The Warriors Go Into Luxury Tax Zone to Sign Carl Landry and Brandon Rush; Bob Myers: “The one mandate that has been placed on myself and the group was to win. Clearly.”

The Warriors were looking for four attributes from whoever they signed as the back-up power forward spot. They wanted an asset, something with value (basically, talent at a good price). They wanted a veteran to bring experience to their young team. They wanted someone who would improve the toughness profile. They wanted someone who could defend.

Landry at $8 million over two years is pretty good value. If he plays well, he could be a guy who commands at least the mid-level most years. And the fact that his deal is only two years makes him even more attractive as a trade commodity.

He’s been in the league for five years, playing for three teams. He has 25 playoff games under his belt (15.4 minutes per), twice making the postseason with Houston and once with New Orleans.

Toughness? Well, on March 17, 2009, Landry was shot on in his left calf. Three weeks later, he was back on the court and said he could’ve played sooner if they had let him. Later that year, in December, he had his two front teeth knocked out by a Dirk Nowitzki elbow. Landry missed one game.

“If you want toughness,” Landry said, “I’m the guy you’re looking for.”

As far as his defense, Landry said he’s a better defender than he gets credit for, his offense just usually shine brighter.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said he believes Landry has the tools to play defense. He said you know Landry (a career 53.5 percent shooter) isn’t soft because he lives in the paint on offense. And he’s known for playing hard. Those attributes, the Warriors hope, translate to the defensive end.

Even still, Myers said, the Warriors would live with it considering Landry’s talent, production and cost.

“He makes too much sense rather than going to get a guy who just brings a defensive presence,” Myers said. “The skill set that Landry brought was too good to pass up.”

Landry said he wasn’t concerned about minutes. It would make sense that he wanted to go to a place with minutes to give. But with the Warriors, Landry will be behind Lee, who averaged 37.2 minutes per game last season. That figures to leave Landry — who hasn’t averaged fewer than 20 minutes since his rookie season — with about 11 minutes.

But Landry said he can play center, and even play some small forward.

“I’m just a guy that’s going to compete,” Landry said. “At the end of the day, if you average 20 points a night and lose, nobody’s going to look at that. … I’m all about winning. If I get 30, I get 30. If I don’t, I don’t. At the end of the day, as long as I contribute and we win, that’s what it’s all about.”

* Rush, who wound up accepting less money than he thought he would get after his breakout season, said he isn’t ready to just accept less minutes, too.

“I’m coming in trying to get that starting job at (small forward),” he said. “I’ve been working hard the entire summer to build up on that.”

Rush, listed at 6-foot-7, showed he can hold his own defending small forwards. And no doubt he can shoot it. The question is how well can he be a playmaker. What the Warriors need from the small forward spot is someone who can create off the dribble and find teammates. I think Rush is better at getting to the rim than he might have let on last season. But you have to wonder about his passing.

Rush said he’s been working all summer on his post-game and his pick-and-roll game. Coach Mark Jackson is going to run a lot of pick-and-rolls. Some times, he’s going to want the SF to be able to run the pick-and-roll so Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can spot up on the wings. Whoever it is, he has to be able to find the shooters out of that situation or create offense while the floor is spread.

The Warriors don’t have to have the small forward do that. But that would be ideal. Otherwise, his option is to put Jack in there with Curry and Thompson. If Rush can do that, it would help his cause.

He has three things working against him, though: Richard Jefferson, Harrison Barnes, and Mark Jackson’s comfort with Rush coming off the bench.

On a winning team, Rush could possibly find himself in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year if he plays as well as he did last season. You’re willing to give that opportunity up?

“For a starting job, yeah,” Rush said with a laugh. “If it all comes down to it, I’d love to be a Sixth Man, too. That would be a great award.”

* Myers addressed the tax situation as well. He confirmed the Warriors are over the tax. However, it’s not a big deal at this point. The penalty for being over the tax isn’t levied until the last day of the season. So the Warriors have until the trade deadline to get under the tax and avoid the penalty if they so choose. But Myers said ownership has not given him a mandate to get under the tax and avoid the penalty.

“The one mandate that has been placed on myself and the group was to win. Clearly. That’s the one thing I know.”

Myers said management had daily conversations about the tax. He said every time he asked co-owner Joe Lacob about going over the tax, Lacob was on board if it was worth it. The conclusion was that the opportunity to get both Landry and Rush was worth it.

“We did it for a purpose. We are into the tax, but we have flexibility. We can go deeper into the tax if we want to. We can find ways to get out. We’ll keep our eye on that. It will probably depend on how we’re doing.”

Marcus Thompson

  • noder

    very good

  • moderate voter

    Bobby Meyer gets an “A” so far as GM, we were not supposed to have a first round draft choice, we ended up getting three first round guys is Barnes, Fezili, and Draymond Green! The Warriors have nice starters, needed to plug holes – creatively – and Meyer got the right pieces, in my view. Jack is above average – way above average back-up PG, and Carl Landry is a big nasty guy who can do some things in the paint, he is going to do damage to other teams. The icing on cake is Brazemore – he comes out of nowhere, the NCAA defensive player of the year! Bobby Meyer deserves bonus and vacation to Bahama’s, get cracking Lacob.

  • wg

    there’s a lot to like about the new regime’s moves. it’s resulted in a balanced team with depth. no one’s mistaking it for a championship contender, and the team could blow up (in the bad way), but at the least, there’s comfort knowing that there’s reason and sound thinking on the part of the GSW decision-makers. they’ve made mistakes (re: charlie bell), but there’s been a lot more good than bad.

  • noma_pride

    It’s none of my business how much Lacob wants to spend or not spend, but it’s pretty awesome he’s willing to pay the tax AND forego tax receipts from the other teams. The smart move (financially) is to shave enough salary to be $1 below the tax by the trade deadline.

  • wil

    All I know is one thing!!!
    We have an Ace on our deck of cards which translates to an insurance policy and collateral. His name the Big Goose’s egg: Andris Biedrins!!!

    (Does Larry Riley’s salary count against the luxury tax? Darn it! Because he is the main reason we are in this mess!!! And what is he stilk doing with the warriors? Lacob you should be booed for keeping him and Biedrins around)

  • RamboDave

    It was Chris Mullin that gave that contract to Biedrins, not Larry Riley. Larry Riley did not do so bad. He made the deal for Bogut, and then got us that extra 1st round pick, which became Festus Ezile. He also purchased that 2nd round pick, #35, which became Green.

  • rew

    I know it’s a long shot but maybe – just maybe – Andres can turn it around. That seems remote – I think most would agree – but insofar as his career is concerned he’s on the ropes, his agent has got to be telling him that, so perhaps he will come into camp more motivated. I see no reason why Biedren’s can’t play 15 minutes a game, he used to be good enough to be a starter, he was up and coming NBA guys four years ago, and make a positive contribution. I think Andres needs to get a positive attitude and figure out a way he can make those 15 minutes a game he may play impact minutes. He does that he can wind up his NBA career with pride.

  • Young

    dont think andris has any reason to try hard until his contract year, which is nxt year…i expect nothing

  • Grey Warden

    I agree with #8 Young. Biedrins won’t do anything this year, especially if Festus the Bestus proves to be a good defensive stopper and rebounder.

    Mark Jackson’s gonna have his hands full trying to find minutes for the backup players. Barring any injury to the starters, I see Jenkins, Bazemore, Tyler, and Green seeing little to no minutes, except during garbage time.

  • TV Fan

    Everyone seems to pretty much agree that Biedrens contract is the black hole on this team in the way of the Dubs being a serious playoff contender. I think his game is unanimously a great disappointment from what was expected 4 years ago. That being said, a big reason why he did well on the We Believe team was that BD and Jackson knew how to post up inside and to pick-n-roll. They made him a better player. The Dubs have not had that since they left. His fouls and rebounding has suffered greatly due to the HORRIBLE defense played by his teammates. He has taken way too many fouls backing them up.

    Biedrens never matched up well with the top centers defensively but he is still decent at forcing other players to redirect their shots. The one place he has zero excuses is his free throw shooting. That is 100% on him.

    If Biedrens was earning the veteran minimum, he would be just fine coming off the bench for 8-12 mins. Unfortunately, he earning 9 mil and getting a lot of hate for playing with the wrong team. Realistically (unless he is miraculously traded or bought out), he will get those 8 – 12 minutes this year. My hope is that being surrounded by better players will improve his game. If his game doesn’t improve, it will be as much of an inditement on the team as it is on him.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Ideally, Biedrins plays well in pre-season and some other team’s center goes down with a season-ending injury, prompting a trade. That’s the only we’re getting rid of him this year.

  • supernashwan

    Who did the Warriors use their amnesty clause on? Why don’t they use it on Biedrins? Or is it a backup to use this year on Jefferson/Bogut/Lee if they fail to fire?