Warriors guard Anthony Morrow has been offered a three-year, $12 million contract from the New Jersey Nets.
He has not signed the offer sheet yet. But he is expecting to sign it Monday. Once he signs it, it will be sent to the Warriors (via fax I presume). From the point they receive it, the Warriors have seven days to match.
I talked to general manager Larry Riley and, as expected, he wouldn’t give so much as a hint. He just said he expects somebody will give Morrow an offer sheet. But if Morrow signs the offer sheet Monday, assuming the day the Warriors receive it counts as Day 1, Riley will have until July 18 to make his decision. What should he do?
What I’ve been told by various people in the recent past was that the Warriors were hoping to keep Morrow at the right price, but that price was closer to $2 to $3 million a year. No doubt, people in the Warriors front office have been shocked at the high contracts that have been doled out and have adjusted their barometer for how much players will cost. So I don’t think they’ll arbitrarily look at $4 million and say “Whooooa, that’s waaaaay too high!” As was the case with David Lee — who I’m told the Warriors knew would cost them at least a bit more than their wish price, but did not mind because they wanted him — it should come down to an on-the-court decision more so than a money decision. (If you would keep Morrow at, say, three years, $9M, why not four for $12).
So what Riley has to decide is whether Morrow still has a key role on the Warriors. The backcourt is pretty much set with Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. So the minutes are scarce. Charlie Bell, who the Warriors envision as a defensive SG, fogs things up a bit. The Warriors want a point guard – preferably CJ Watson – to back up Curry. So if Watson backs up Curry and Bell backs up Monta Ellis, where does that leave Morrow?
At small forward is the easy answer. But the Warriors have Reggie Williams and they plan to get a true small forward. That makes Morrow’s return look bleak.
But then there is the flip side. Morrow is one of the best shooters in the league, if not the best. A team so reliant on offense needs consistent, reliable shooters. As many 3-pointers as they shoot, one would think the Warriors want Morrow.
Also, Morrow is a tireless worker, which usually leads to steady improvement, so he could turn out to be something special. For what amounts to a relatively small amount of money, per NBA standards, why not hang on to him instead of losing him for nothing?
Plus, the Warriors found him and groomed him. Can they just let him walk, let another team benefit from their discovery?
Riley has seven days. The clock starts Monday.