Jul 10

Golden State Warriors Free Angency: How to reach the Postseason

I have issue with the Warriors direction in free agency.

Andre Miller resigned with the Nuggets for 9mil over 3 years.

Kirk Hinrich signed with the Bulls for 6mil over 2 years.

Jason Kidd signed with the Knicks for 9mil over 3 years.

Chauncey Billups singed with the Clippers for 4.3 mil for a one year contract.

I don’t have a problem with letting Brandon Roy sign with the Timberwolves for 10.4 mil over 2 years.  Who knows if that is a reasonable contract?

The above looks much like one of Matt Steinmetz’s recent articles.  You can find it here at http://www.csnbayarea.com/basketball-golden-state-warriors/warriors-talk/Warriors-Troubling-signs-in-free-agency?blockID=737464&feedID=2799I am not one to steal.  I just agree with him.

Now that the best mid level PGs have signed with other teams, the biggest hole in the Warriors line-up has become more of a major issue.  Oh, don’t forget, the Warriors have not signed anyone yet in free agency.  Owner Joe Lacab has come out and stated that the team really doesn’t have the full mid-level exemption to use in free agency, rather it is 3-4 million that can be used before they go over the luxury tax. (bye the way, every player above signed a deal worth 3 mil a year with the exception of Brandon Roy and Chauncey Billups.  I would think we could have had a Miller, a Hinrich, a Kidd etc if our GM was really so good as an agent turned GM.)

It is my understanding that going over the luxury tax is a 1 to 1 proposition.  In other words, if they spend 1 million over the luxury tax, they owe 1 million back to the league.  I think they could afford that if it would help them win.  I don’t care if it is 5 mil over due to a trade.  I say do it if you want to win.

The current predicament is due to a few interesting and debatable decisions in the last year.  We could go back further to the previous ownership, but why do that when everything could have been fixed by the current ownership?

1.  Andris Biedrins.  He is owed approx 9 mil a year for the next two years.  He provides nothing on the court that we wouldn’t expect a half-way decent #30 pick at his position in the draft to do.  Namely, Festus Ezeli.  Ezeli will likely out block, out score and out rebound Biedrins this year while making 1/10th the money.  This is a sad story considering the Dubs could have Amnestied Biedrins last year, instead of wasting it on a 4mil, 1 year contract of Charlie Bell.  There were enough reasons to just void Bell’s contract as he had a DUI and showed up for court drunk.  If they couldn’t void it, they could just buy him out.  What they did smells of bad decision making and possibly cheap accounting.

2.  The trade that brought in Andrew Bogut.  I liked the trade in principal, but two things stood out in my mind as major problems.  The first was including Ekpe Udoh in the deal.  The man was one of the best +/- players on the Warriors.  If you read enough of my posts, you will find out that stat is one of my favorites.  According to 82games.com, last year Udoh was a +11 in net points per 100 possessions ie on the court vs off the court stats.  That is an amazing stat.  The Dubs outscored their opponents by 3.5 points when he was on the court and were outscored by 7.5 points when he was off the court.  Insane.  How do you trade that player?  In addition to this, we took back Steven Jackson who was making something in the range of 9 mil a year?  And gave up  Monta Ellis?  How does this trade work?  In the end, we trade Jackson for Richard Jefferson who is making the 11 mil a year plus has another year on his contract over Jackson’s?  This is the second problem, it’s insane.  We just crippled ourselves for another 2 years in the salary cap.  This was not a deal that had to be done.  Now, I am very happy to have Bogut, but the instant he goes down to injury, I am boooooing the Dubs ownership,  not Bogut.

Well then the question is, how would we ever have acquired our franchise center?  Ok.  Gotcha.  Roll with the punches.  What is done is done.

Where we are is that there are only certain players that fit the amount our Dubs can spend.  Lets figure out first where we need help.

The current roster excluding our own RFA (one Brandon Rush) and our FAs (Nate Robinson and Dominique McGuire) looks like this…

PG Steph Curry, Charles Jenkins

SG Klay Thompson

SF Dorrel Wright, Harrison Barnes, Richard Jefferson, Chris Wright

PF David Lee, Jeremy Tyler, Dramond Green (I put him here due to rebounding numbers as a 4 in college)

C Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Andris Biedrins.

There are some players that can play multiple positions such as Curry who could slide to the 2 depending on the FA PG we bring in.  R Jeff and C Wright could slide to the 4 depending on the matchup.  Green could absolutely play some 3 against less athletic 3s.  As a LAST RESORT Tyler and Lee could play  5 as they have before.  Do I want Tyler or Lee at the 5?  No.  However, as a second unit 5, Tyler was not terrible last year.

Ok.  So we see our roster has some flexibility.  Lee has played 5 much of his career.  That is one of the reasons he has been considered an under-performing big man for much of his career.  Lee has been given the job of guarding larger big men.  That’s not his fault.  Tyler might be a bit better equipped to guard a second unit 5 than Lee would be to guard Dwight Howard, as he did last year.  Guess what?  If Bogut stays healthy, he is the man.  I’m on board with Bogut.  I need to be.  The Dubs gave up so much in the trade to get Bogut that if he doesn’t work out, then the plan is shot.  Let’s go with the plan.

Considering my belief that Bogut is our center of the future at only 27 years old (who had a +/- of +2.7 with the Bucks last year) and that he had better play at least 70 games out of 82 next year, where is our biggest hole in the lineup?

Guard.   Period.

If we don’t bring back Brandon Rush, who is an RFA, we are screwed.  The Warriors gave him an offer sheet of over 4 mil to make him an RFA.  I am not about to do the math to tell you where that sits with the Luxury Tax.  I’d rather not.  However, Bob Myers has told us and the media that Rush is a player they want to bring back and will bring back.  I sure hope so.  The only other NBA teams I have heard to have any interest are the hated LA Lakers and the Timberwolves.

The above mentioned Matt Steinmetz and I agree that the biggest hole in the roster is a combo guard.  The Warriors need someone to spell Steph Curry and play some 2.  Ideally it would be someone who could play along-side Curry to set him up for some 3s.  Let’s get to this.

I am very high on a few free agent point guards who can also play some shooting guard.  I like Delonte West quite a bit.  Here is where Steinmetz and I disagree.  He has stated that the Warriors are likely only to bring in players that are very team oriented and quality people, due to the direction ownership has decided to go in.  I would contend that winning is more important than being good people, although apparently Coach Jackson even disagrees with me.  I remember a statement he had last year about helping the players become better men even above winning ballgames.  Wait.  That is backwards to me.  You do your job first, then think about becoming a better man.  If you do your job the best you can, then you will be a better man.  It goes hand in hand, but the job is first.

That is why I love Delonte West.  He apparently has a bipolar issue and was fined by the NBA for giving Gordon Heyward a “wet willie” last year (25K).  Ok.  I’m fine with that.  As a back-up guard for the Mavs last year, he was a tough defender, although he matched up better with shooting guards than points.  He played a significant number of starters minutes and backed up Jason Kidd, who we know can’t guard anymore.  Even so, West’s +/- was only -2.7.  It could have been much worse considering that Kidd can’t guard either.  Interestingly enough, Kidd registered a +2.9 according to 82games.com.  Hey at least I am honest.  I would give a bunch of props to the players around Kidd.  Steinmetz does say that West is an unlikely signing due to his bipolar issues and other issues.  Damn I can’t even make a decent case for West.  LOL.

Keyon Dooling most recently of the Celtics.  Check out this link… http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4695211/report-card-keyon-dooling

this is a very interesting Celtics viewpoint of Dooling.  This guy has bounced around the league and was a terrible defender at times during the regular season.  However, what I am looking for is a quality defender in crunch time.  From this blogger’s viewpoint, Dooling really stepped it up in the postseason after battling through injury (hip and knee issues) and brought his A game against the best competition. As well, in the locker room, he was a voice that was respected and seemed to help the Celtics stay on track.  Dooling had a terrible -17.9 +/- last year with the Celts.

Ok.  Lets get real… There are not many great backup combo guards out there.  I have a couple of other names that are also not so sexy.  With the money our Dubs have to spend, this is what we get.  This is where I could be really interested…

DJ Augustine  FA of the Bobcats… I watched this guy at Texas, years ago.  I loved his game, but I didn’t know how well it translated to the pros.  Now, yes he can get to the rim, but he consistently shoots around 40% from the field which is a killer for me.  I don’t like 40% shooters at all.  What is interesting is that although ESPN’s Hollinger says he is a bad defensive player, he was a +0.7 player in net points per 100 possessions according to 82games.com last year.  This guy is fearless, has a great handle, and can run a team.  He was one of the best players on a terrible team the last few years.  He also has started a good number of games at the point.  Do I want him?  Not really, but he is one of the best available for the price we can afford.

If you believe me, then I should tell you to stop crying.  LOL.

This is the man I want…

Jarryd Bayless who was recently made a FA by the Toronto Raptors.  This man is an improving 3 point shooter who shot over 40% last year from 3.  He knows how to get to the rim and get to the line while shooting over 85% from the free throw line.  He has an improving assist to turnover ratio, and PER.  He is still learning not to foul to much while improving his steals per game.  Just look at his stats, he is very impressive, year to year.  He has the best +/- of anyone on my list at +2.3 net points per 100 possessions per 82games.com.  He missed games last year, but played in 31 games and started 11 of those games.  When a player on the Raptors has that kind of +/- in limited opportunities and has shown improvement like Bayless has, he could be special.  If Bayless is our backup combo guard going into the season, I would feel very confident.

Worst case scenario….

Brandon Rush is signed by another team.

We pick up Delonte West and resign Dominique McGuire.  That’s it.  There is a chance with few injuries that we make the post-season but don’t go far.

Predictable scenario…

Brandon Rush is retained as well as Nate Robinson and Dominique McGuire.  We have a backup combo guard in Robinson who is explosive and reckless.  Rush is the perfect backup at the 2 and 3.  McGuire brings stability in the second unit and defense at the 3 and 4.  There is a good chance to make the playoffs and do some damage with luck and health.

Best case scenario…

Jerryd Bayless is signed as the backup combo guard.  He thrives with 15 minutes a game until Curry needs a rest.  Curry is able to be healthy throughout the season due to timely rest and is ready to go for a full postseason run.  Rush has spelled Thompson to prevent overworking the young shooting guard, and Rush also works his way into the starting lineup at times at the 3 to spell the quickly developing young rookie Harrison Barnes.

Barnes is all that we could hope for from a #7 pick and he doesn’t miss a beat as Curry figures out just where to find him, and Barnes quickly understands the defensive schemes the Dubs are using.

David Lee is himself and begins to look to pass a slight bit more, knowing on the wing are always great shooters ready to nail it.  Lee also relaxes just enough, knowing Bogut is behind him to challenge mistakes, making Lee agressive defensively for the first time.

Draymond Green fits in as a small ball 4 and sometimes 3 with the ability to play inside out, putting the ball on the floor, or hitting a 3.  Green hits the glass at both ends, and is a great second unit glue guy in the mold of McGuire except with more of an offensive focus.

Dominique McGuire does have a place as the go to wing defender that might start against Lebron James or Kevin Durant.  McGuire is the x factor for the Dubs, as Sefolosha was for the Thunder.

Bogut is healthy and can play 70-75 games in the regular season with some breaks that are legitimate due to the growth of Festus Ezeli later in the season.  The Dubs are willing to mix in Jeremy Tyler into the 5 spot in certain instances while knowing he is better suited for the 4, but giving the other big men much needed rest, and keeping Lee out of the 5 spot for good.  Yes even they know Lee is a 4 and only a 4, and Tyler has the ability to play a limited amount of 5.

Biedrins?  RJeff?  Really?  Do we need them?  D Wright?  That’s 24mil on the books that I did not account for.  LOL… and I think I got us to the second round of the playoffs!  Ok, one can dream.

-the Fraz




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  1. Steve Gray

    Checking in dude just as I said I would. One thing I’ve found out in my days are that in order to obtain a quality 5 you have to give up tons. 5’s are better drafted rather than traded for. Why? Because their play is near the beloved spot on the court, & have true winning value. Controlling what others do is the key! Kinda like my wife & the bank book. I remember a game where our team was outmatched physically in H.S. & basically we played keep away. We won the game 7-5. Yet we won!!! Winning is all that really matters. Now as for Ezeli, to me is a infant at this game! His learning abilities & his desire to be the best should allow him to grow quickly. Now don’t trade him!!! I have high expectations on this guy. This was my reasoning for Ezeli. I jumped on his bandwagon after the research I did on him when Syracuse played Kentucky & A.D. J.T. was high on this guy & he’s very intelligent on his predictions. If J.T. was running the show I wouldn’t be in the misery I have been in for these past 3+ decades. Ezeli has no fear & doesn’t run away from work. I would have loved to have him on my team when I played the game. The Bogut deal for Monta appears to be lopsided for the Bucks but I say not so. To me the possibilities with Bogut outweigh the extra’s given up. To me Ezeli easily takes the place of Eudo with his physical strength illustrated. I now feel after what GS has displayed in the summer league shows me true desire to climb out of the toilet. We’re on track for improvement. I gave up on the “I” word as I have used in the past. I have belief in Lacob,West, & Myers for doing just as they said, make this team a winner. Lacob tells me they’re doing well, I believe him. I doubted their talk previously(due to past ownership’s actions) but feel they have done almost all they can to improve our chances for enjoyment in route to climbing the ladder in our playoff standings. Let’s retain if possible the two you have mentioned, McGuire & Rush!!! Again we should grow consistently each season to be the best, not just for another cup of coffee & return to the bay after loosing 4 in a row. Keep posting & I will show. You have my address so give me a heads up as J.T. does so I can give this site a look! See ya on the other side. S

  2. Shawn

    Nice S… are you also Srg? So yes, I have to go with the Bogut trade, as said above. One great reason to do so, is your point that centers are better drafted then traded for. That is an interesting point, while it seems to undermine the Bogut trade. I thought we gave up too much for Bogut, but when I see Udoh is replaced by Ezeli our drafted center, that trade doesn’t hurt so much. What we have in return is a potential all star center in Bogut and a potentially outstanding defensive big in Ezeli as Bogut’s sub. I don’t feel so bad anymore for losing Udoh.

    I also have to put some faith in the new ownership. I called them out on the amnesty decision, but when I look at the rosters we could have if… ie Chandler vs Bogut, there may not be much difference. I know Chandler has had his injury issues as well. Chandler is not known as a passing big man at all, and the defensive skills of the two are even as far as I can tell.

    The other issue that is not looked at so much is that in order to become a good team, this team had to become bad for a period of time… by tanking to the #7 pick this last year, the Warriors have the chance to improve quite a bit, which is much more than if they had made the “smarter” moves that I outlined in #1 and 2 in my above article.

    So, in order to get smart, we have to get stupid? LOL. That didn’t work for the Warriors in the last 14 or so years. Lol.

    I think right now, it really could be a help with Myers running the show. Go Dubs!

  3. Steve Gray

    I am the only & only SRGPSYCHO, named from my BB hs days. If we gave up Udoh then also said we literally had to draft someone big to replace Udoh regardless of Bogut. So when GS drafted Ezeli told me I was on the right track to correct the true problem which has plagued GS for years. This team for years couldn’t stop my mother who’s passed away from scoring in the paint! Understand the most important facet of the game of basketball or any contest! Only one word describes this importance! “Control”. When you loose control of what is happening in any given contest you can just bet the house it’s “Game Over”. Doesn’t matter. Teams which win in the battle of “intangibles such as turnovers,free throw attempts, forcing opponents into foul trouble, FG % & on & on and these same teams end up at the top(49ers f.e. +28 ). Many say change players, I say change philosophy,exert extreme effort, proper execution gets the job done every time! Who was the last NBA player who had his tongue hung out consistently? Yes, Jordan always had his tongue out & whether it was due to being exhausted from Defensive effort never entered my mind. He showed me total value with his effort on both ends of the court! Why I contend he may have been the greatest of all time but not necessarily my favorite. See ya at TIGS. S

    1. Shawn

      haha S, I don’t think Jordan was often exhuasted, that was just style! I like what you say about t/o, f/t and fouls, fg%, and rebounding disparities. This is where it is at. Too often in the past the Dubs have had to foul to play D. While they might win the t/o battle, they lost in the paint with the other stats. Now, the players have changed and the coaching has changed. Last year Malone and Jackson came in preaching D while they did not have the players to get it done. I can’t agree with what you said that the philosophy and effort change is more important than changing the players. The players on the court can only do what they can do. Biedrins is not able to be much of a defensive presence any more, if he ever was. Now, we have ballers who are willing to mix it up. Rock on SRGPsycho!

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