Carl Landry on Returning to Warriors: “Everything Here is What You Want”

Stephen Curry, after being serenaded by about 6,000 fans at Oracle Arena for Wednesday’s rally, talked to the crowd about the future of the Warriors.

“We just need to get some people back,” Curry said, then he paused and turned to stare at forward Carl Landry.

Landry has one year left on his contract, paying him $4 million. But he has an option to skip the last year and become a free agent. Time is ticking on him to decide and he said he is feeling the pressure.

He called it the hardest decision of his career.

CARL LANDRY: “I mean, this is the best team I’ve ever played for on this level, especially as far as chemistry. And the scary thing is we’ve been together one year.”

Landry, who I caught up with after Oakland’s rally for the Warriors’ on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, doesn’t hesitate to say he wants to return to the Warriors. But it makes very little sense for him to play next season under his current contract:

  • No player wants to play on a one-year deal if they don’t have to. With no long-term security, the risk of injury is too great. Most players would rather a multi-year deal at a lower rate than a one-year deal at a slightly higher rate
  • This year is a much better market for Landry. If he plays one year and becomes a free agent in 2014, he could have to wait in line behind other power forwards such as Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol, Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemore, Derrick Favors, Larry Sanders, Greg Monroe and Ed Davis
  • Playing the final year of his contract eliminates the possibility of the payday he’s been looking for. Landry had a solid year for the Warriors. He fizzled after a hot start, but bounced back well in the playoffs. NBA teams are known for throwing big money around. How could Landry not even test the waters when a three-year, $15 to $20 million could be out there?

When asked about all the reasons it makes sense for him to opt out, Landry brought up a bit of recent history to suggest there is a possibility he could play out his contract.

LANDRY: “I took a lesser deal to come with the Warriors, remember? It could happen.”

Landry said Golden State did not approach him about extension talks. But management, he said, has “showed they are very interested in bringing me back.”

He said it’s not about money. He’s also looking for the right situation. He wants a great coach and good teammates. He said he wants the opportunity to play in the postseason.

LANDRY: “Basically, everything we had this year.”

Even if Landry opts out — which, it would be shocking if he didn’t — that doesn’t mean he is leaving the Warriors. Playing out his contract could guarantee he plays next season with Golden State. But Landry said Golden State is his first option.

The likelihood is he will opt out and see what the market brings. And the Warriors will wait to see what his value is on the market (kind of like they did last offseason when they signed him late in the offseason). If someone gives Landry too big a deal, the Warriors will tip their hat and tell Landry good luck. If it turns out his offers aren’t that good, Warriors GM Bob Myers will have the upper hand and try to get Landry for a bargain price.

The Warriors and Landry could prevent that situation by negotiating a deal early in the free agency period. Golden State, over the salary cap, could sign Landry to the non-bird execption, which allows the Warriors to give him a 20 percent raise in the first year of a deal (about $4.8 million — which with 4.5% raises is about a three-year deal worth $15 million).

LANDRY: “The Warriors are home whether I opt in or out. Hopefully, I can spend the rest of my career here because this is a very special place. Everything here is what you want: the city, the fans, the front office, the coach, the teammates. You can’t ask for anything more.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Dubs Dancing Man

    I hope Landry does what is best for him. He is a wonderful player and really contributed to the success of the team this season.

  • Ben Brung

    Regardless of the outcome it’s encouraging to hear players talk about returning to the team in a way that goes beyond the tepid lip service free agents usually give their team on the way out. It feels like the days of having to overpay for mediocre free agents might be on the way out. It’s kind of moot until we are far enough under the cap to go shopping but it’s still a sign of what the Bay Area market could be with a competitive team.

  • earl monroe

    The last two words in this snipit make me feel like we are going to be part of the Dwight Howard Circus, and at the end we will be played and he will end up with the Lakers, imagine having to give up someone like Klay Thompson in a sign and trade with the Lakers for Howard? How painful would that be? or is it a good move?

    Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News: An ESPN report said Howard devoted part of a separate meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak following his formal exit interview three weeks ago to lament how Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni made him feel “marginalized.” Kupchak said that didn’t happen. “Criticism of a coach did not come up,” Kupchak said Wednesday in a phone interview. “Our coach did not come up.” … Kupchak won’t have clarity on Howard’s future anytime soon. A source familiar with Howard’s thinking says he plans to test free agency and has considered the Lakers, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Golden State.

  • BAFan

    At least we’re on the list, right?

  • Grey Warden

    I still don’t see Howard coming to GS. Honestly the only reason I would see Howard wanting to go to GS is because of Mark Jackson. He’d be the only coach that could probably get Howard to give 100% effort night in and night out. Other than that, it’ll be about the money and the bright lights. Howard knows he can persuade management to change coaches anywhere he goes, so I still don’t see him going to GS.

  • earl monroe

    Dont underestimate the “god” connection

  • lwood

    Please God, don’t let us get D. Howard. Guy is not a winning basketball player and his “skills” are dependent on jumping out of the gym. Don’t want to eat up salary cap to have this guy. Now, Carl on the other hand, bring ’em back!

  • Gunner

    Loved Landry’s play since his Houston days. Hope to get him back but wish him the best.

  • petaluman

    I’d offer him something like 3 years for 3/4/5. It would lower our luxury tax next year by 1M, and give him 2 years & 8M more to remain part of “the best team I’ve ever played for”.

  • Town Biz

    Landry and Jack are the core of our bench and need to be re-signed. Both are stand up professionals and are a BIG reason the DUBS had the run we did. 3 year / 15 million seems reasonable contract for Big Carl. Jack needs to also be signed as the synergy between the two players is a unique tandem only a fool would break up. Bob Meyers and the front office is 1000 times better than previous management and is well aware of the value both Jack and Carl bring to the table.

  • lanise

    Please stay landry we need noth of you guys you wouldnt find no more fans like us #dubnation

  • Niners in 2012

    DHoward, a center who commands double teams that would free up our shooters. yeah, who wants that? Was I not the only one frustrated seeing Klay/Curry get no looks because nobody is leaving them open?

  • Niners in 2012

    Landry would be harder to replace than Jack. With BRush coming back we only need a backup PG, someone like Darren Collison, DJ Augustin. Heck even a Gary Neal would be good enough. But if we lose Landry, there aren’t many affordable backup PFs who can produce like him.

  • Dubber

    Whatever Landry decides on, good luck and thank you for the great plays with the Dubs.

  • gizzm

    d12? so torn about this, but he’s not coming here to take 30 million less, unless Jackson can mezmorize him with his preacher talk.

  • I would rather gamble on a healthier Bogut and an improving Festus E. than give up either Thompson or Barnes. These 2 young players can play defense besides scoring, Howard has a poor offensive game and only scores a lot of points if he is the go-to-guy a high percentage of the time.
    Do we want the ball in Howard’s hands at the end of the game or Curry’s? Besides, Barnes is only 20 and is going to be a star in this league in a couple of years.
    The Warriors should show patience for another year and see what this roster can do together after a year of getting to know each other.

  • Rav4

    It is at times like these that the decision not to amnesty AB comes back and bites us in the butt

  • Warriorsfan2k7

    Howard sucks bad, all he does is grabbing like 15 rpg, blocking some shots, get opponents into foul troubles, and sometimes get double teamed. We better off keeping the 50% bogut who can jump 5 inches and run like a bear, Curry is doing great with teams triple teaming him, we dont need big man to ruin our chances of making second round in 2 consecutive years!!