…..shawn marion is stayin with the heat…2010 is the year lebron, mellow, and wade all hit the market.

  • Niners in 2009

    GEOFF, can you clear something up? People are saying the Clippers can only offer Brand a 5 year deal, is this true?

  • Matt

    The Warriors need to draft Ty Lawson next year! He and Monta in the back court would be unstoppable. Speed, speed, speed. And he has fantastic court vision and has a bit of a perimeter game.