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Warriors Out of Mix?

Trades are cropping up all over the place, and some big names are being moved. But don’t expect the Warriors to be in the mix. According to a team source, they are expecting for the trade deadline to come and go with no moves. Not exactly a surprise, I admit.
It’s going to take another team to approach the Warriors, because they are done making calls. It’s also going to take a sweet deal, as they are content with riding out this season and testing the waters again in the summer. It sounded to me like the Warriors have some bait out there but aren’t expecting the other team to bite. They clearly aren’t interested in any offers they have received.
So, if you were waiting and hoping to see the Warriors’ name in a major trade, don’t hold your breath.

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Inside Practice (Feb. 17)

* As is tradition, the Warriors held an evening practice Tuesday. They aren’t required to be back until 5 p.m. the day before they play, I think. So they started at 6 p.m., instead of noon, which has been the usual time lately.

* Marco Belinelli took part in his first practice since spraining his right ankle. Aside from a thew few extra pounds it looks like he’s gained, he was impressive. The dude didn’t miss. He came down and took a pull-up 3-pointer in transition (foot was on the line, though). All net. The next time down, he was spotting up in the right corner. Lost the defender with a pump fake, stepped in a bit closer. Nailed it. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t done anything with the team before Tuesday night. Nellie called him rusty.
Marco said he was 99 percent and ready to play. But Nellie said he wasn’t sure if he would play Belinelli.

* Andris Biedrins didn’t practice and Brandan Wright wasn’t even there. They’re not playing. Kelenna Azubuike was on the side with a bag of ice strapped to his knee. Safe to say he’s questionable.

* Stephen Jackson, who went to Phoenix for the All-Star festivities, couldn’t buy a shot. All of his pull-up jumpers were short, even when he stepped in. But he did look good getting to the basket, something he’s been doing lately. He made several tough layups in traffic. Morrow was guarding him, so he wasn’t exactly a stopper. But he’s better when he’s driving to score instead of driving to pass, because he has a tendency to telegraph passes.

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Randolph Signs Duffy

Warriors rookie forward Anthony Randolph, who fired agent B.J. Armstrong a couple weeks ago, has hired Walnut Creek-based BDA Sports as representation.
“It’s my belief he’s as talented as anyone we represent in our firm,” Duffy said when contacted this morning.
Randolph, who has been at odds with coach Don Nelson for much of his rookie season, said he fired Armstrong because his closest advisers believed he wasn’t getting the support he needed in his situation. Randolph said he has no negative feelings about Armstrong, he just needed to go in a different direction.
“I’m not mad at him or anything like that,” Randolph said last week. “All that was blown out of proportion. He knows I respect him.”
Duffy, whose firm also represents Warriors center Andris Biedrins and guard Marcus Williams, said the key in representing Randolph will be to make sure Randolph has an accurate perspective.
“For young players,” Duffy said, “It’s always communication. You do the best of your ability to let him know his deficiencies and where he stands. Coaches decide who plays. It’s an agents job to communicate to his players, especially young players.”

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Nellie vs. Harrington beef

Nice exchange between Nellie and his former starting forward, Al Harrington. As a recap, Harrington publicly requested a trade the day before the season opener, citing irreconcilable differences between he him and Nelson. The Warriors eventually obliged, sending Al to New York for Jamal Crawford on Nov. 21.
The two reunited on Nov. 29, when the Warriors played at New York. But tonight marks Al’s first return to Oakland, where he played nearly two years.
So, obviously, before the game, Nellie was asked about Harrington. Here is what he said (the questions were inaudible):

Nellie
“I never knew it was a big problem. I knew he wanted to be traded. We were trying to do that anyway. He made it personal. It was never personal.”

“I understand why. It’s not a problem understanding why. But it was never personal. He made it personal between the two of us. It never was as far as I was concerned.”

“Money has a lot to do with motivation for players to move on. He was wanting to opt out and he needed to have a big year. He thought he was going to be the third-best player here and he wanted to be the best player. Good luck to him. He’s happy, I’m happy.”

“I thought he was going to have a good year, whether it was here or some place else. I thought we would probably trade him before the trade deadline. I just didn’t know when.”

Of course, the pack of reporters went straight to Harrington. Let’s just say he didn’t agree with the Nellie’s assessment.

Harrington (read the entire transcript on Tim Kawakami’s blog)

Nelson said you wanting to leave was about money—that you had the opt-out and wanted to be a bigger part of the offense in order to get a better deal.

“Wow.”

Is that what happened?

“I guess that’s what he said. Me and him never had any of those conversations. I think he just made that up. You know him. I didn’t say that. Tell him he told me a lot, too.”

“I just didn’t see eye-to-eye with him. I didn’t like him. And he didn’t like me.”

He said he had no personal beef with you and that you made it personal with him.

“I guess I did. I did want to get traded. Maybe I did make it personal. But a lot of things he said to me were personal, too. That’s why I had to move on.”

Do you look at what Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright are going through now with Nelson and think, yeah, I know that?

“Yeah, I know exactly what those guys are going through, you know what I’m saying?”

“I talk to B-Wright every once in a while. I just tell him to keep his head, try to stay positive and try to weather this Nellie Storm. Because he’s been known to, you know, ruin guys’ careers. So hopefully that won’t happen to those guys.”

You’re the one who said that once you get on Nelson’s bad side you never get away from that…

“Not really. You’ll go into his doghouse for no reason. It’s hard to figure him out. That makes it tough, because it’s hard enough playing against the opponent every night.”

“When you know you’ve got to play a mind game with your coach, too, it’s just not worth it. You know, the game is supposed to be fun. If you can’t do that, just do the best that you can to get out of that situation.”

Is having some success with the Knicks some vindication for you?

“Obviously I (have confidence) about the way I can play. He knew that. So I had to play well to prove that. But at the end of the day, I’m just free. Just playing with a clear mind, you have a coach who’s very supportive.”

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Warriors Trying for Bosh, Too

I agree. This is from the “duh” files. The Warriors put in their bid for Chris Bosh, according to a team source. Haven’t confirmed if it was just talks, or an offer was made. But unlike Phoenix, who is trying to dump salary, Toronto is looking for some ballers in return, but only if they are convinced they will lose Bosh, who can opt out after next season.
The Raptors, according to an insider, aren’t likely to move Bosh until this offseason. Though they are last in the Atlanta Atlantic Division (thanks, Jo Blough), the Raptors are one move away from competing for the eighth spot in the East. They are only 5 1/5 games behind N.J.
They’d prefer to find someone to put next to Bosh (I’ve heard they want Biedrins next to Bosh), but could end up moving him. Again, all this is just what I’m told.
Obviously, nabbing Bosh would require the Warriors to move a big name — Biedrins or Ellis — and some young talent to help Toronto rebuild. So this just shows that they are willing. The fact that they are throwing their name in the hat for these big players, even if futile, is a change in pace. These two were untouchable. Now, the Warriors are willing to play all their cards, even though they haven’t seen everyone healthy for a significant length of time yet.
Is this good that the Warriors are willing to make such big moves? Or should the Warriors stay the course with this squad?

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Warriors Want Amare

The Warriors have thrown their hat into the ring for Suns All-Star PF Amare Stoudemire, who is available if the NBA insider scuttle is to be believed. According to a team source, the Warriors have and likely will continue to have talks with the Suns about a deal.
(UPDATE: My man Tim Kawakami’s hearing the same thing.)
I haven’t gotten word yet on who they have offered. While they would probably love swingman Corey Maggette to be a part of any deal, one would figure there is no conversation without the names Andris Biedrins or Monta Ellis coming up. That’s the minimum of what Phoenix would want in return. The Warriors have to know that going in, which likely means they are willing to move either of their two once-untouchable centerpieces.
There are problems, though.
The Warriors don’t have a player Phoenix would take who isn’t locked up for a bunch of money. Phoenix, according to insiders, is trying to cut money. Adding players with four or five years on their contract probably won’t do the trick. They need expiring contracts, and the Warriors don’t have any worth anything.
Biedrins is still a cheaper option than Stoudemire, especially of Phoenix can move Shaq. Still, other teams have more of what Phoenix might be looking for:
Dallas – has Jason Kidd’s $21M expiring contract, and Josh Howard, who has one year left at $10M plus and a team option
Detroit – has Rasheed Wallace’s $13M expiring contract, not to mention Iverson’s $21M expiring contract
Chicago – Has some $14 million in the combined expiring contracts of Drew Gooden and Ben Gordon

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Biedrins Injures Ankle

Center Andris Biedrins sustained what looked to be a pretty bad sprained right ankle.
He was turning to run up court and, according to a Warriors official (I couldn’t see), stepped on Jackson’s foot and rolled his ankle.
Biedrins immediately went to the ground, his right foot in the air as he clutching his shin and grimacing in pain. He had to be helped off the court and into the locker room by back-up forwards Jamareo Davidson and Rob Kurz. Biedrins right foot did not touch the ground at all.
He is getting x-rays now