Save Your Money II

Just responding to the comments from “Save Your Money” post. I started to write this as a comment, but it got too long. …

Many of you all (Dig, commish, Nevin420) are missing my point. Obviously, I think it is a long shot to get a super baller in 2010. But I’d rather save my money for then and go for that longshot than putting my eggs in this year’s basket. Because spending big on this year’s remaining crop is more of a long shot than landing Chris Bosh in 2010, in terms of striving to win a championship.
Here’s what you’re missing: the Warriors NEED a carry-the-team-on-my-back player. There were arguably only three this offseason (Gil, Baron, Brand) and the Warriors are walking away with none of them. Who else can the Warriors get this year that can be that type of player? Josh Smith? Andre Iguodala? Luol Deng? Emeka Okafor?
Please. None of them are at that level. Andre is the closest, but I like Monta’s chances at becoming that kind of player better. But that won’t happen for a couple years. If it does, you’ll have a chance at adding another great, great player alongside Monta.
Handing out max deals, or close-to-max deals this year is super risky. The best players left are restricted free agents. The problem with restricted free agency is you have to overpay to get their teams to not match. So you’re willing to pay a max deal to Josh Smith, who’s not even the best player on his team?
Have you thought about how Monta might feel about that, considering he’s probably going to be better than anybody left in this summer’s class? If you give Josh $90 million and he comes to the Warriors, now how much do you have to give Monta, who has been given the keys to the franchise? You can only offer a max deal to someone unquestionably better than Monta or you’re going to have problems signing Monta. If you start Josh off at $15 or $16 million, better believe Monta’s going to want somewhere close to that, and Biedrins won’t be too far behind. You’re looking at some $40 million on three dudes who won’t get you close to a title for four years, if ever (and that’s not including Jax and Al, which is about $18 million more, nor the last three first-round draft picks, or that PG you have to get, etc.). After two years, that $40 million grows to about $50 million, which is most of the cap on three players. There goes you’re room to be a player in the 2010 free agent market.
There is NOBODY left this year who can replace Baron as the experienced locker room presence, the dominant player who makes everyone better, the crunch-time performer, the playoff-tested leader. That guy is not available until 2010. So why pay that kind of money now?
Think about it, many of you wouldn’t pay Baron the $65 million he got from the Clippers. Now you want to pay Josh Smith $70! Sure, Baron is a serious health risk. But Josh Smith could play 48 minutes for 82 games and never be as dominant as Baron.
I’m talking about winning a championship. That means you have to build a team better than the Lakers, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans and Orlando – all of whom are serious contenders for the title or a piece away. Check out the best player on each of their teams: Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, LeBron, Billups, Paul, Howard. You want to counter that with … Josh Smith? Iguodala? Emeka Okafor? Some of these teams’ second-best players are much better than that (Gasol, Pierce, Hamilton/Rasheed, David West)!
There is no one left in this free agent class that will lead this franchise to championship. Therefore, I wouldn’t pay huge money. I’d get enough to stay competitive now, give the youngsters some experience at a high level. I’d get Maggette, trade for a Camby or Haslem or Odom or Marion, find a solid back-up PG and bide my time until 2010, when the proven elite ballers may be available.
(On a side note, you’re going to have to give Maggette more money than the midlevel. If he’s taking the midlevel, which is expected to be about $5.8 million, it will be with San Antonio or Detroit or Boston, teams in contention for something. So you have to give him more, like $7 or $8 million to make him choose the Warriors. Then you’re going to have to sweeten the deal even more to get him to take just a two-year deal. That puts it at like $9 or $10. That is not too much for what you’re asking from him. That’s a couple mil more than what he made last year. That’s what you’re paying Harrington now.)
If I walk away empty handed in 2010, so be it. But at least I tried – instead of acting like I tried by overpaying for good players with potential.

Marcus Thompson