5

Randolph Out

Rookie forward Anthony Randolph sat out of the Warriors game today. He was dressed, but had his longsleeve short on under his jersey while sitting at the end of the bench. It was decided to give that sprained left ankle of his a rest.

2

Live from Vegas

Just got to UNLV, site of the NBA Summer League. Getting set to check out the Ws for the first time at the Thomas & Mack. They are facing the Charlotte Bobcats. Looking forward to how C.J. Watson looks against D.J. Augustin, who many felt would’ve been a good pick for the Warriors.
I’ll check in later.

12

So long, Geoff

A few of you have asked what happened to Geoff Lepper. I am sad to say Geoff was a victim of the recent layoffs the Contra Costa Times endured.
Lepper was my colleague and still is my friend. He did great work (especially considering he’s a baseball writer at heart) and he was a pleasure to work with.

21

No Signings Yet

I’ve been told by a couple of people, including a team source, that Ronny Turiaf has yet to sign an offer sheet (as of like 4 p.m.). That only means that the clock has not yet begun on the Lakers, who have 7 days to match. A person with knowledge of the Lakers told me it was highly unlikely that the Lakers would match if the Turiaf signed the offer sheet. That makes sense as it would cost the Lakers double since they are over the luxury tax and have to pay a dollar-for-dollar penalty. Turiaf would cost them $34 million over 4 year (based on the Press-Enterprise’s report that Turiaf agreed to a 4 year, $17 million offer from the Warriors). That’s too much even for the big money Lakers.
Likewise, I was told Corey Maggette has yet to sign. No reason to be worried (or happy). It isn’t like he’s mulling a better deal from the Clippers.

42

Whew! Now Let’s Play Catch-Up

OK, a lot has happened super fast. There was quite a bit of info, thoughts I didn’t get into my story for tomorrow’s paper. Here are some of the major points of the article, some of my thoughts, and some answers to your questions. Ready? Breathe. Read.

* I was told consistently by a source that Maggette got five years, $50 million. At the last-minute, I heard it was five years, $40 million. But my source reiterated that it was $50 million. That $10 million is a huge difference. That deal looks a whole lot better if it is for $40 million.

* Heard late in the evening that the Warriors made an offer to Ronny Turiaf! Don’t know all the details yet, but I was told it averaged about $4M a year. Ronny is restricted, so if the Warriors sign him to an offer sheet, the Lakers can match. I’m not sure if I like this or not yet. Turiaf is one of those dudes who impresses you in spots, but when you step back and look at what he brings overall, he’s not to impressive. He does some things well, not so much others. Is he worth $4M? Over three years, sure, why not. The Warriors need a hustler, a body not afraid to bang.

* I was shunned by Baron’s people. He nor his agent responded to the one question I had: With Brand going to Philly, is there ANY chance AT ALL that Baron goes back to the negotiating table with the Warriors? I got no love. A contact did tell me that the Clippers spent Tuesday evening talking to Baron, convincing him to stay, even working out the details of the contract (as well as preparing a fat offer sheet for Atlanta’s Josh Smith). They were pretty sure he was staying, but he was rumored to be livid over Brand’s Boozer impersonation.

* Pietrus got love from Orlando because Otis Smith, the Magic’s GM, likes Pietrus. They had some kind of bond when Smith was with the Warriors and Pietrus was a youngster. That helped MP2 get what he got. Orlando needed a replacement for Maurice Evans, who is now a free agent. There is even talk that Pietrus could start.

* Didn’t I say top-tier ballers don’t want to play for the Warriors? Brand turned down some $10 million more from the Warriors to go to … Philly! Dang. That was a straight slap in the face to the Warriors. Did the Warriors really think they were going to get a player better than Baron?

* Speaking of Brand, he just went from one of the league’s character examples to supplanting Carlos Boozer as the face of reneging. Check this out – Brand, according to insider scuttle, turned down virtually the same amount from the Clippers. Los Angeles got up to $80 million and was willing to renounce more players if necessary to give Brand more. Still, he chose Philly.

* So the salary cap is $58.7 million. The luxury tax will be $71.1 million. Based on my estimation, and figuring this out cost me hours of my life I’ll never get back, the Warriors are at about $50 million including the cap holds. Here is the breakdown:
2008-09
Al Harrington – $9.23
Corey Maggette – $8.50
Stephen Jax – $7.14
Andris Biedrins – $7.90 (cap hold)
Adonal Foyle – $6.50 (buyout price)
Brandan Wright – $2.50
Kosta Perovic – $1.70
Ant Randolph – $1.70 (rookie scale max)
Monta Ellis – $1.54 (cap hold)
Marco Belinelli – $1.45 (rookie scale max)
Kelenna Azubuike-$0.89 (cap hold)
Richard Hendrix – $0.44 (league minimum)
C.J. Watson – $0.71 (minimum salary, non-guaranteed)
Total – $50.20

That leaves the Warriors with some $8 million to spend before hitting the cap. If Andris signs a deal starting at a salary equal to his cap hold, the the Warriors can sign a free agent or two before signing Ellis and Andris. They’ll have close to $10 million if they wait to sign Randolph until they hit the cap, which they can do under CBA rules. They would also have more if they traded Harrington and got less money back.

*Here’s a concern I have: what happens when Monta and Andris want more than Maggette? Monta certainly has a claim. Say the Warriors start Monta at $9 a year (which would be $67.5M contract over six years). And say they start Biedrins at $8. That would make Stephen Jackson the fifth-highest paid player on the team.
Now, he’s up for an extension. I seriously doubt if he gets one. How is he going to react to being so far down on the salary pole but being a leader on this team while getting no extension love? Remember, Jackson has watched Richardson get shipped out unexpectedly as if he wasn’t the heart and soul of the team. He watched Pietrus and his boy Barnes get hardballed into a one-year deal. He watched his “brother” Baron Davis get his extension requests rejected in consecutive offseasons and then “lowballed” (in his eyes). He’s watching his other close friend, Al Harrington, once highly coveted by the Warriors, become a role player.
You have to wonder if Jackson is going to take one for the team or try to get his paper.

* With the way restricted free agents are about to get squeezed (only the clippers have money left), don’t be surprised if several of them ask for a sign-and-trade or choose to play for the one-year qualifying offer (and become restricted free agents next season). Including Andris. The free agent market is kind of skimpy this offseason – thanks to all the money going to the few big names out there. Some of the second-tier stars will shine a lot brighter in 2009.

* I still say go after Rasheed Wallace or Shawn Marion or Lamar Odom. Use Harrington, future draft picks, etc. – maybe even Stephen Jackson – to get a proven All-Star. They all are one-and-done, which could give the Warriors cap space next year if they don’t work out.

32

Uh oh, Maggette-O

After being abandoned by Baron Davis, rejected by Gilbert Arenas and dissed by Elton Brand, the Warriors finally get somebody to sign.
Corey Maggette.
League sources informed me that Maggette agreed to a five-year deal (worth about $50 million) with the Warriors, which is almost double the midlevel deals reportedly offered by the Spurs, Celtics and Pistons.

12

MP2 Headed to Orlando

It’s official … well, not quite … but Mickael Pietrus is done with the Warriors. My colleague John Denton at Florida Today wrote that the Magic have agreed to terms with MP2. The length of the deal is unknown, but Florida Today did report the deal is said to start at $5.2 million in the first year.
It looks like MP got close to what he wanted. He had been seeking the midlevel preferrably in Miami, which is as close to home as he can get in the NBA. He wound up about $600,000 and a few hundred miles short.
I thought he would be spurned by teams because of his salary desires and return to the Warriors for like three years, $12-14 million. I am shocked he got a deal before most other
free agents.
Would you have giving him $5-plus mil a year to stay with the Warriors?