It’s a long shot. He would probably have to take less money and turn down a chance to be on a contender. But the Warriors have an eye for Lamar Odom to fill out their starting lineup next season. File it under the would-be-nice list (Not exactly on the what-are-you-smoking list that was once topped by Dwight Howard hopes).
The Warriors have four spots in their starting lineup, on paper, set for next season. Stephen Curry is the point guard. Klay Thompson is the shooting guard. David Lee is the power forward and Andrew Bogut is the center. It would take something major for those four not to be starters next season. That leaves the small forward position as the only place in the starting lineup semi-available for upgrading. Lamar Odom would be an upgrade of the current quartet of Dorell Wright, Dominic McGuire, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush. Mostly because Odom provides what they don’t. Even with this atrocious season he’s had, Odom’s career averages are 14.6 points on 46.5 percent shooting with 8.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
The Warriors would loooooooooove that kind of production at small forward. Multiple team sources told me Odom would be a good fit. He’s someone on their radar.
Admittedly, it sounds a little ridiculous. Who would fire a coach one year into a three-year contract – after they doomed his chances in his first year by trading away his best player.
But, for a team struggling to get 25 wins, nobody is 100 percent secure. Not to mention a couple headliner head coaches may become available, which might make the Warriors want to nab one while they can.
Nonetheless, I’ve assured by a couple team sources that Mark Jackson is safe – as safe as could be expected anyway. They won’t say that publicly – Joe Lacob, who would play the role of Donald Trump should Jackson be fired, offered only a no comment. Still, it’s understood among management that Jackson will be back and Golden State executives like the job he is doing. Someone high up will say as much at season’s end.
That doesn’t mean if someone like Eric Spoelstra became available, the Warriors wouldn’t go exploring. But it would take something of that magnitude to end Jackson’s tenure. And that may not be enough.
If the Santa Cruz City Council approves the funding of a 3,200-seat temporary facility downtown, the Warriors NBA Development League team will move to Santa Cruz for next season.
The council will officially be introduced to the project on April 10. If it approves, the council will submit a final proposal to the Warriors and the NBA.
The plans call for Santa Cruz would loan the estimates $2.5 million cost of the project. The Warriors would provide $500,000 in basketball-related equipment and guarantee half of the loan, which is expected to be paid back in full through revenue from the D-League team.
If City Council approves, the facility is expected to be ready in time for the start of the 2012-13 D-League season. The Warriors would sign a five-year lease and begin looking into a new, permanent arena.
If the project is not approved, the Warriors will stay in Bismark, N.D., until they find other options.
Not only would the Warriors’ have a D-League squad closer to the NBA franchise, allowing local fans to see developing youngsters such as Jeremy Tyler and Chris Wright. But Golden State would also be willing to play a preseason game in Santa Cruz.
Why Santa Cruz, you wonder? When the Warriors first acquired the Wizards, talk was of them moving to San Jose. But Santa Cruz provides a unique opportunity.
• Santa Cruz can support a D-League franchise – and judging by attendance of local hoops, likely would
• There is nothing else to do in Santa Cruz during winter months
• No similar venue exists, which means Santa Cruz could become a location for other events, such as concerts
Join Marcus Thompson II for some Warriors talk during the first quarter of Golden State’s game at Minnesota, beginning at 5 p.m.
Game story from tomorrow’s paper
If Sunday’s 120-112 loss to the host Los Angeles Lakers showed anything, it’s that Warriors players aren’t interested in tanking.
With Golden State’s first-round draft pick hanging in the balance, many Warriors fans are hoping their team loses games. Their team is no doubt obliging, having now lost five straight and 10 of its last 12.
But Jackson is happy to report it’s not because they’re tanking.
“It’s important for us in the locker room to leave that outside the locker room,” Jackson said. “Leave it off the court. It has nothing to do with us. … . Their thought process shouldn’t be draft choice and tanking games.”