If you watched the last three games of the Warriors’ summer league, you probably noticed guard Kent Bazemore. He was all over the place on defense (one game registering 7 blocks), he has a nice slingshot left jumper and he can handle the ball a little bit.
He was good enough to get a two-year deal from the Warriors.
Bazemore – a 6-foot-5, 195-pound swingman out of Old Dominion – played his way onto the Warriors roster. According to sources, he’s on the verge of signing a two-year, partially guaranteed deal for the league minimum. HoopsHype first reported the deal. To be sure, his deal has a “very low” guarantee, one source said, which means if the Warriors decide to cut Bazemore it won’t cost them very much. But here is how you know how well Bazemore played: the Warriors signed him despite not really having a place to play.
They already have Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush (assuming he re-signs) as shooting guards. Both Jarrett Jack and Stephen Curry are also expected to get some time at shooting guard. But the Warriors still felt like they may have found something in Bazemore. Warriors general manager Bob Myers and his staff have been collecting assets and talent all summer, regardless of position. This is another such acquisition.
“Guys like that, they make it impossible not to keep him,” Myers said of Bazemore in a phone interview Monday. “You can’t cut him, for whatever reason. He falls into the category of a guy who you just want to keep around.”
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.
If you’ve watched the Warriors’ first three summer league games, you may have noticed Pete Myers bouncing on the sidelines. Like Wednesday, when he ran out near half court to pat rookie Harrison Barnes on the backside for a good defensive play.
Myers is really into his role as head coach of Golden State’s summer league squad.
“I was one of these guys. I played nine years in the league, eight of them I was on a non-guaranteed contract. I know what these guys are going through firsthand. I’ve been there.”
Warriors coach Mark Jackson had very specific reasons for making Myers the head coach. He wanted someone who could drive home the grind mentality Jackson wants to play with this season. He wanted someone with the kind of basketball pedigree the players could feast on. He wanted someone the players could relate to, connect with.
Myers fits all of the above.
“I knew they would be in good hands and it would be a great platform for people to appreciate what he does in a daily basis,” Jackson said. “You won’t find one guy that does not like Pete Myers. They appreciate his honesty. They appreciate how he understands where they are. Whether you play 40 minutes or four, he’s got something for you that’s going to help you.”
Joe Lacob joined the broadcast of the Warriors’ summer league game vs. the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Here is the transcript of his interview with NBATV’s Dennis Scott and Kevin Calabro.
You enjoying yourself as owner of the Warriors?
It was a tough year. Waiting (through the lockout) was tough. But we had a lot of work to do. When we bought the franchise, we had a lot of changes to make. So that did give us the time to do that.
You have some of the most rabid fans and they need to be rewarded
They do. They deserve it. We have incredible fans. And we think over the next few years we’re set up to do that.
What’s your philosophy as you approach this season?
We just want to continue top show improvement. Get bigger. Get stronger. We’ve got a lot of young guys, so it may take a little while, But a lot of talent. We’ve and Two good drafts. We all know that building through the draft is usually the best way to do it. We had a key trade with the Andrew Bogut trade. I think that’s going to help us a tremendous amount. Very hard to find a center, as you know. So, we’re looking forward. We think we’ve got some good pieces here to build on.
How excited are you about having Klay Thompson emerge so quickly?
Amazing. Honestly, I’ve watched him for three years as a Stanford fan, sitting courtside in the Pac 12. All our guys — Jerry West, everybody — were so excited. We really felt that he could be a really special player. We feel even more so that that’s the case now.
Still pretty quiet on the Brandon Rush front. Some Warriors fans seem to be aggravated by the lack of news on that end. But, rest assured, lack of action doesn’t mean the Warriors will lose Rush. It probably means they are more likely to keep him.
As @AlexKennedyNBA, Rush worked out today as the Lakers looked on. Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak, looking to overhaul his anemic bench, would love to add Rush to the fold. The Warriors need someone who can come in and get buckets, as well as play some defense. But the Lakers only have the mini-midlevel to offer, meaning any offer sheet Rush would sign the Lakers would have to start at $3 million.
Fair to say the Warriors would love for Rush to sign an offer sheet with the Lakers. No doubt, if Rush came to the Warriors right now looking for a deal starting at $3 million, Warriors GM Bob Myers would jump at it.
Golden State isn’t in a rush to sign Rush. It’s not that they don’t want him, but just Myers playing ball. The risk is very low, however, and if everything works out, the Warriors could end up getting a discount.
The more I think about this, the more I am convinced the Knicks will be crazy not to match Jeremy Lin.
I get that the three-year, $25 million offer sheet Jeremy Lin signed with Houston is a pretty big number. I get that the poison pill third year, $14.8 million, is going to be a stiff jab to the Knicks in the form of a $25.9 million luxury tax penalty (which mean’s Lin would cost them $40.7 million in that third year). At first glance, that sounds tremendously high for Lin. But all things considered, it’s an acceptable risk. And the Knicks may end up losing more by not keeping Lin than they would by matching.
Before I get into the reasons I’d say keep Lin, can we just pause for a moment and think about the oddity of the Knicks suddenly be concerned about overpaying a guy? Are you kidding me? We aren’t talking about the San Antonio Spurs here, a small-market team that makes a habit out of shrewd management. This is the Knicks, experts at smoking money. This is the same team that gave Jerome James a five-year, $30 million contract. The same team that locked Allan Houston up for SIX YEARS, $100 MILLION at age 30. This is the same team that traded for Stephon Marbury at the end of his career and swallowed the remaining $76 million of his contract. And, by the way, the coach that year, Larry Brown, was getting upwards of $10 million to produce 23 wins. The Knicks doled out $20.2 million between 2008 and 2010 to Eddy Curry, and he played a total of 74 minutes in 10 games.
Jeremy Lin has already given the Knicks more bang for their buck than either of those guys (save for Allan Houston). New York’s sudden bout of fiscal responsibility aside, there are some good reasons why the Knicks should match.
On the bus headed to the game, Warriors’ second-year point guard Charles Jenkins said one of his veteran teammates, David Lee, shot him a serious look and a few words: be aggressive.
Jenkins responded by posting a game-high 24 points Saturday to carry Golden State’s summer league squad to a 95-74 win overDenver’s edition. He was 9 of 12 shooting, knocking down all six of his shots en route to 17 second-half points.
“Before the game, a lot of people were telling me play aggressively,” Jenkins said. “Don’t look so timid out there. Shots weren’t falling for some guys so I had to fill in the void.”
Jenkins’ performance was equal parts impressive and puzzling from the Warriors’ perspective.
It was impressive because one night earlier he was a consummate floor general. In the 91-50 win over the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league squad Friday, Jenkins spent the game in the shadows. He made sure the ball was moving, looked to set up the hot hands and run the offense. He exerted most of his energy on the defensive end. You barely noticed him out there.
But Saturday — with rookie forward Harrison Barnes struggling mightily on offense, and guard Klay Thompson drawing extra attention fromDenver— Jenkins became a weapon. He scored 13 points in the third quarter, turning a five-point halftime deficit into a 68-62 Warriors lead entering the fourth quarter.
Which leads to the puzzling part: why doesn’t he play this way more often?