The Warriors have been talking with Carl Landry, but he seems to waiting it out to see if the best offer has yet to come (knowing the Warriors’ offer will probably still be there). It wouldn’t be a long shot if he took more money elsewhere. The expectation is that Kenyon Martin, who the Warriors reportedly have interest in, will opt to sign with a contender.
So what about Andrei Kirilenko?
The Warriors, according to league sources, have him on their wishlist. At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, Kirilenko doesn’t figure to have the bulk the Warriors would want at power forward, but he’d fit well as a PF in a small lineup. Even with that, Kirilenko is a defensive specialist and the Warriors simply just need guys like that on the roster. Kirilenko can also play small forward, which he did for years with Utah. If his game is on point, he could even compete for the starting SF spot. They’ve liked him in the past but his price was way too high. But now Kirilenko, who is preparing to play for Russia in the Olympics, is apparently considering a return to the NBA. At this late a stage in the game, his price figures to be pretty reasonable, perhaps even the veteran’s minimum. The Warriors do have interest in him, but have to be considered a dark horse in the race.
For starters, reports were (before Kirilenko threw a little suspense into the mix with his comments Thursday) that he was staying in his home country to play for CSKA Moscow. Kirilenko is coming off a great year in the Euroleague, winning the 2012 MVP.
If Kirilenko does return to the NBA, the speculation is that the Nets would be the front runners. The former Utah Jazz star is friends with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who earlier this year lost in his bid to be elected president of Russia. However, Kirilenko can only make the veteran’s minimum (about $1.2 million for him) if he signs with Brooklyn. The Warriors could double that in the first year of a deal.
By most accounts, Warriors general manager Bob Myers has had a successful offseason. He got three relative “steals” in the draft and landed exactly what they needed in veteran PG Jarrett Jack in exchange for Dorell Wright. But so far, Myers hasn’t been able to land a free agent he wants, which was expected to be one of his strengths. Strapped by limited funds and the Warriors’ reputation, it seems he has yet to lure a player of note to Golden State this offseason.
You could definitely argue some of these turned out to be breaks for the Warriors, but Golden State has been spurned by Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich, Brandon Roy, J.J. Hickson and Antawn Jamison — all reported to be on the Warriors’ list but signed elsewhere. If Myers could pull off a Kirilenko (or even Landry or Martin) it would be a good first step.