Save Your Money

I’ve been thinking – a big mistake, some of you would say – about what the Warriors’ should do. The more I think about it, the more I say stand pat. Instead of throwing huge money at these second-rate stars (assuming Brand passes on the Warriors’ offer – he’s not second-rate), I say hold that cap space until 2010.
How can they do that? Instead of giving long-term deals, sign free agents to two-year deals. It may cost more than if they were to offer a five-year deal, but I’d pay a bit more to save my cap space. See if Corey Maggette wants a two-year deal for $16-20 million, which is way more than anyone else can pay (he may want a shorter deal, so he can be available when more teams can pay him). The Warriors could also trade for a guy with a couple years left on his contract – like Detroit’s Jason Maxiell, Denver’s Marcus Camby, Miami’s Udonis Haslem, Milwaukee’s Charlie Villanueva, Joel Przybilla (he has a player option for 2010-11) – and be in position to make a play for the jackpot in the summer of 2010.
The Warriors could even go for an expensive expiring contract such as the Lakers’ Lamar Odom or Miami’s Shawn Marion or Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace, and let them walk as free agents next summer if it doesn’t work out (hey, Boozer and Kobe could be available!).
At this point, the Warriors best hope of winning a championship is landing one of the horses who COULD become available in 2010. Check out this list of potential free agents:

LeBron James, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash (could opt out in ’09), Manu Ginobili, Carlos Boozer (possibly), Michael Redd (player option), Tyson Chandler (player option), Josh Howard (team option), Larry Hughes, Danny Granger (if he doesn’t get extension) and Andrew Bogut (if he doesn’t get an extension).

Sure, most of these guys will re-up with current teams, which can pay them the most money. Sure, some of these guys will opt for teams one piece away from being a serious contender, even if it means taking less money. A few of these players will be signed and traded to the big spenders of this league (Lakers, Knicks, Mavericks, Blazers, Nuggets, Celtics). But since the Warriors are in this position, they may as well be players if and when that time comes.
That would be better than locking up all their money now, then sitting on the sidelines while the league’s elite play musical chairs.

Marcus Thompson