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Warriors Will Waive Raja to Make Room for Reggie

(Updated with Nellie quotes) Small forward Reggie Williams, as expected, will be signed for the rest of the season. Tonight’s game at Memphis is his last game on his second 10-day contract, which expires Monday. The Warriors can either sign him for the rest of the season or let him walk. It’s a no-brainer.

GM LARRY RILEY: “I think he’s played well enough. He certainly has a good upside. We want to keep him as we move forward. … He fits very well with Nellie’s system because he’s the kind of a guy who looks to pass, who can put it on the floor and get to the basket, and he can make a shot. He works at defense. He’s not a great defender, but he’s not an embarrassment.”

To make room for Williams, since the Warriors have 15 guys under contract, the Warriors will part ways with guard Raja Bell. Though they hope it’s temporary.

The Warriors chose Bell over the other obvious option, forward Devean George, for two reasons: 1. Because George is playing and Bell is not; and, 2. Because Bell was cool with it.

RAJA BELL: “I completely understand. If nothing else, I consider myself a professional. I never want to come off as a spoiled, coddled, NBA player. The fact is, I’m not playing this year. … I can’t expect you to hold on to me for my Bird rights when you’re playing with eight players.”

George has been logging consistent minutes since the start of February. He’s played some small forward and power forward for the injury-depleted Warriors. He’s knocked down some outside shots, used his veteran savvy to get in the way of some of the big-time perimeter-oriented forwards the Warriors have seen. He’s been the consummate pro in the locker room, even in the ear of Anthony Randolph.

RILEY: “I just can’t cut a healthy player. And Devean George has played well.”

George had 18 points in the near win at New Orleans earlier this month. He had 13 in a close loss to the Lakers. He had 8 points and 5 rebounds in the come-from-behind win over visiting New Orleans on Wednesday. Nellie said the game changed when he put George in.

BELL: “I just told my wife, ‘Devean George is playing well.’”

DON NELSON: “Devean George has been terrific on this team. Just a very important factor as far as the guys coming out playing hard. He’s just been a sensational guy in our locker room and has held things through hard times. Out of respect, we didn’t want to have to waive him.”

Riley might have had to cut George had Bell felt differently about being waived. But Riley got a break, as Bell was all for the move.

Bell  not only endorsed it, he ensured Riley that the Warriors releasing him would have no bearing on whether he would re-sign with the Warriors this offseason.

Bell said he decided last week not to return. He said his left wrist has made a lot of progress, but he’s not to the point where a hard fall or a stiff jam wouldn’t put him back to square one. He said even if the Warriors let him go in time to sign with a team headed to the playoffs, he wouldn’t have gone. He didn’t have enough confidence his wrist was 100 percent healthy. Bell said it is best for him to use this time to rehab and come back at full strength.

BELL: “I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m probably ahead of schedule. But it’s not to the point where I feel I’m ready to play and be the kind of player I want to be. The reward is not worth the risk. I’m not sure I’d be willing to risk it even for a playoff team”

Golden State give up its Bird Rights for Bell. But it doesn’t matter much. Sure, he can’t get 10.5 percent raises, or a sixth year. But he wasn’t going to get that anyway. Since the Warriors have a midlevel exception, they will probably be able to pay as much as anyone. (Obviously, someone can come out of nowhere and blow the Warriors out of the table. But Raja made $5.2 million this year. If someone wants to give him a raise after this season, I’m sure Larry Riley would let them have Raja).

Bell said he would definitely consider the Warriors.

BELL: “Provided we’re comparing apples to apples, Golden State would definitely be an option. It’s better than being a free agent  and just talking to them on the phone. I had a great experience. I’ve seen how they operate. If and when they call, I will already have insight into the organization. I had a great experience there.”

NELLIE: “We would like to sign him if the numbers are right. We’ll get in line. I hope there’s a lot o people that bid for him, for his sake, and we’ll see what the numbers are. We’d love to have him.”

Marcus Thompson

  • ALsMouthGuard

    Let’s be real, there’s no way he’s coming back. He isn’t crazy. Everyone sees how this organization works, so why would anybody play for a loser when they can join a winner with the same amount of money?

  • A’s in 2010

    Larry Riley lied to all of us.

    YAY, 13 games of Devean George. I can’t wait for this season to end already.

  • A’s in 2010

    YAY, 13 MORE games of Devean George. Our front office is a joke.

  • http://blah.co.co.jp DUMB ASS

    I am stupid. You want to know why? Because I’m a Warrior fan.

  • Hook Mitchell

    Um er ah ta uh…

    I doubt he resigns here. He’d rather go to a contender.
    But atleast he seems professional bout it.

    I’ll always remember his illustrious career as a warrior.

    ONE GAME

    Provided a spark against the celtics.

    Whatever…

  • http://baysportsblood.wordpress.com http://baysportsblood.wordpress.com/

    Bell is one classy player. He is saying and doing all the right things even though he doesn’t have to. I would love to see him in a Warrior uniform next season but almost wish that he wouldn’t for his own career. Too good of a guy and player to have to deal with this mess voluntarily. I work at a coffee shop and if I can’t make coffee I am fired. I make $8 an hour doing this job and I’m really good at it. GMs are getting huge paychecks for doing a terrible job at something in which they have help screwing up. Where do I sign up? Start me at $8 an hour and just give me tips as the team wins. This makes my head blow up at the garbage that is spun in the Warrior organization. I have ideas, I have suggestions that I have written down and could make out for some decent results I believe. Really, can anything I do be any worse than what is out there now? Damn if only I knew somebody or was owed a favor I could get in at the bottom and tear the place apart. This Warrior fan is really close to checking out for a good long period of time.

  • Hook Mitchell

    Hey DUMBASS (I’m not insulting you)

    you’re not stupid for being a fan.

    We all have hopes/dreams bout the warriors.

    They somehow just seems to shatter them.

    This bell move doesn’t really bother me. It’s so not worth the trouble.

    me thinking bout us Trading J-Rich for NOTHING makes me feel stupid

  • Whack-A-Dub

    “I think he’s played well enough. He certainly has a good upside. We want to keep him as we move forward. … He fits very well with Nellie’s system because he’s the kind of a guy who looks to pass, who can put it on the floor and get to the basket, and he can make a shot. He works at defense. He’s not a great defender, but he’s not an embarrassment.”

    Riley, everyone on this team is defensively an embarrassment. Hell, sitting down, the bench is an embarrassment. The fans are an embarrassment. You’re an embarrassment. Why aren’t we doing what OKC did? Fire your coach now, get a defensive coach NOW, waste away a couple seasons losing trying and failing to get young guys to buy into defense and rebounding. We don’t even need that much depth. Draft Turner. Curry and Turner. There’s your depth. If Curry miraculously changes figures, he may not be the league’s foul machine. Turner is a lock-down defender that isn’t afraid to fight. Who else? Rudy Gay must have a great defensive upside, look at those arms! It wouldn’t kill us to use our 2nd round pick on a decent guy like Jarvis Varnardo, would it? I hear he’s quite the Ronny Turiaf. Again, we don’t even need depth. A defensive coach, a couple shotblockers, trade Monta for some bigs…three good defenders in the backcourt and a shotblocking core, altogether a young group of guys buying into defense. How hard is it to figure out? I mean Riley does this for a job and I just got this off the top of my head…seriously, what does he do? EAt pretzels and watch the games?

    And LOL @ hook.

  • Whack-A-Dub

    In case nobody noticed, with that bunch of guys, we dont even NEED Randolph or Wright, they can be role players/bench players along with Morrow.

  • Swopa

    The main disadvantage to losing the Bird rights to Bell is that the W’s may need chunks of the midlevel exception to retain Hunter, Tolliver, and/or Williams (let alone the notion that they might use it to bring in a non-D-League frontcourt player).

    And the disheartening aspect of choosing Williams over Bell for a potential roster spot next year is that the W’s desperately need SOMEONE who ranks higher defensively than “not an embarrassment.”

  • Whack-A-Dub

    Williams is “not bad” on defense on this team, but on any team even close to being a contender he would be the liability

  • KennySeagle, Emperor of the North

    fine by kenny

    look amigos there wuz no way bell stay next year…. not a chance…. he will go widda team where he have a chance 2 win it all

    & we all know that team aint the warriors

    bring back al attles haha

    ANY QUESTIONS???????

  • Hook Mitchell

    Whack

    U laughing at me or with me?
    It really don’t matter.
    About the ‘triangle’ earlier I was joking.
    It would take Phil and Jordan or kobe to make it work.
    Hence my ‘exception’

    varnado from miss st opened my eyes a lot in conference tourney.
    But yeah whack. Since u first mentioned him here on blog (like u did/claim with turner)
    it’s just my ‘GM instinct’ to follow your lead/opinion.

    All in all I do agree.
    Love turner.
    Varner has skills/abilty I like

  • Bleep

    For all of you declaiming the sky is falling with this decision, let’s look at single most important fact:
    the Warriors TOP FOUR big men are injured. And even Hunter is playing on one leg. This may seem obvious, but is conveniently forgotten when decrying small ball and the state of all things warriors.

    Sure, it sucks to let Bell go, but now that he has given up playing this season, and seems OK with it, it’s a no brainer to cut him rather than George.

  • A’s in 2010

    Besides drafting Curry and replacing half our roster with DLeaguers…..

    Here’s a list of things Larry Riley has done right:

    1. umm…

  • http://baysportsblood.wordpress.com http://baysportsblood.wordpress.com/

    This is not the recipe for a successful team. You don’t waive good players for upside players who might fit into a system that won’t be around next season. Wright and Randolph aren’t bench players yet because they are 20 and 22 years old!!! We have them for at least 3 more years and who knows what they could turn into. Reggie right now is giving us all we are going to get from him. Inflated stats for a team that is terrible. You can’t build your team around nothing but upside on a slanted scale. You waived a guy coveted by championship level contending teams… How many other warriors can you say that about besides Curry and Morrow? ZERO. Everyone enjoy your losing seasons as you play tag along GM with Riley and we open up a new decade of terrible basketball that has never worked ever. Good ridance.

  • A’s in 2010

    I wonder if part of this is to save money. If you waive George you have to sign another healthy body from the DLeague to a 10-day. Alexander Johnson is beasting right now, he put up 30/13 last night averaging 22/11 down there. He could help down low, but I guess they didn’t want to go that route. How fun was it last night watching George at center with Maggette at PF? ZZzz..

  • Marques8

    Raja Bell is one of my favorite players. I loved him everywhere he played. And I feel sure the Warriors didn’t want to waive him or Speedy Claxton either, but for different reasons. But you have to put players on the floor and George has played well. No one has said it but he’s been more of an asset than Bellineli would have been. The last two games have been hard to watch, but I have no complaints with the players Riley has picked up and you have got to give credit (Is that permissible in Bell Ache State?) to Nelson for drafting Curry. If the NBA were played only with guards, Nellie would have more championships than Red. I don’t think he’s ever picked a bad one.

  • Marques8

    Raja Bell is one of my favorite players. I loved him everywhere he played. And I feel sure the Warriors didn’t want to waive him or Speedy Claxton either, but for different reasons. But you have to put players on the floor and George has played well. No one has said it but he’s been more of an asset than Bellineli would have been. The last two games have been hard to watch, but I have no complaints with the players Riley has picked up and you have got to give credit (Is that permissible in Belly Ache State?) to Nelson for drafting Curry. If the NBA were played only with guards, Nellie would have more championships than Red. I don’t think he’s ever picked a bad one.

  • dengel1925

    Last night in the middle of the third quarter I finally got to the point where I just could not watch any longer. Just too god-awful. I’ve grown fond of the Warriors, whose injury problems have made winning almost impossible. But I’m not sure I can watch any more of this year’s disasters.

  • Whack-A-Dub

    hook, with you. Wall is going to be the biggest calipari failure ever. So Brandon Knight may be recruited by him next year, not many athletic projects after that, perhaps Usain Bolt?

  • Talking Animal

    I say he signs here because he’s looking to a career in coaching. What better place to start?

  • Dave B. VMI ’69

    For what it’s worth, in Reggie you also get an outstanding young man, mature beyond his age, honesty, integrity, team player, leader, and citizen soldier. A graduate of The Virginia Military Institute where he endured a freshman “Rat” year which is comparable to Marine basic training with a strict academic regimen and the demands of playing in a D-I program on top. He is revered by our Institute. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
    DB….from Southwest VA

  • robert rowell

    no, the sky isn’t falling, it’s come down a long time ago. wasn’t it just two weeks ago that Riley said bell was “part of the future” LOL. bell would be foolish to resign with this team any team that puts the words “devan george” and “playing well” together b/c obviously that team doesn’t know much about basketball.

  • Whack-A-Dub

    What a stupid post, Warriors waive Raja to make room for another d-leaguer. Are you serious? Nobody cares. The signs are all pointing the same way. Down, down down down down…

  • warriors

    laker fans are so lucky…they always win and they still bitch about their team…we never win but i never complain like they do

  • lobo

    EVERYBODY TAKE NOTE…..we are now blessed with some new catch phrases for a bunch of losers

    almost win
    close loss

    by the way if they fall to the three spot in the draft they better not be thinking cousins cause he ain’;t much

  • thenab90

    If we the number 1 or 2 pick it we better get either Wall or Turner but if we happen to fall (with our luck more likely) we have to get demarcus cousins…Lobo you are tripping Cousins is the man…you’ll see when they when the National Championship…oh by the way trade monta and maggette!

  • Whack-A-Dub

    What a dumb move. Don’t waive the useless Radmonavic, waive the best defender.

  • alan t.

    Is this kid Reggie Williams the son of stiff ex-Georgetown, ex-Clippers/ex-Cavaliers, et al., Reggie Williams?

  • Whack-A-Dub

    Who cares. Another d-leaguer to foster because our GM is too dumb to find talent anywhere out of the garbage

  • Jeremy

    I didnt realize the NBA was still playing during the tournament. They should take a 2 week break like the NHL does for the Olympics.

    What’s happened while I was away? What? The Warriors didnt win a game and signed another D-Leaguer? Who would’ve guessed?

    Hopefully the lottery gods will be kind to the Warriors this year. Just top 2 please… but I’m expecting Cole Aldrich taken #6 instead.

  • commish

    Another nail in the coffin for the franchise. Adam, as usual, says it all:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2010/03/21/so-long-raja-bell-and-your-bird-rights/

  • Whack-A-Dub

    Top 2, comon stern…Portland with the most injuries got it…orlando before, last year the clippers, come on…#1 or #2 overall. It’s the only possible way to improve this team…this management is too stupid to try something that may lose Cohan half a mil or something.

  • Whack-A-Dub

    http://www.nba.com/2010/news/03/22/warriors.sale.ap/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt2

    What is this? It says he wants to part ways with the organization FINALLY, but then goes on to say that Rowell & girls want to fuel a “competitive team”. Too bad it’s not a basketball team…