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Make Room for Monta

The Warriors have to trim their roster by tomorrow to make room for Monta Ellis, who is coming off the suspended list after tonight’s Pacers game. The Warriors’ brass are trying now to make a deal, but the clock is ticking. Chances are they may have to just cut someone.
So, here are the options:

PG Marcus Williams – I’ve been told by a source close to Williams that a buyout is “not going to happen.” So that means waiving him would require that the Warriors’ eat all of the $1.26 million he’s due. I seriously doubt that. Not to mention the conditional pick they gave up for him. He’ll be sticking around unless the Warriors lump him into a trade.

DeMarcus Nelson – Talk to him before the game. He seems to believe he’s sticking around. And not just on the roster, but with the team instead of going back to the Bakersfield Jam. Plus, dropping him would be a bad move, IMHO. They got a find in Nelson. He’s cheap. He can play. He brings something they don’t have (defense). He’s one of those guys who will make you regret dropping him.

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Richard Hendrix – This is my choice. Not because he’s a bad guy or anything, but you have no use for him. He’s not that good right now, and there is no use waiting on him. The Warriors have their bruising big man for the bruisers of the world, Ronny Turiaf, and you see how much he plays. I know he’s a second-round pick, but those players are a dime a dozen. Plus, he’s on a non-guaranteed contract. So they can cut him and won’t even have to pay the full year’s salary, which was already the league minimum.

Anthony Morrow – He, too, is on a non-guaranteed minimum contract. Because of that, he makes the list. I say keep him for the same reasons they should keep DeMarcus.

Rob Kurz – Almost forgot about him (thanks, fellas). He’s not going anywhere. I know I’ve been critical of him, but I don’t think he should go anywhere. He’s a nice player with some potential. Most important, he has the most important supporter in the franchise: Don Nelson.

C.J. Watson – OK, obviously the list is done. He shouldn’t even be on it.

Marcus Thompson

  • Andy

    You forgot Rob Kurz

  • A’s in 2009

    How about Rob Kurz? He mysteriously hasn’t seeen the floor since the Denver game.

  • Ewok

    A probable diagnosis of the disease besetting the Warriors.

    Nelson coaching Warriors like he doesn’t care

    Published: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 4:33 p.m.
    Last Modified: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 4:37 p.m.
    Don Nelson is doing a bad job as coach of the Golden State Warriors.

    When he is on, he is a great coach, one of the most clever and interesting in the history of the National Basketball Association. But he is most definitely not on. He is off. And he is putting in one of the worst coaching performances of his illustrious career. The organization and fans deserve more than the halfhearted, frankly strange effort he is giving them.

    He stopped being effective immediately after the Warriors gave him a two-year extension, gave it to him for no good reason. He already was under contract for this season, and Nelson is at his best, works hardest when he strives for more money. The possibility of money keeps him sharp, but when he gets his money he does what he’s doing now.

    What is he doing? He is coaching erratically. If you can explain his weird lineups or substitution patterns, you’re a genius. To me, they make absolutely no sense.

    Let’s be systematic about this. He could not get along with Al Harrington, even though everyone says Harrington is a great guy and an ideal teammate who never was a problem player before. Harrington is a jump-shooting power forward, exactly the player Nelson says he wants.

    Yet Nelson got rid of him because he doesn’t like Harrington. This is the wrong reason. Nelson didn’t need to be Harrington’s friend. He needed Harrington to play power forward. The fault in this case lies with the coach.

    In exchange for Harrington, the Warriors got Jamal Crawford, a guard.

    The one thing the Warriors did not need was yet another guard. Nelson is responsible for making this happen.

    Nelson is using his players incorrectly and here’s an example.

    The Warriors recently played the Orlando Magic. Of course, the Warriors lost. One of the reasons they lost was what Nelson did — or didn’t do — with the Magic’s Rashard Lewis, a big mobile forward. Against Lewis you ask one of your long lanky forwards to guard him — Lord knows the Warriors have long lanky forwards in Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph for that very purpose. But Nelson chose to put Kelenna Azubuike on Lewis and Lewis took advantage of him. That was a case of bad coaching and Nelson has to answer for that.

    Nelson has said he refuses to give “gifts” to players in terms of playing time. This sounds like a firm and reasonable stand from a coach who knows the ropes. The other night he gave Rob Kurz extensive playing time — in other words a gift. Kurz played well, but that’s not the point. Randolph would have played just as well and is more important to the Warriors’ future.

    Why didn’t Nelson use Randolph? You’ve got me there. Why isn’t Nelson developing Randolph and Wright the way he should? You’ve got me there, too.

    The Warriors already are playing down to Nelson’s expectations. It’s important to be up front about this. The season barely had begun and Nelson said it was over. It was an irresponsible remark in itself.

    Unfortunately, the players heard the remark and took the wise old coach at his word and they are playing as if the season is a lost cause. In other words, Nelson created a self-fulfilling prophesy. That is bad coaching.

    When the Warriors played the Knicks in the Garden, Nelson walked away from the court before the game ended. He told me not to make a big deal out of it. But it is a big deal. He walked out on his players, walked out like a coach who is tired or doesn’t care. That is bad coaching.

    He seems distracted, as if he’s not focusing on the job at hand. He moved his own guy into the general manager’s office and you get the feeling he’s like a giant amoeba oozing into other areas of the team’s operation. He has done things like this before as he is a man who loves power.

    The Warriors gave Nelson a $12 million extension to coach. Everyone – me included – would like Nelson to return from wherever he is and be a good coach.

    One other thing. Team president Robert Rowell is Nelson’s enabler.

    Rowell is not adequate for his job. He got in the way of extending Baron Davis – the entire deal would have been four years. Davis was the one indispensable Warrior. On the other hand, he gave Stephen Jackson an extension – the total deal is five years. So Rowell is telling us Jackson is more important to the Warriors than Davis, and I’m telling Rowell he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Rowell is the one who extended Nelson and moved Nelson in the direction he’s so gladly embraced. Between the two of them, they are killing the team. If I’m wrong, I wish someone would tell me how.

    For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at 521-5486 or lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.

  • A’s in 2009

    That is a great piece by Cohn. Wish more media members would call Nellie out. hint hint ;)

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  • chikago

    great job cohn.

  • NotaNelsonfan

    Nellies future lineup:
    Monta
    Crawford
    Jax
    AB
    KA
    Doesn’t matter if we play the Lakers with Bynum and Gasol. Nellie’s thinking: We could outrun them.
    Sick of his shitty small lineup.

    When hell freezes over lineup:
    Monta
    AB
    Crawford
    Turiaf/Wright
    Jax
    Too big a lineup for Nellie.

  • ryan

    That’s the same lineup, just with turiaf or wright instead of KA. Why play Turiaf?! Let wright or randolph develop since we suck anyways. Dumb.

  • http://hoopsoup.com Hoop

    You know Hendrix is gone. He’s the only one that hasn’t played. He does not fit the warriors style.

  • Petaluman

    While there is reason to question some of Nelson’s decisions, I personally think he (and 90+% of the coaches and players in the NBA) has too much pride to “not care”.

    OTOH, Lowell Cohn is a hack. His work is rarely worth the time it takes to read.

  • A.J.

    What’s all this talk of RAYMOND FELTON?

    Are we pursuing yet another back court player in hopes that he may be our point guard of the future.

    I don’t know what this team is doing these days.

    You gotta a selfish coach who appears to be throwing the season in hopes he will be let of the hook with a buyout and a plane ticket to Maui. You got the proposed leader of your team (Jackson) denying his injury is that bad, but playing like shit on the court and already starting to show a little bit of the old Stephen Jackson.

    I don’t know.

    Another funny thing, about 2 weeks ago Brandon Wright was a legitimate part of the rotation and Belinelli was nowhere to be found in the rotation. These were 2 guys who came into the league at the same time, were drafted in the same year, and we always kind of bunch them together in that group. Just like Monta and Andres came in together, we kind of bunch them together as well. Kobe and Derek Fisher, I can go on and on.

    But the point I’m making is that now B. Wright is nowhere to be found in the rotation and Belinelli is starting for us.

    Just another example of the inconsistent coaching and lack of a direction by not only Nelson but also upper management.

    I just don’t understand what this team is trying to accomplish at this point?

    We’re 12 games under .500 for god’s sakes,the Clippers just passed us up, we lost to Memphis twice this year and Sacramento once, I mean what the fuck is wrong with this team?

  • oregonwarriorfan

    I see Hendrix just got waived. I was real excited when they drafted him, I thought they got a steal so late in the 2nd round. However, I did catch a Bakersfield Jam game expecting to see a dominant player. He looked just OK, not dominant and did not look close to being 6’9”. He’s was definitely not ready to help NBA-wise so I’m OK with the decision.

  • A.J.

    If Belinelli can become even 3/4 of the player that Ginobili is, then we are in for a pleasant surprise.

    I think, that with the proper coaching and playing time, Belinelli can be just like Ginobili.

    But he also has to start taking it to he basket more, like Ginobili does. Once he learns that and learns how to get to the free throw line, I believe we may have a decent NBA player ladies and gentleman.

  • CALM DOWN!

    AJ,

    You seriously need to get a grip on your anger. It’s one thing to care about a team….it’s another to write daily vulgarity laced novels about how dumb management is, how a much the coach doesn’t care and about how much better the team would be if you ran it. Might be time to re-evaluate some things.

    That being said, the Felton thing is perplexing to say the least.

  • A’s in 2009

    Me thinks MT2 already knew Hendrix was gonna be waived. :)

  • jsl

    Ah! Just another day in the Year of Lunacy in Rowell-Nelson-land.

    Marcus, ain’t it about time a beat writer besides TK started writing about Nelson’s demented approach with this team, his insane repetition of small ball craziness, and his inexplicable rotations (except that, come Hell or high water, Jack ALWAYS plays, always shoots, and always throws the ball away)? And mightn’t a “beat” note that Nelson hasn’t coached a player to become better in years?

    Why is it only the national press that seems to get it — a la Hollinger’s comment on ESPN today that Nelson’s Warriors are “a walking affront to the game.” The Fat Man is TANKING — and about to destroy our remaining core — and the beats continue to whistle in the dark. What’s up with that?

  • A.J.

    CALMDOWN!……you’re right……I maybe overdo it sometimes.

    But I truly feel I have a right.

    Did you know that I have been a season ticket holder for the last 3 years?

    Did you know I spend $1000′s of dollars every year to buy these tickets?

    Anyway, because I do and because I’m a serious fan, I get into it. But I understand your point.

    I’ll be the bigger man here and take the high road!

  • Earl monroe

    The NBA has a long history of players abilities incorrectly judged, second round picks becoming stars, I don’t know about Hendrix because have not seen him play much, but I would have given him a look see at the NBA level, against NBA power forwards, just to double check myself (meaning Nelson). Even though DeMarcus Nelson was undrafted and Anthony Morrow was undrafted its no excuse to waste a 2nd round pick.

    As much as I enjoyed the last few years from an excitement point of view, we are now suffering the pains of wrong players for the wrong system. It also points to Nelson’s coaching inflexibility-it is hard for him to change, he is not a re building type coach. Because of Baron the last few years, it forced teams to play down to Nelson’s small lineups-except for Sloan, who just pounds the Warriors.
    Now its rare when another team goes small, earlier in the year on one of the rare wins, the warriors played big, he should have built on that.
    Why is it that all of us fans are so understanding of re building?
    I would not mind the loses as long as Wright, Randolph, Kurz, Morrow and even DeMarcus saw regular time so they could build on their games, even if its at the detriment of time for Jackson.
    Its just such a short sited view of how to build a team, you win a game here a game there by playing Jackson 42 minutes, Crawford 40, Azubuke 35, then what everybody else watches, and does not improve?
    Even if the young players make mistakes, there is nothing like real game experience. And its not like I don’t see Jackson making just as many mistakes often at critical points in the game. Jim Barnett calls these mistakes lack of awareness, to me its also lack of basketball IQ.
    At this point what do we have to loose?