The Truth about Andrew Bogut

“Training over. Good news on ankle: swelling is getting close to being all gone. Bad News: The less swelling the more achy.” — @AndrewMBogut

When I saw this tweet of Andrew Bogut’s last night, I knew that it was finally time to write this post. I’ve been contemplating writing it for some months. Ever since, in fact, Bogut gave that little interview near the end of last season to that Warriors shill, the interview that was supposed to be about how he’d just gotten out of his walking boot, and all was progressing well. But the interview didn’t go down that way. Before it ended, the naturally loquacious Bogut let slip that the temperature in his ankle was 10 degrees higher than normal. When I heard that, my eyebrows shot up. 10 degrees? Like, 108? I really wanted to hear more about this, but the shill quickly got the discussion back on course. This was, after all, not an actual interview. It was advertising, for the people that paid the shill’s wages, and meant to generate excitement and sell season tickets, not explore the truth.

Didn’t matter. Within a week, we all found out the truth about that 108 degree ankle: Bogut was scheduled for another surgery.              

And I immediately started surfing the internets, engaged in medical research. You see, Bogut’s return to the operating table triggered a painful memory for me. Back in 2010, I happened to be crushing my fantasy baseball league. And the MVP of my fantasy team, and a leading candidate for MVP of the AL, was a player by the name of Kendrys Morales. And I just so happened to be actually watching the game in which Morales hit a walk-off grand slam (Yes!), triumphantly circled the bases, and then leaped in the air to stomp on home plate, surrounded by a raucus mob of teammates. Into which mob he disappeared, falling down, never to get up again. Kendrys Morales had shattered his ankle landing on home plate (No!), and was carried off on a stretcher.

I couldn’t believe it. The year before I had an MVP candidate who shattered his hand punching his bat in frustration over a strikeout (Carlos Quentin). Who but me could possibly hit this sort of exacta?

But this isn’t about me…. Poor Kendrys. I apparently cursed him the next season as well, because I kept him on my fantasy team. I’d originally drafted him in 2009 for $1 (genius!), and carried him over for $5 in 201o and for $13 the next season (idiot!), because Kendrys Morales was an MVP candidate, right? A bargain! And who doesn’t recover from a broken ankle?

Who? Kendrys Morales, that’s who.  He tried to play in spring training, but before the season started he was back under the knife. I learned some new terms reading dejectedly about his progress. “Debridement,” for one: That’s what the docs call an operation to remove loose bone and cartilage particles from a joint.

“Osteoarthritis,” for another. Arthritis? Really? I thought that’s what old people get. Yes, that’s true. But it’s also what Kendrys Morales got, from breaking his ankle. That’s what the LA Times said. I was also told by the LA Times that the debridement procedure went well. But somewhat mysteriously, Kendrys Morales nevertheless missed the entire 2011 season.

Which brings me back to Andrew Bogut. When I read that Bogut was scheduled for a “debridement” of his broken anke I immediately got a familiar sinking feeling. It was impossible for me not to make a connection to the case of Kendrys Morales. That’s what impelled me to immediately start doing some medical research.

First thing I did, I googled “osteoarthritis.”

And this is what I learned: Osteoarthritis is a catch-all term for chronic inflammation of a joint. The inflammation can have several causes, but there was one possible cause that caught my eye.

Injury.

Sometimes injury to a joint degrades the cartilage that covers the end of the bones that meet in the joint. Bits and pieces of this cartilage flake off over time, becoming loose particles and debris within the joint, and creating inflammation and pain. And further flaking. And further pain. And bone spurs and calcification.

Osteoarthritis.

Is this what Andrew Bogut has in his ankle? I’m no medical doctor of course. And the Warriors have never mentioned that word. (But then, if you relied on Joe Lacob and his PR staff to tell you the truth about their injured players, you’d never know that Andris Biedrins has been suffering from a chronic, debilitating and painful abdominal condition called osteitis pubis. Since 2009.)

I am, however, someone who is pretty good at conducting google searches and connecting the dots. And I think it’s clear that Bogut has osteoarthritis in his damaged ankle. He had a temperature of 108 in that ankle, and if that’s not inflammation, I don’t know what is. And he had a “debridement,” which all of us virtual MDs now know is a procedure to remove loose particles of bone and cartilage from a joint.

Osteoarthritis.

What does this mean for Bogut’s future? Now here, I’m really over my head. I’m not one of those medical specialists that have been reporting in the media that everything is proceeding normally, and is “on course.”

All that I can do is remember what it meant for Kendrys Morales’ future. Even now, in 2012, Morales is still feeling his ankle.  I know this, because I drafted Morales AGAIN this season (idiot!). Because he was really cheap, and he was a past MVP candidate, and who suffers from a broken ankle for TWO STRAIGHT SEASONS? Kendrys Morales, that’s who. Even now, he’s giving almost weekly status updates to the media on how his ankle is feeling (very sore to start the season, “better” now).  And even now, he’s a mere shadow of his former self at the plate.

It has crossed my mind that Kendry Morales is not a 7 foot tall, 270 lb. basketball player, who is  going to be asked to run and jump on hardwood floors throughout training camp, 82 regular season games, a certain number of playoff games, and a myriad of practices in between. No, Kendrys Morales is a 6-1″ 225 lb. designated hitter, who sits on his ass most of the time, and then once every 40 minutes or so, takes an at-bat, and if he hits something, runs on a nice soft groomed dirt surface, for about 5 seconds.

Yes, that has crossed my mind. How in the world is Bogut’s osteoarthritic ankle supposed to survive the intense pounding it’s going to get on the basketball court? How can those degraded bone ends be expected to stop flaking off bits of bone and cartilage into his ankle joint?

Here’s something else that has crossed my mind: This is not the first osteoarthritic joint that Andrew Bogut has contracted. He’s had it before, in that elbow he shattered in 2010. The elbow that caused him great pain during his subpar 2010-11 season, leading to the conditioning and attitude problems that created a rift between himself and Coach Scott Skiles. The elbow on which he had a second operation in the summer of 2011. A debridement, natch, that produced the nice chunk of something boney that Bogut had put into a bottle so that he could wave it in front of the press, and say, “See? I wasn’t exaggerating when I said I was in pain!”

The elbow which, according to all reports, he still cannot fully extend. The elbow which resulted in a 49.5% shooting percentage in 2010-11, and a 44.9% shooting percentage in the first 12 games of the 2011-12 season.

That elbow. That elbow has osteoarthritis as well. I’d stake my newly minted virtual medical degree on it.

Could this mean that Bogut is especially prone to osteoarthritis? Could it mean there’s something wrong with his bones? Joe Lacob’s PR machine was quick to point out that Bogut’s two horrific broken bones were the result of “freak” occurrences. What does that mean exactly? Was it the falls themselves that were freak occurrences, or the fact that his bones broke? Would another player’s bones have shattered in similar fashion? Would another player have developed osteoarthritis in both his damaged joints?

And what about that stress fracture in his back, that cost him most of the 2008-09 season? Remember that? (If not, it’s not your fault, because that injury has never been mentioned by anyone in Lacob’s employ. And never will be.) Was that the result of a freak accident as well? I think we know the answer to that.

So what’s really up with Bogut’s bones? I obviously have no real idea. I’m just a guy obsessed with connecting dots.

But before I start with the connecting, here are a few more dots for you to consider: The words that are actually coming out of Bogut’s own mouth. Andrew Bogut has a history of telling people when things aren’t right with him physically. He has a history of lessening expectations, of preparing the ground so that he won’t shoulder the fans’ blame if he can’t perform at a high level.

He told us what was going on with his elbow pain back in 2010-11. He reiterated that point when he held up that boney bit in a bottle. He looked the Warriors shill in the eye and told him his ankle had a temperature of 108 degrees. And he’s telling us something again now, isn’t he?

Training over. Good news on ankle: swelling is getting close to being all gone. Bad News: The less swelling the more achy. — @AndrewMBogut

I’m sitting here connecting the dots, and I have to say the pictures that are appearing in my coloring book aren’t pretty.

I’m trying to think of a reason why a 7-foot 270 lb. NBA center won’t have the same kinds of difficulties returning to action on an osteoarthritic ankle that a 225 lb. MLB DH has had. Or worse.

I’m trying to think of a single NBA center who has returned to form after the number of debilitating season-ending injuries that Bogut has had. I’m looking for one name.

I’m trying to put a number to my thoughts. A percentage. The odds. That, after all, is what I do for a living. I handicap the odds of future events, on the poker table, in the market, and in sports.

What are the odds that Andrew Bogut is ready for training camp? I think realistically it’s less than 50%. I would take 2-1 odds against.

What are the odds that he plays 70 games next season? Well historically, he has failed to reach that number 3 times in his first 8 seasons. So 63%. 5-3 in favor. Are the odds of him playing 70 games in say his next five seasons greater or less than the past 8? I’d have to say less. He’s older, and he’s already suffered three major injuries. So does even money sound about right? 50% likely that Bogut is around for 70 games in each of the next five seasons?

Not that I have any intention of betting on these gruesome propositions. I am of course rooting strongly for Andrew Bogut. First, because I would never root against anyone’s health. Second, because Bogut seems like a pretty great guy. And third, because I would actually love for the Warriors to have a winning team. Believe it or not, I’m sick to death of writing about incompetent personnel decisions, incompetent coaching, throwing basketball games, and tanking seasons. When I started this gig, it was with the intent of sharing my joy at watching great basketball. It seems like an eon ago now that I penned that optimistic Mission Statement.

I’m putting some numbers to the Bogut situation because I want to think clearly about the gamble that Joe Lacob took when he traded for Andrew Bogut. Good gamble or bad?

If it turns out that Bogut can’t play, or never again plays to a high level, was that result at all forseeable? I’ll let you answer that for yourselves.

What will the Warriors options be if Bogut can’t play? What will it mean to their salary flexibility to have both Bogut’s and Biedrins’ contracts hanging around their necks? How will they approach this season? Will they try to win regardless, or revert to tanking for lottery picks?

Do the odds of a healthy Bogut returning for an indeterminate period justify holding the Warriors team hostage to this situation? I’m thinking of the way that the NBA’s best teams are being built these days. The Miami Heat, the OKC Thunder, the Nuggets. It is Nellieball that has been seizing the league in recent years. Nellieball that is fast becoming the reigning philosophy.

The Heat, Thunder and Nuggets are all in the process of demonstrating that it is possible to build an NBA contender without putting all of your eggs in the dominating defensive 7-footer basket. It may in fact be a sounder and easier way to build a team, given the frequent health problems the giants of the league are susceptible to. Just how healthy can we expect Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard to be in the future, let alone Andrew Bogut?

So I’ll put it to you once again: Ellis and Udoh for Bogut and Jefferson. Based on what was knowable at the time, good trade?

Speak now or forever hold your peace.

260 Responses to The Truth about Andrew Bogut

  1. It’s hard to believe Lacob didn’t get his doctors on this. Then again, we don’t know what he did or what he was told—or what he chose to believe. And before people start jumping on you for playing doctor again, remember we never get good information on injuries. SOMETHING is wrong with Biedrins, and we haven’t heard anything.

    Bogut’s size and his expected role are especially a concern. Does anybody know what was said when Yao Ming first had foot problems? I don’t, but I’m guessing more years were projected for him. And as you say, he’s got to stay healthy for 4-5 years to make any sense. Otherwise the team is back to rebuilding mode without much money to play with.

    But even if he stays reasonably healthy—and I’m guessing reasonably healthy will still mean reduced playing time over that span—he wasn’t worth the gamble: too risky, too limiting, and too expensive.

    • While we’re at it, I’m wondering how easy or cheap it will be to build a large arena over a pier in SF. I’m guessing huge cost overruns. Lacob seems to court the quixotic.

  2. If Bogut goes down for any length of time, more pressure will be put on David Lee, who won’t have much support up front, who’s already been pushed too hard into service the last two years, a wasted effort in the Lacob transition era. And we have to wonder if he has recovered and how long he will last.

    I gotta sinking feeling tonight.

    • “I gotta sinking feeling tonight”

      rgg, given the theme of the new thread, allow Dr. Steve to give you a cure for your “sinking feeling”…….stop reading this blog so much, including a lot of your own stuff. LOL

  3. Felt, until Bogut starts practicing and playing again the doubts that surround his comeback ability will linger. I choose to be optimistic that eventually he’ll recover to the point where, minus further new injuries, he’ll make substantial contributions to the Warriors, which includes lots more winning than losing over the next few years.

    That’s not to say I’m 100% certain that things will turn out as hoped, but his latest exam from the doctor in LA was positive, and I’d assume that a certain amount of initial discomfort (achy) is to be expected as he gets further along in his rehab and starts using the ankle in more strenuous ways. The reduction in swelling to almost nil is definitely a positive.

    Buster Posey had a catastrophic ankle injury a little more than a year ago………

    “Four days after Posey was run over by the Marlins’ Scott Cousins in a home-plate collision, two screws were inserted into his left leg to reposition and repair torn ankle ligaments. He also had his ankle joint smoothed. His fractured fibula, though minimally displaced, didn’t need a plate and will heal on its own, Groeschner said.

    The trainer said Posey will be on crutches for about two months and shortly thereafter have the screws removed (eight to 10 weeks from now) and then be forced to be off the leg for another couple of weeks. So it’s possible he might not walk without crutches until late August or September.

    Another arthroscopic surgery, perhaps in some future offseason, could be required to remove scar tissue.”

    ………..and he’s on his way to leading the Giants back to the postseason (and hopefully World Series) by playing as well as ever, albeit in a different sport. However, the position he plays ain’t no DH, so the rigors he’s exposed to almost daily comes closer to the demands of someone playing hoops. Again, reason for optimism that Bogut will come closer to mirroring Posey than your fantasy guy and be a solid center in the NBA for years to come.

    Only time will tell but I’m putting MY money on Bogut being ready for the start of training camp in October.

    “So I’ll put it to you once again: Ellis and Udoh for Bogut and Jefferson. Based on what was knowable at the time, good trade?

    Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

    Not good trade, GREAT trade. If Monta is your best (which was the case with GSW) or even second best player you’re never going to be a great team that can challenge for a championship. That was an opportunity (getting a good “big” for a good “small”) that couldn’t be passed on if you’re truly into turning this team around in a big way.

    But hey, what do I know? Why not instead ask Don Nelson?

  4. Felt, BTW, you’re a “Twitter guy”, why not twitter the link to this thread to Bogut (who’s also big on Twitter) and see what his reaction is?

  5. “Five Biggest Losers in Free Agency”

    http://bit.ly/NPGlgV

  6. Former Old Dominion guard Kent Bazemore will sign a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Warriors, one source told HoopsHype.

  7. I was under the impression that the Ellis-for-Bogut deal was Plan E or F. More or less a desperation move after:

    a) confirming how little Biedrins could help,
    b) whiffing on Chandler,
    c) whiffing on DeAndre Jordan,
    d) passing on other promising young FA centers like Dalembert.

    Small-for-big is nice, and it could turn out to be a good move depending on Bogut’s remaining ability and availability. It might improve the team.

    But getting one starter and two huge contracts for 2+ starters and a big expiring does not qualify as a sharp trade, especially in light of the other options the dubs flubbed. It also cost the Ws a second lost season, which will impact team revenue through at least the first half of next season. Add that lost income to the cost of the deal and it looks pretty pricy.

    • @White Hat – Probably Plan Z! LOL! Monta Ellis trade rumors for just about every player in the NBA – Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Igoudala, every trade rumor known to mankind, etc!

      Also have to factor in how this trade implemented the tank strategy for #7 or better – a nice ancillary benefit of trading 2 healthy starters for 1 injured player – so the outcome of the trade also depends on just how good will Harrison Barnes be? Fans love the the shiny new thing and will have “hope”!

      If Bogut stays somewhat healthy, and Harrison is an NBA starter… The trade will be looking very good. Particularly since Monta may opt out of his contract and isn’t a good fit there (Jennings and Monta midget backcourt? Really?) – Ekpe may have a tough time for minutes as the Bucks have a lot of the bigs now.

      Taking on salary in trades and building through the draft are the only real strategies in getting talented players to the GSWs… Good free agents have better destinations unless the GSWs overpay.

  8. Former Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko has decided to return to the NBA for next season, he told R-Sport on Tuesday. Ria Novosti

    “I’ll continue my career in the NBA,” Kirilenko said. “Which club in particular, we’ll know in a day or two.” Ria Novosti

    Andrei Kirilenko: “After such a stronger season with CSKA I understand that I can still play at a high level. I’m 31 but I can still play and still want to play.” Ria Novosti

  9. WarriorsAblaze

    I enjoy –and tend to agree with– much of your basketball analysis, Felt, but this blog really takes a quality nosedive with all your Lacob conspiracy theories and Michael Moore-esque “connecting of dots.” Unless your goal is to become the Alex Jones of basketball, of course, then perhaps you’re on the right path. The real analysis of your blog is too good to be supplemented by this kind of “jounalism”. Just my opinion… not that you asked. :)

    As far as the trade goes, there’s no way to make a real determination until it plays out. How can you even have an opinion of a trade where the main piece hasn’t even played? Not to mention the secondary element of the trade, which is freeing Curry from under Monta’s inefficient, ball chucking shadow. I’m hoping Curry developed enough of a chip on his shoulder during Monta’s reign to explode this year and show what many of us believe he is capable of. Then, we’ll know if the trade was good. Addition by subtraction. If the ankle holds, I believe we’ll see a different Curry this season. Our success depends on it.

    • I have an opinion that the “main piece” has an arthritic ankle, that will prove detrimental to his career. And I have an opinion that that development was utterly forseeable and predictable.

      My brand of journalism is to speak the truth as I see it, pleasant or not. If you’re not interested in the truth, I can recommend any number of other Warriors writers to you. If you don’t think I’m right about the main piece’s ankle, then bring me an informed rebuttal.

      Oh, and Curry “exploded,” as you put it, in the second half of his rookie season — one of the greatest stretches of basketball any NBA guard has ever had — while playing alongside Monta Ellis.

      Curry “imploded” the last 2 seasons for three reasons totally unrelated to Monta Ellis: An incompetent owner/GM who insisted on the wrong system with the wrong personnel, and stripped the Ws bench. Incompetent rookie coaches who followed their orders. And injury. In that order.

      The health of Andrew Bogut has a lot to do with the future success of the Warriors, but next to nothing to do with the future success of Stephen Curry.

      • “Oh and Curry “exploded,” as you put it, in the second half of his rookie season — one of the greatest stretches of basketball any NBA guard has ever had — while playing alongside Monta Ellis.”

        Feltbot you are dead wrong. Curry put on a show when Monta missed 18 games that year.
        Monta missed 5 games out of 8games in April, missed 5 games out of 14 games in March, 4 games out of 12 games in Feb, 2 games out of 15 games in Jan 2010.
        16 games missed out of 49 games at least from Jan to April.
        Monta missed 10 games out of 22 games for the last 2 months of season where Curry averaged close to 25PPG, 7.5APG, 5RPG.

        Again, your view is so biased and not fact based.

  10. This is not a doomsday scenario from a worried, obsessive mind. It is a sober, sensible reckoning of the odds. NO ONE—the FO, the media, the blogs—said anything similar, at least not in public.

    The Bogut acquisition was a gamble, pure and simple, and it might have been a good one if the team could have afforded to absorb the loss. They can’t. The success of the team completely depends on Bogut’s health for the next years, and too much money has been tied up in the trade (add Jefferson’s salary), too much value lost in the players traded, to allow good options later.

    Lacob’s obsession that you can’t win without a big man—any kind of big man—has led to all kinds of squandering and questionable decisions. Tens of millions have been wasted in this pursuit—Kwame Brown, Biedrins—that might have been spent elsewhere.

    But here’s the other discussion that was never held: Could the team have made other decisions and acquisitions that would have produced similar results in terms of wins AND left them with more options in terms of money and trade options down the road? Could this money have been used to make less expensive gambles, acquired affordable pieces that might have given the team depth and flexibility in the years to come (think Denver)? I know how this blog would answer.

    Of course we’ll never know. That option was never considered.

    Someone define success. Assuming all goes well, I’m guessing the team hovers around .500 the next two years. That is only a marginal gain over the team Smart led. Yet if it happens, I can hear Lacob’s words now. . . .

  11. Although, Bogut is a slightly above average center defensively, I was against the trade simply because in my judgment Udoh was superior to Bogut simply because of his quickness and his ability to make more defensive plays. Such fits with your view that the modern center is really a power forward.

    Moreover, I think even if Bogut is healthy he provides less defensive protection for D. Lee and his deficiencies. Even though they played last year on a losing team last year, with Udoh and D. Lee on the court the Warriors outscored their opponents by a decent margin last year. I expect less so with Bogut and D.Lee playing together, especially since the starting line-up will not be superior to last year’s team.

    I would have liked to have seen Ellis traded for a bigger guard or SF because I didn’t think he worked well with Curry and insistence of taking more shots than Curry even though he shot a much lower fg %.

    When has anyone seen an owner trade for a injured player who could not play during the season? I don’t think it’s happened before. Lacob had either been misled or he misled Warrior fans when he said that doctors said that Bogut would recover just fine. I do hope Bogut fully recovers and can contribute on the court.

    By trading for an injured player and tanking the season we now have via more draft choices a deeper bench. I do think if Bogut can play that the Warriors can compete at the center position with both Bogut and Ezeli. Not so, if Biedrins is playing 20 minutes per game.

    The remaining roster still has a lot of holes, and a head coach who should not be head coach.

    • “…I think even if Bogut is healthy he provides less defensive protection for D. Lee and his deficiencies.”

      Bogut will also be covering the blown assignments of Barnes in place of DWright, and Thompson in place of Ellis, so he’ll have even more coming his way on defense than Udoh did. Even at 100% he’s not as mobile as Udoh on D, so it’s quite possible that overall team D will be slightly worse than last year.

      “…we now have via more draft choices a deeper bench.”

      The bench is deeper than it seemed it might be at season end, but It’s still TBD whether it will be better than last year. Thompson, Rush and Udoh anchored a decent 2nd team last season, with one big hole at power forward/C. Next season’s bench will be bigger and more physical, but mostly less experienced. At the moment it looks like this:

      Jack (+ compared to Nate or Jenkins)
      Bazemore (- compared to Thompson)
      Barnes (- compared to Rush) (Probably. It’s hard to say because I never understood Jackson’s PT decisions in the SF spot last year.)
      Ezeli (even up with Udoh, probably. Not as skilled, but just as mobile and bigger/stronger/tougher.)
      And at PF, it will probably be Green (slight + over McGuire, just guessing).

      I’ll believe Landry/KMartin/Kirilenko when I see one of them suit up. If we do land a good vet PF it’s a better 2nd team than last year’s. If not, it’s a very different bunch but probably about the same overall quality.

      • Yes, any trade for an injured player is a risk/gamble. Should Andrew Bogut regain his health, the GSWs will have gotten the better of the trade. And it won’t even be close.

        Andrew Bogut is an elite defensive player, an elite rebounder, a good scorer, and a good passer. Here’s some opinions/numbers:

        John Hollinger of ESPN stated that Andrew Bogut was a top 5 defensive player in the entire NBA – regardless of position. Andrew Bogut averaged 2.5 and 2.6 blocks per game respectively for the season (2009/10 and 2010/11) and is also a LEAGUE LEADER in drawing offensive fouls – so yes, he can defend.

        In 2010/11, he averaged 11.1 rebounds per game – and consistently among the league’s BEST REBOUNDERS – so yes, he can rebound.

        In 2009/10, he averaged 15.9 points per game for the season – so yes, he can score.

        In 2006/07, he averaged 3.0 assists per game for the season – so yes, he can pass.

        Ekpe Udoh’s an elite shot blocker and protects the rim as a PF. But be real – he hasn’t proven himself that he can rebound, score, or pass with any sort of consistency (very below average player in these areas)…

        Curry, Thompson, and Barnes – gives the Warriors – the best young perimeter snipers in the NBA – BAR NONE! Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush (unsigned) aren’t shabby shooters either. That’s 5 players who can or have the ability to shoot 40-45% from 3 point land. It’s fair to say that the floor will be SPREAD and wide open.

        David Lee has a decent mid-range game as well. Lee can play the high post and help facilitate the offense with his very good passing ability – or pick and roll with Curry or just slash to the basket.

        Andrew Bogut can work the low post – or if he’s doubled – can pass to the open man.

  12. What were the other options? It’s impossible to discuss them unless you have an organization committed to exploring all the possibilities. The first consideration, however, should be to reach the potential of the players you have on the club and the players that are available on the market.

    Option 1: the Bogut trade, the team as it is

    If the team is healthy (and is coached well), they’ll still have to play the starters heavy minutes to make a good run. I’m skeptical they’ll do much better than .500 for that reason alone, as they don’t have a strong bench, especially up front, and the starters will be pushed into heavy service and have to come out of the season whole. But regardless, they still don’t match the depth and athleticism and experience and sheer talent of the top tier teams.

    Probable injury brings the number down. Significant injury brings the number down even more, especially in the case of Curry, though there is pretty good backup now. Serious injury, especially to Bogut, and the team falls apart.

    The future?

    They won’t have much money to play with for the next two seasons or pieces to trade. It will be hard to make any kind of significant changes to this roster at all. And Bogut has to be healthy to have any kind of future after that.

    Option 2: don’t make the trade and amnesty Biedrins

    The first thing to be noted is that the team would have had money, and money = options, $16m last year (Biedrins + Kwame), and $20m+ the next two seasons (Biedrins+Jefferson).

    Making the same assumption of full health, this team would not have been substantially different from the team two years ago, which won 36 games—under Smart. But it would have been better because there would have been money to strengthen the bench, perhaps find and develop players, affordable but with potential, who would have paid off then and later as well. And this bench would have lessened the blow of injuries. Ellis especially would have been valuable if Curry went down.

    What about the center?
    The top centers do not want to come here. There aren’t many (any?) available. Jordan would have been an expensive mistake. So the team does the best it can with unconventional, affordable centers and gives them a system that makes best use of their talents. I didn’t like Udoh at center because he was undersized, but he provided more than serviceable minutes there. Or you make do as best you can, as Boston did with that schlep Stiemsma.

    The future?
    Again, the team would have had all that money to work with to improve the team now and in the future, without so much tied up in a few contracts, of which two now are nearly useless. If it had been invested in affordable players with limited contracts who didn’t work out, they could be traded or let go. Or maybe the money could have been used to build the depth even more. If Ellis didn’t pan out, the team would have had his $10m to play with when his contract expired. And the team would have had the bucks to pull the trigger had a big opportunity showed up. Add vision and intelligence to the mix, and the possibilities rise much more.

  13. Just a thought: Are there any tattoos left on the Warriors? I’m going to miss Monta’s awesome artwork.

  14. As a player, Jerry West’s Lakers lost a LOT of NBA finals going against the Celtics with a dominant defensive center in Bill Russell. Jerry West never won an NBA championship – until very much later in his career when he teamed up with Wilt Chamberlin – a dominant center. Jerry West learned – you need a good big man to win it all!!!

    Jerry West – the GM – ALWAYS had or obtained an elite center for his teams. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq O’Neal, Pau Gasol (Memphis).

    The W’s front office couldn’t acquire big men Tyson Chandler, Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordon…

    No surprise here – Jerry West/Meyers/Lacob – went after a top 3-5 NBA center in Andrew Bogut. INJURED. DISGRUNTLED.

    What? The NBA has “changed?” No big man is required anymore? Because NBA champion Heat’s big men have no true center? Or one that’s worth a darn? Yes, technically, it’s small ball. But I think it’s more an aberation than a long-term trend. And Miami can win several more championships before it’s over.

    But let’s not forget – Tyson Chandler/Shawn Marion/Nowitski – led Dallas Mavericks – beat that SAME Miami team… And weren’t as good on paper. What’s the difference between a decade’s worth of great 50-60 win Dallas Mavericks teams that choked in the playoffs and their championship team??? Yes, Tyson Chandler – a very very very good center.

    • You are referring to the 6-9″ 215 lb. Bill Russell, correct? Wilt never beat him.

      And Jerry West and Wilt won exactly one out of three finals against the Knicks, who featured the 6-9″ 235 lb. converted power forward Willis Reed at center.

      The Heat lost to the Mavs first and foremost because Wade got injured in game 3. The other main reason they lost was that they tried to match up conventionally against the Mavs, with Lebron at three, chasing Terry around the perimeter. Spoelstra corrected that egregious error this season. To paraphrase Nellie, Lebron is an all-star three, but a championship power forward.

      But by all means, continue.

      • And just to bask in a pleasant memory, the Warriors won the NBA Championship with a 6’9″ center, Clifford Ray. Along with 6’7″ small forward Rick Barry they went with power forward ‘Silk’ Wilkes, all of 6’6″. And led the league in rebounding. Amazing.

        (Which is why Draymond Green being ‘undersized’ may not be significant at all.)

    • While we’re at it, Bogut has played in exactly one playoff series, the 1-4 first round loss to Detroit. Did he go up against Rasheed Wallace, 6-11, 230, or Ben Wallace, 6-9, 240?

      It’s not a slight to Bogut to say he isn’t a franchise player.

      • 6’9″ WAS 7′ in the 1960′s/70′s! LOL! People are simply bigger today. Every NBA team has a 7′ tall player or more, which wasn’t the case in the 1960′s/70′s. Name some 7 footers in the NBA in the 60′s/70′s…

        Sure, Andrew Bogut isn’t a “franchise” player – he hasn’t ever even made an NBA “All-Star” team! LOL!

        And neither is Monta Ellis… Not even ONE All-Star appearance.

  15. Rusty Simmons

    Talked to agent Mark Bartelstein, who represents Brandon Rush, Carl Landry and Dominic McGuire — guys intimately involved with the Warriors completing their roster. Rush “had a great year, he loved playing for the Warriors, the fans treated him great, and Coach (Mark) Jackson treated him great. Everything was real positive,” Bartelstein said. “The nature of the business for restricted free agents is that they have to get an offer sheet from somebody else. … With that being said, if we can work something out long term with the Warriors, we’d be interested in that also.”

    ——————————————-

    Rusty Simmons

    Agent Mark Bartelstein said he hopes Carl Landry and Dominic McGuire will make decisions about their futures in the next several days. “There are a lot of teams pursuing (Landry), because he’s probably the premier unrestricted free agent on the market,” Bartelstein said. “He just has to weigh his different options.” … McGuire “really represents the fabric of what Mark Jackson is trying to bring to the Warriors. There are a lot of moving parts right now, but he epitomizes what the Warriors are looking to become as a team, their personality and their work ethic.”

  16. Feltbot,

    I find that your critics do not address implications in your writeups.
    eg, Curry improving or not depends a lot on the style of offense. Jackson et al, are going to walk it up and run a half court offense.
    He has repeatedly stated (along with the logo), a style of ‘grinding’ out the game in order to keep the score close. 105 possessions per game will be replaced by 85 or so. Everyone’s stats will decrease.

    This figures to yield two results.

    1) Curry will not shoot as much.
    2) Forgetting whether the trade was good or not. Bogut will be a huge improvement over Biedrins. Who would’nt? Casting aside the likely missed games from injury, Bogut figures to be in some foul trouble ala Andris when he has to protect the basket.

    We can all debate the Monta trade, but the style used by the Warriors (already contrary to most of the other teams in the league), but the new style will push the PPG down significantly.
    We will be watching Eastern conference basketball on the Left Coast!

    Even if Marko gets fired this year, it likely wont be for an uptempo change in the offense. UG.

    No one seems to dispute this.

    • Steve | March 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply

      Some interesting numbers for the Warriors and whatever “style” they purportedly play:

      The Warriors are averaging 98.4 per game which is 1st in the Pacific Division and 4th in the Western Conference. They’re allowing an average of 99.9 per game which is 4th in the division and 12th in the West.

      Obviously the offensive numbers are the most interesting, especially considering how their “boring halfcourt offense” is more efficient and prolific than the Lakers, Clippers and Suns.

      ————————————————

      As I posted last night, despite the Warriors being without Curry for so many games, breaking in a rookie (KT) slowly but surely, having one of their better players from last season (DW) be in the “deep freeze” for most of the first half of the seaon, getting killed on the defensive boards (never a good thing for your offense and fast break) nightly, and playing in a new system for new coaches, GSW is leading their division in scoring. Yes, the Dubs, with all these negatives, are outscoring Kobe and the Lakers, Chris Paul and the Clippers, and Steve Nash and the Suns, not to mention 27 other teams in the league.

      For the life of me, other than it’s not “Nelli Ball”, I can’t grasp the thought of this offense being gummed up, boring and inefficient. Even with those dreadful few games after the AS break the Warriors are averaging just under 100 pts per game, and circa 2012, that’s pretty darn good.

      ———————————————–

      PointGuard, when Mark Jackson was hired he never said he wanted to turn the Warriors into a “halfcourt, walk-it-up, grind-it-out team”. He DID say he wanted a tougher-minded, more physical group of guys that played better defense. That, in itself, would lead to better rebounding and more fast break chances per game.

      Facts are facts, and as I posted last March, up until the trade for Bogut the Warriors were one of the higher scoring teams in the NBA and the highest scoring team in their own division, and all being led by that “grind-it-out” coach, Mark Jackson.

      Fast forward to the new season and add HBarnes to the list of scorers, along with hopefully better rebounding (Bogut, Ezeli) and the Warriors figure to be anything but low scoring and boring (assuming good health for a change).

      “We will be watching Eastern conference basketball on the Left Coast!” LOL

      • Agreed Steve – the problems with this Warriors team isn’t offense. Still lots of great, skilled shooters/scorers on this team. Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Rush, Lee, Bogut, Jack, Jefferson, Green, and Jenkins can all score the ball effectively (at least in spurts). Monta Ellis – was frequently a ball movement killer – has moved on and the W’s offense will be better for it, not worse with a healthy Curry running the offense.

        Defense and rebounding are this team’s weaknesses.

        Losing Ekpe Udoh was a huge loss = as he was the only player on this team capable of protecting the rim/blocking shots. Lee – only ENCOURAGES teams to take it to the rack! LOL! But Ekpe is still developing – and hasn’t rounded out the rest of his game such as rebounding/scoring the ball efficiently (especially for a big).

        The “healthy” addition of Bogut at Center (a position of need) will help to improve the overall defense and rebounding – like Tyson Chandler did to toughen up the Dallas Mavericks and win a title.

        The Warriors front office – has been adding defenders to bolster the team. Bogut, Ezeli, Rush, Bazemore, Jack – are all here for their defense. The jury’s still out on Barnes but it’s not like Dorell Wright was an all-NBA player.

        Curry and Bogut relatively healthy, I’m very optimistic and excited about this year’s roster.

  17. 2011/12 Luxury Tax Payers

    6:19 AM Mark Deeks (Sham)

    Here is the official list of tax paying teams, and their amounts paid, in the 2011/12 NBA season.

    Los Angeles Lakers: $12,557,264.
    Boston Celtics: $7,365,867.
    Miami Heat: $6,129,340.
    Dallas Mavericks: $2,738,843.
    San Antonio Spurs: $2,514,275.
    Atlanta Hawks: $666,199.

    Total: $31,971,788

    By opting to keep Jerry Stackhouse for the full year, then, Atlanta paid the price.

    It is of note that that is the smallest amount of league-wide tax paid in any season since its inception, and by quite a long way. The previous lowest was the $55,564,006 paid in 2006-07. And in that season, $45,142,002 of that bill was New York’s.

  18. “The Eleven Year Itch” (Too funny and a must read, not to mention the “nice pic” at the end)

    http://www.nbamate.com/2012/07/25/the-eleven-year-itch-part-1/

  19. “While CBA cramps some teams, Cuban learns how to rebuild Mavs” (Good read with lots of interesting comments from Cuban)

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/19645974/while-cba-cramps-some-teams-cuban-learns-how-to-rebuild-mavericks

  20. Marcus Thompson

    It’s looking like Warriors may miss out on Andrei Kirilenko and Carl Landry. Kirilenko wants $8M per in a new deal, according to Yahoo! Sports. That rules out GSW. Since Kirilenko played overseas last season, a sign-and-trade is not an option. Even if the Warriors were willing to go over luxury tax threshold and offer Kirilenko the mid-level exception, that still wouldn’t be enough, not with T’wolves offering a deal starting at $8M. Landry, it seems, is going to get a larger offer elsewhere. (Charlotte can offer more than GSW.) He would like to play for the Warriors, but it’s sounds unlikely he’d take less money to play for GSW. Landry’s camp, no doubt, thinks the Warriors should go into the tax zone to give Landry closer to the midlevel. And the Warriors’ refusal to do so, at this point, isn’t exactly a vote of confidence for Landry.

  21. White Hat: Terrific comments.

    The Warriors played Biedrins-Udoh at center last. Hopefully, they should be compared to Bogut,-Ezeli this year, not Bogut-Biedrins.

    As for Bazemore, given his poor shooting from the perimeter, it will be interesting to see if his outstanding defense will result in playing time. The Warriors should hire the Palo Alto high school basketball coach who helped Jeremy Lin develop an outside shot.

    Petey Brian: Agree with your post. It should be noted that the Warriors had a higher percentage of OR’s and DR’s with Udoh, rather than Biedrins being on the court, and the Warriors outscored their opponents by a significant margin with Udoh on the court. So, are his lack of DR’s really significant? Isn’t it more significant that with Udol our opponents shots a low FG%, and the Warriors performed better as a teams on offense?

  22. From Steve’s link @ 29, and thanks Steve:

    “The Nuggets, in other words, are collecting a different kind of asset: capable players on movable contracts. In a league of byzantine salary-matching rules for trades, Denver is never going to have trouble finding contracts that fit in any variety of deal. With those assets, a relatively lean sheet and a future first-round pick still to come from New York, Ujiri knows he can butt his way into almost any trade conversation he likes.”

    This is exactly the point and this is the future. By committing their salary structure to Bogut, the Warriors have lost flexibility and options now and down the road. Again, Bogut will cost $23m next year (you have to add Jefferson’s salary) and $25m the following year. Where they find themselves now is unable to get any kind of good backup for Lee, apparently not even Landry. If they had held off, they could have picked up better pieces. Scola couldn’t have been anticipated, but they would have had the money and it would have been a coup and a bargain. Like Denver, they also had a first round pick to throw into the talks. I wonder how they used it. Note, too, that the Warriors still haven’t picked up a capable, seasoned veteran at any position to add experience to the bench.

    As it stands now, whatever system the team follows, it has no substantial backup for the front court. Both Lee and Bogut have to play heavy minutes to win. The second unit is going to struggle. And if one or both goes down for any length of time— The team that has “enough offense” will be smothered if there isn’t enough presence up front.

    Defining centers are few and unobtainable. The future of the NBA for teams like the Warriors is in the FC, PF spots, sizable, talented two-way players who can compensate for size differences with speed and skill and scoring. But such players necessarily mean playing a system that will make best use of their talents—running, spreading the offense—to offset whatever they give up in height. And you have to have enough capable players on the floor and on the bench to allow a team to adjust to injury—or to the running, spread offenses we’re seeing from the top teams like Denver and OKC.

    Once the Warriors had a solid, experienced core and a sensible salary structure, maybe then they could pull the trigger on a center. But I don’t know. Brook Lopez at 4 years, $61m?

    And I’m intrigued by Lowe’s comment (especially read the last sentence):

    “Think about the unlikely series of events that must happen for a team to obtain a Hall of Fame-level superstar. If it’s through the draft, a team probably has to win the lottery—a one-in-four shot even for the league’s worst team—and hope for that stroke of luck during a year that actually includes such a player. If you win the lottery when the consensus No. 1 pick is Andrew Bogut or Andrea Bargnani, the plan is shot from the start.”

    • While I’m at it, Lacob has now had over two years to assemble the pieces for the flexible, capable squad outlined above, ever since he made the decision to acquire that “defensive” dynamo, Lou Amundson.

      • It’s even worse – Kwame’s expiring was worth $7 million plus Ezeli’s salary. Unfortunately – with GSW not being a free agent destination – taking on salary and the draft are the primary ways to add talent.

        Fortunately, in Klay Thompson – the GSW’s have obtained the 2nd or 3rd best player in that draft. And in this draft with Harrison Barnes falling into our laps (thanks to an ill-timed losing streak at the end of the season and fortunate coin tosses/lottery ball – LOL!), the GSWs could have something special – Chad Ford of ESPN feels that after A. Davis, Harrison Barnes could end up being the best player from this draft years from now.

        Andrew Bogut – healthy – adds to a position where the GSWs didn’t have much. Kwame? The platoon between Andris Beidrins, David Lee, Jeremy Tyler, and Ekpe Udoh? I’ll take my chances with a center who can have an average 13 pt, 10 reb, 2.5 blk, 2 asst center – and play a high level of defense.

  23. Since it appears that the Warriors cannot unload the contracts of Biedrins nor Jefferson’s, and it seems that Lacob is banking on waiting until 2114, when, I believe, both contracts contracts expire, along with Bogut’s, and then upgrade via the signing of free agents.

    Waiting two years from now to upgrade the roster is not a particularly wise strategy.

    I agree with rgg’s assessment that it was a big mistake to take on both Bogut’s and Jefferson bloated contracts, when good players were available before the trade at lower salaries. One should never give up good players for a player that is injured. The trade was a sign of desperation.

    If he had signed Dalembert, not K. Brown, we would not be in this mess, especially if Bogut is unable to contribute.

    I get the feeling that Lacob wanted to include D.Lee in a trade for Howard so that he could include either Jefferson’s, Biedrins, or possibly Bogut’s contract in the deal, and have some cap room next year so that he could sign some free agents if Howard refused to sign a long term deal with us.

    All that is left is for Meyers to try to package some assets and upgrade the PF position, and try to obtain a first round pick next year in a trade, or to try to buy a first round pick. As of right now, D. Green is our back-up power forward.

    • Bogut doesn’t have a bloated contract. Not in today’s dollars anyways.

      Andris’ and Jefferson’s contracts are the bloated ones. Next season, they will be expiring and can be moved.

      However, Curry’s and Bogut’s deals – will need to be redone by 2014 so perhaps Jefferson should be kept – then the money be used to re-sign Curry and Bogut.

      Andris’ $9 million expiring contract can then be used to obtain a talented player or two. Next season.

      • Jefferson has two more years, beginning this season (or a player option on the second). Biedrins is contracted through the 2013 season (is the coming season the 2013 season?).

        • Yes, both Jefferson and Biedrins do have 2 more years as does Bogut and Stephen Curry (2013/14 being a qualifying offer).

          http://www.hoopsworld.com/golden-state-warriors-team-salary

          I think Biedrins has an early termination option on his last year as well! Wishful thinking on our parts! Jefferson has a players option for his final season.

          My point is that $10 million plus of cap space would need to be available in 2014/15 to re-sign both Curry and Bogut – assuming a big raise for Curry and a smaller raise for Bogut.

          After this season, I’d think about trading the expiring Andris Biedrins – and pick up $9 million for a couple of signed players from teams looking to dump payroll. And likely keep Jefferson’s expiring salary to be used for re-signing Curry/Bogut in 2014/2015.

  24. I hate to criticize Bogut because I like him. And I’m not. At the right price, in a limited role, he might have served the team well enough. Perkins, for example, has been useful as a starter for Boston and OKC, but has only played 20-25 minutes a game.

    Bogut, however, was pressed into heavy duty with high expectations from the start, into a very physically challenging role. He averages over 30 minutes when he plays. He’s not as strong as Perkins. And if he is injury prone, this may be the reason, that he’s expected to carry too heavy a load and is paying the price.

    He will be in the exact same position with the Warriors.

    • I don’t disagree – the W’s have paid a high price for an injured Center.

      Andrew Bogut is a top center – and a much much much better Center than Perkins. It’s not even close. Perkins doesn’t rebound, score, pass, or block shots at Bogut’s level. Defensively, I agree more with ESPN’s Hollinger – that Bogut has played like a top 5 defensive player, regardless of position. Perkins plays like an unskilled thug and should be a bench player – except for matchups.

      Different note: Scott Brooks royally screwed up keeping him in the series for as long as he did. If Perkins doesn’t have someone big to mug, he shouldn’t be in the game.

      • PB,

        You miss my point. I’d take Bogut over Perkins, too. Yet I wouldn’t expect too much from him. I could make the same case with other centers.

        But neither Boston nor OKC depended on Perkins the way we will have to on Bogut. And Bogut will still have to bang with the big boys, especially the way the Warriors want to play him, and do so for long minutes. Healthy or not, he’ll be put at greater risk for injury. If there is any issue of being injury prone or weakness from previous breaks, the odds of injury are higher.

        And if Bogut goes down, he’ll take the team with him. This is not sane gambling.

        • You’re right – Bogut goes down, this season’s OVER! Tank, Part Deaux might be in effect. LOL!

          Should Curry not be healthy – J. Jack should fill in just fine and the Tank II won’t be in effect!

          SOLUTION: the W’s do need to sign a competent veteran big man PF. I agree that Bogut/Lee should not play much more than 30+ minutes. Ezeli/Andris – can play 15-20 minutes per game for Bogut. I cannot say the same about Lee. Tyler sucks right now – and doesn’t look good at PF – he’s not even productive in Summer League against scrubs. One veteran big man PF signing, please!!!

          • Can’t we expect D.Green to step in at PF and contribute? Everything I’ve read and seen makes him as NBA ready as any player in the draft. Thoughts?

    • Add to the heavy expectations for Bogut an inexperienced coach, Jackson, who, assuming he stays next year, will be coaching for his life—and do what Smart did, depend too heavily on his starters, Lee and Ellis in Smart’s case. Jackson will have to follow the wishes of ownership in their preferred style of play as well as do whatever he can early on, push Lee and Bogut to the max.

      It’s just a setup, for Bogut, for Jackson, and for the team.

  25. Curry, Thompson, and Barnes – Best young perimeter shooters in the game with nice length.

    Coupled with competent passing, scoring, rebounding big men – in David Lee and Andrew Bogut.

    A nice two-way (off/def) player/veteran bench with J. Jack, Brandon Rush (re-signed), R. Jefferson.

    W’s are weak in backup bigs – Ezeli looks promising, but Andris, Tyler aren’t good. One more signing please!!!!

    There’s a lot to be excited about now being a Warriors fan. Right now!

    And that’s a lot since it’s really sucked being a W’s fan the last 4 years+ – since Nellie/Baron/SJax/Ellis/Barnes/Harrington days of We Believe.

    Those awesome young perimeter players coupled with those passing bigs… And some nice defensive/veteran pieces on the bench. I can’t wait for the games to begin!!!

  26. Jason Quick: The Oregonian has learned the Blazers Final Four coaching candidates: Terry Stotts, Elston Turner, Steve Clifford and Kaleb Canales Twitter

    All but guarantees that Mike Malone coaches at least one more year for the Warriors.

    • I’m guessing Mark Malone isn’t going anywhere unless the bath water is just right. He’s getting paid almost like a cheap head coach now. He has job security with Mark Jackson likely getting at least this year to prove himself, maybe more – Malone also could be considered as Warriors head coach should Mark Jackson fail.

      I don’t think Malone will leave until there’s the right opportunity in a great situation for a long coaching run (at least by NBA standards!). He’s got that luxury being the co-head coach here.

  27. While Thompson had a terrific rookie season, and shot 52% effective FG, compared to 46% effective FG shooting for Ellis, I would rate Ellis as a slightly better performer last year, by taking an avg. of 4.7 foul shots, compared to Thompson’s 1.4 foul shots. Ellis also made more assists and garnered more defensive rebounds, and I believe avg. more steals. On the other hand, Thompson kept opponent shooting guards to shooting 46% from the field, as compared to opponent’s shooting 50% when Ellis played.

    Thompson has to show the same consistent shooting this season as he did in summer league, and that he is no longer a streaky shooter as he was last year. And he has to get to the foul line more and get more assists, both are big challenges.

    Curry, Rush, D. Lee, Thompson and Jefferson, have to take the most shots for the Warriors.

    I also see Barnes being a streaky shooter and having a effective shooting % that is closer to Ellis than to Thompson, even though he’s a good outside shot. He just takes too many contested shots and has difficulty finishing at the rim.

    And I fear that Thompson will take more shots than Curry and Rush, who both have above an effective 58% in FG shooting.

    Although Ezeli has no offensive game when compared to Bogut’s, Bogut’s offensive game is hampered by his shooting poorly at the foul line. I just hope that Ezeli is good defensively as he showed in the summer league, and can become reliable..

    • Remember when Curry started out his NBA career (pre-season too) – Curry couldn’t shoot the side of a barn for a few weeks?

      Same with Thompson – being very streaky to start out his rookie season – then scoring at will during garbage minutes in a tank season with a depleted roster – then resembling Reggie Miller by Summer League (LOL!). I expect him being very open and getting assists with a full roster of offensive-skilled teammates.

      Harrison Barnes will be no different – as he gets used to the speed of the NBA game and more comfortable in this offense – he’ll light it up from the perimeter. He can shoot. Harrison will get lots of open looks in this offense. But making open shots with his shooting form/skill/touch, length/height/high release point, mid-range game – Barnes can do this now. Creating his own shot or creating for others or improving his handle or finishing at the rim – this is a different story – he’ll need time to develop these skills if he can at all.

      Ellis vs. Thompson? I’ll just say one thing – Curry/Thompson aren’t ball stoppers on offense. We’ll see this season Monta’s true effect on leaving the offense and having Curry/Thompson take over. We’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  28. “When former Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas signed a gigantic $111 million contract extension back in the summer of 2008, we sharply disagreed with the move, while giving a knowing nod to Arenas’ reputation as the NBA’s lovable goofball prince. Undeterred, Arenas set to spending that money and enhancing that reputation by beginning construction on a massive D.C.-area mansion complete with a grotto, an infamous shark tank (that cost $5,000 a month in maintenance bills), seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a couple of “sitting rooms” that sit between bedrooms and bathrooms that Gilbert clearly didn’t use much as his knees (and reputation) fell apart over the years since.

    Things bottomed out in 2011-12 for Gil, as he sat on the end of the bench in Memphis, two teams away from Washington and working for a minimum salary after hitting the waiver wire in late 2011. The contract has finally run its course, Gilbert’s time in the NBA is likely done, and soon after the last of that confetti was swept away, Arenas put his mansion up for sale. According to his realtors, it can be yours for $3.5 million.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/gilbert-arenas-selling-infamous-shark-tank-laden-mansion-214048099–nba.html

  29. The other concern for the two past seasons and the coming has been that no one seems to have much confidence in the head coach.

    But, again, Lacob has had a a heavy influence here. He has left both Smart and Jackson with limited rosters to work with and has decided the types of players that they have picked up (defensive players!). He has also put both in no win situations with heavy but ill defined expectations. And of course Lacob ordered the tank.

    What I most wonder is how much Lacob has directed the way they coach and how much freedom he has given them. Lacob has made direct but fuzzy statements about the kind of team he wants (defense/slow tempo/post the bigs up), without showing any clear understanding of how those goals might be achieved or fit into a comprehensive plan that works out all aspects of the game. He’s left that up to the coaches to figure out—somehow. And Lacob’s words have been repeated by Smart and Jackson like a litany every time they have spoken in public.

    What did Smart think all his years behind Nelson? That his boss was crazy and knew nothing about the game? That he was incapable of having a winning plan? Was it Smart’s decision to build the offense around Biedrins after he had seen him for years and spent the summer in Latvia training him? It’s hard not to believe Lacob mandated this decision. And, when Lacob was trying to decide what to do with Bierins, whether to amnesty him or not, did he sit down with Smart, who had spent all that time with AB and watched his dismal performance, and ask for an honest assessment? Or did Lacob decide the problem was Smart and not Biedrins?

    But of course we’re wondering if Smart and Jackson were good decisions by Lacob in the first place.

    The result on the core players is clear. They have had to go through two coaching changes over two years without developing a capable and coherent plan or building a team identity. And now we’re wondering when the next change will come.

    The sins of the present. . . .

  30. The sins of the present (cont.):

    Lacob, by his own admission, treated his first year as a wait and see time, though he did make minor changes in the roster and made one major decision. He fired the head coach.

    This is not Nelson worship. Nelson was the only available head coach with any kind of experience, and as far as his record and ability, you only need to look at one thing, the team’s performance vs. the rosters he’s had to work with, including and especially his last year. By any reasonable and conservative estimate, his performance has been well above average over the years. He’s shown he knows how to make best use of available talent. Lacob could have allowed Nelson to stay and given him the freedom to make a few minor and inexpensive roster moves. Tolliver, for example, hardly a major player but who was affordable and available and who showed versatility and intelligence, would have helped fill gaps Amundson couldn’t, even at center. And maybe the team could have eased Biedrin’s transition on the way out.

    This decision would have had absolutely no negative impact on the team that year or the next or now. The roster and salary structure would have been no different.

    A conservative estimate would give that team at least .500, which would have been a substantial improvement over the previous year and help build the prestige and respect the team needs and deserves—and that Lacob covets.

    But how much better might Nelson have done that year and what else might he have accomplished to build the team for the future? He brought Curry out fabulously—and this development was put on hold by Smart. He finally got Ellis to become a more versatile guard—and this development was put on hold by Smart. He finally had an intelligent and capable PF, Lee. What else might Nelson have done with with Wright and Williams, who have showed such promise, and how much better players would he have made them? What would Nelson have done, even, with a healthy VladRad? And if Lacob had cut him a little slack and allowed maybe a minor trade during the season?

    The problem here is that Lacob would not have been impressed of any results short of sensational. (The other sticking point is that Nelson probably would have backed Smart as successor. This, however, could have been the ideal time to start breaking in a better candidate.)

    What next? Lacob, at the very least, could have gone on and hired West and brought the two together to at least hash it out, two of the best minds in the game, though different. Great. Let them argue. Then Lacob could have made an informed decision for the future. He would have had a better squad to make the kind of transition he wants to make. He wouldn’t have lost two years. We wouldn’t have had a horribly embarrassing season of tanking.

    Nelson, however, would have offered other options that might have made best use of available players come trade time, and a more flexible plan that had a greater chance of success in the long term.

    Lacob only had to swallow his pride and prejudices and get behind the only intelligent option he had. But Lacob thinks he knows what he’s doing and shows no signs of wanting to listen to anyone. (West didn’t like Jordan.) After all, he didn’t pay $450 million (how much of that money is his?) “to sit in the rafters.”

  31. rgg,

    A couple of points.

    Lacob has never stated that he wants “slow” ball. It’s implied by his emphasis on bigger players, but I’m sure he’d be happy to win no matter how. Why not?

    Jackson did seem to order up walk-it-up basketball much of last season. The team had very few fast break points in many games, especially early on. But he also flirted with small ball at times, and in any case the playing style (and record) of the last two seasons probably can’t be taken as an indicator of the future. Next season’s team will be a very different group. For one thing, they’re not as likely to get routinely killed on the boards. That’s alright. Among other things, fast breaks begin with defensive rebounds.

    Lacob’s explanation for firing Nelson was “a change of culture.” The biggest cultural change I can see is that the coach is no longer the leading spokesman for the team. With Nelson as coach, that would have been problematic, without question. From a marketing standpoint the new arrangement is safer, more professional, and more consistent throughout the organization. Nelson said some shocking things at times. Jackson’s experience as an announcer helps him deliver the required quantity of media soundbyte product without straying into controversy. That in itself is not good or bad, it’s just how most consumer product companies behave nowadays, and you can’t blame Lacob for wanting to play that way. To a Lacob, a Nellie’s mouth would be terrifying.

    There’s not much point in speculating about the size of Lacob’s ego. Let’s take it as given that the manager of a multi-billion dollar investment fund has to be a pretty confident fellow. Lacob has conned his fans for the last two years, but it does look like he has a halfway decent team lined up for next year. We can give him that even if he takes 100% of the credit.

    Teams can win with a more conventional style of ball than was the norm for Nellie. Nellie was often a mad genius, but necessity was his mother. In his whole coaching career he rarely had a team as well-balanced as next season’s Warriors promise to be. If he did, he’d design a game plan for their talents – and we might not see much small ball next year. Because it won’t be a too-small team next year.

    As much fun as the Mad One brought to the game – and as much as I doubt Mark Jackson can coach his way out of a simple pick-and-pop – the Ws probably will be better next year. They’re not going to contend for a championship. It’s easy to predict that health issues will hurt them. There’s a good chance the team won’t even make the playoffs. But right this minute they seem to have more upside than any Warriors team I’ve ever followed, and I’ve been a faithful follower since the early 80s. I think next year’s team will end up… average. So-so. Midpack. That’s actually an improvement.

    Go dubs.

    • White Hat,

      Thanks for responding. So-so is my take for the next two years as well. This is not progress. The whole point of my comments on this post is that the team could have easily had at least the same results, though more likely better, and left itself with better options to improve and a saner salary cap.

      If Lacob wants to win no mater what, he’s not exploring many options, in fact is stuck in a rigid mold. He has not considered a single up tempo coach, veteran or new. But to me, it’s not a matter of debate between strategies, but rather finding the strategy that best makes use of available players and their talents. The trend, necessarily, is away from convention. Odds are heavy he will not acquire the big players needed for conventional ball that he deems necessary for a long time, if ever, given the realities of the market. There aren’t that many and they are too hard to get and too expensive.

      And why did Jackson walk it up, while Barnett and the rest of us were screaming “run” on the sidelines?

      I mention Nelson only because he was available and had qualities the other coaches lacked. I doubt he would have done anything more embarrassing than what we’ve seen the past years, say a son promoted in the FO who invites cheerleaders up to his apartment.

      The next two years absolutely depends on Bogut’s foot. It didn’t have to be this way.

      But I’m not going to have much confidence in the team until it’s put in better hands.

      • “wants to win no matter what”
        “next two years . . . depend”

        Ouch.

      • “Average” is better than we’ve seen the Warriors be for 20+ years. They could even go above average next year if nobody gets hurt, a good backup PF falls into their laps, and/or they let a real coach run the team.

        Lacob does not want to win “no matter what.” What ever made you think so? Because he said it? C’mon. He’s not a superfan, he’s not even the owner. He’s a venture capitalist managing an investment.

        After his rude treatment last season, Lacob seems to be talking less and investing more in player salaries. I’m good with that. He would have had better results if he’d gotten started sooner, but he is heading in the right direction now. And frankly, I won’t sweat his salary cap issues. They just mean a smaller profit for his team.

  32. But I am grateful for one thing, that we don’t have this guy for an owner (Dolan, lead singer–link from Bill Simmons):

  33. Mark Jackson and Michael Malone: Year 2 on the Warriors’ staff could be interesting

    Posted by Tim Kawakami on July 26th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The Trail Blazers have four finalists for their coaching vacancy, the Oregonian reports, and Warriors assistant Michael Malone, though considered in the early-going, is not one of them.

    Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic will get around to hiring a coach fairly soon, and Malone apparently has been told he did not make it to the final stages of that process, either.

    There are no other head-coaching vacancies, and Malone is under (a quite lucrative) contract with the Warriors as Mark Jackson’s lead assistant.

    So everything points to Malone returning to Jackson’s staff, but also most things point to a very different relationship for them, and for the Warriors, in Year 2 together.

    FYI: I’m not trying to be alarmist, though I will be accused of that. I’m not saying there’s major tension between Jackson and Malone, necessarily; I’m not saying they will pull apart after a generally seamless first-year relationship.

    But I am saying that a whole bunch of Malone publicity was focused on him getting a top job THIS summer, and that has not happened.

    And that I know those around Jackson weren’t in love with hearing all the Malone-is-great-great-great chatter through last season and into this summer, especially since they believed the talk intentionally diminished Jackson’s reputation as the actual head coach.

    They’re both strong-willed guys, anyway, which means there’s always going to be some creative tension; hey, you don’t always want back-slapping buddies on a staff together.

    And Malone clearly took this job because he believed it was his fastest lane to a top spot–you get a guy that popular, you can’t shriek with outrage when he gets discussed… even in a losing season.

    You want guys to challenge each other and you want alpha dogs on the top of the staff list. Co-owner Joe Lacob has surrounded himself with alpha personalities, for instance.

    But… there’s no question, Jackson and Malone have to do some adjusting and assessing of their relationship heading into the season.

    It could be bumpy. Maybe it’s bumpy right now.

    Anecdotally, Malone wasn’t very visible in Las Vegas during the Summer League this month. I’m told he was at every Warriors game, but he was given time to interview for the two head-coaching jobs and he wasn’t at many of the Warriors’ practices in Vegas.

    And when he was at the games–coached by assistant Pete Myers, by the way–Malone wasn’t on the bench or (at least most of the time) sitting next to Jackson.

    By the way, Myers was very VERY demonstrative while coaching Summer Warriors to an undefeated mark.

    Myers also got some public support from Jackson as a head-coaching candidate, and that surely has some connection to Malone getting every iota of outside attention.

    Again, it’s not a reach to say that friends of Jackson have grumbled about the open PR push that surrounds Malone’s presumed NBA ascendancy and the campaign’s implied suggestion that Malone has been doing much of the coaching with the Warriors.

    The implication is that Jackson has mostly let Malone do the X-and-Os, while Jackson makes the motivational speeches.

    It’s important to note that I don’t think Jackson or his friends believe Malone is directly responsible for the Malone-Top-Candidate chatter and I’ve not heard that the two men have issues with each other.

    Adding to the weirdness: Jackson and Malone share the same power-agent, Steve Kauffman. (At least they did, last I checked.)

    And none of this would’ve mattered a lot if Malone had landed one of the vacancies this off-season. I know many people expected that. The push was planned for that.

    The potential problem comes when Malone doesn’t actually get a head-coaching job, and how the two men square that with their roles for this season.

    By the way, I think the Malone-coaches/Jackson-speechifies meme is an over-simplification of the situation, based largely on TV pictures of Malone doing the strategy stuff during timeouts and Jackson letting him.

    Many top assistants do most of the filmwork, so they’re often the ones who sketch out the Xs-and-Os. The canniest head coaches just make sure that isn’t too visible when the cameras zoom in.

    Jackson has been free about letting Malone take over some of the huddles; we could see an end to that this season.

    The perception is also partly based on the truth: Malone is a coaching lifer with an incredible work ethic, not an NBA vet and TV veteran.

    This is Jackson’s first-ever job in coaching on any organized level–he’s a long-time player and TV guy–and he’s a “feel” coach, as he freely admits.

    And additionally, the Warriors brought the Malone focus on themselves…

    When they hired Jackson two summers ago, the Warriors–from Lacob on down–spent almost as much time bragging about Malone as they did about Jackson.

    Indeed, Lacob said the only other candidate he seriously contemplated before hiring Jackson was Malone and Lacob also broadly implied that a big factor in hiring Jackson was knowing he’d bring Malone along as the No. 1 assistant.

    It was enough, at the time, to wonder: Why didn’t Lacob just hire Malone, then?

    That set up an interesting vibe all by itself for last season; but it was a shortened season with massive trade in the middle of it, so it was hard to evaluate anything.

    Jackson and Malone seemed to work well together, trust each other, lean on each other. Along with the rest of the staff, the Warriors’ coaching operation seemed to go just fine.

    I know Lacob and GM Bob Myers like the tandem. They knew they could lose Malone quickly, but they out-bid the Lakers for his services last year because they liked him that much.

    Now that the Malone Camp Get Him a Top Job push looks to have fallen short this season, I wonder how much Jackson and Malone can fully invest in each other for Year 2.

    And it’s reality that Jackson’s status is weakened by the disclosure that he had an extra-marital affair with an ex-stripper and had been extorted by the woman and her friend.

    That won’t matter much if the Warriors immediately start winning with Andrew Bogut and Steph Curry healthy and playing tremendously…

    But if they don’t… and if there’s awkward chemistry on the coaching staff… things could get dicey very quickly.

    Warriors management supports Jackson, but Lacob & Co. cannot look at him (and his prominent talk of values and religion) in precisely the same way.

    Lacob hired Jackson, Lacob said, because he wanted a positive approach, a “glass-half-full” guy, a big-picture guy.

    But he also hired him because he knew he had Malone coming there, too. And the Warriors believed that a year together would give Jackson time to jump into the X-and-O and filmwork, too.

    I don’ t think the Warriors’ brass–or Jackson or Malone–really planned for what happens if Malone pushes for a head-coaching job, and then doesn’t get one.

    And they definitely didn’t plan for Jackson to go through a tawdry personal issue…

    That’s what they’ll all have to get through now. It won’t be the same as it was last summer, when it was all smiles and togetherness with those two.

    It might not be terrible in Year 2, but there’s no way it can be the same.

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    • Just to reiterate my “position” on Mark Jackson as head coaching material……..ambivalent as ambivalent can be.

      This coming season Jackson will be “exposed”, one way or another. If this team starts camp healthy, and remains pretty much so the entire season, they should have a pretty good year, at the very least pushing .500, IMO. And to be honest I’d be disappointed in a .500 season if Curry’s ankles hold together and Bogut somehow overcomes his osteoarthritis (hello, Dr. Felt) and plays lots of minutes and in most of the 82 games.

      Jackson coaches primarily through motivation. And in fact, with today’s players a good motivator might be more desirable than a competent X’s-and-O’s man. Currently the Warriors ostensibly have both, the quality of which should be determined to a large extent this season.

      Jimmy Johnson (Dallas Cowboys) and Tommy Lasorda (LA Dodgers) both were highly successful coaches who won championships with their motivational-style coaching techniques, so to dismiss Jackson’s ability to win and ultimately win big because of his “style” could easily be a mistake, IMO.

      So, who’s coaching the Dubs come the 2013-14 season? MJackson? MMalone? Neither? Considering that Don Nelson was one of the greatest coaches EVER and yet never won a championship as a head coach, my answer would be “I don’t really care”.

      While having a good head coach is at least somewhat important, it’s not nearly as important as the players that supposed good head coach is coaching. I’m much more concerned about Bogut and Curry (and Lee and Thompson and Barnes, etc) than I am about MJackson or MMalone, just to name two. In the end it’s all about the players and always has been. Just ask Don Nelson.

      • These guys don’t need motivating, and this might be one of the strengths of the team. There’s not a slacker, basket case, or prima donna in the bunch. I can’t real any major dissension among the players the last two years and doubt we’ll ever see one.

        This may be what keeps me watching, that I respect the guys and the effort they put out, whatever the record. My only reservations are of Biedrins and Tyler, but here the problem may be, as with Randolph, that they got in the NBA too young to mature physically or mentally.

        Hey, I said something positive!

        • “I can’t recall any major dissension”

          Ouch again. I swear letters disappear when I push “post.”

        • rgg, motivation isn’t just about playing hard. There are countless slumps, both team and individual, that occur during a long season. Teams, players can lose confidence, especially a younger team, so motivational team speeches and/or individual conversations can be more than just a little helpful.

          When playing a supposed superior opponent certain motivational “tools” could make a difference.

          A coach can motivate through fear (Bobby Knight).

          I think a good coach uses every “coaching tool” at his or her disposal, and motivation, in many forms, is definitely one tool.

          ——————————————-

          “Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

          It involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behavior. In everyday usage, the term motivation is frequently used to describe why a person does something. For example, you might say that a student is so motivated to get into a clinical psychology program that she spends every night studying.

          Psychologists have proposed a number of different theories of motivation, including drive theory, instinct theory and humanistic theory.

          Components of Motivation

          There are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as enrolling in a psychology class. Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist, such as taking more psychology courses in order to earn a degree although it requires a significant investment of time, energy and resources. Finally, intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal. For example, one student might coast by without much effort, while another student will study regularly, participate in discussions and take advantage of research opportunities outside of class.

          Extrinsic Vs. Intrinsic Motivation

          Different types of motivation are frequently described as being either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivations are those that arise from outside of the individual and often involve rewards such as trophies, money, social recognition or praise. Intrinsic motivations are those that arise from within the individual, such as doing a complicated cross-word puzzle purely for the personal gratification of solving a problem.”

          • I tend to side with rgg on this one. There are 16,000 high schools in the US, most with basketball teams. Assuming 13 players per team, that’s over 200,000 HS basketball players. Less than 1% of them will receive a scholarship with a Division I school. In other words, anyone who plays major college ball is already hugely accomplished, in the 99th percentile of all basketball players worldwide.

            In Division I colleges alone, there are 345 basketball teams. There are even more teams in each of the Division II and III leagues. As a recruitment pool for the NBA, add in players from overseas. Let’s guess roughly 2,000 one-step-below-NBA-level teams worldwide. Let’s guess they average 13 players each. That’s 26,000 possible candidates for the annual NBA draft.

            The NBA drafts a total of only 60 players every year. Out of all the possibles, who have all already demonstrated near-pro-quality play, that’s the top .2 %. One out of every 500 college-quality players. And roughly 1/3 of those who are drafted are dropped by their team within a year. 30 NBA teams employ fewer than 450 players.

            To put that in perspective, there are tens of thousands of $multi-million CEOs in the US alone.

            NBA players are the elitest of the elite. Gods of basketball even before they play their first NBA game. In my experience, NO ONE that accomplished, in any field of endeavor, relies on other people for motivation.

            In an interview last season, Lacob said “Mark Jackson has them playing hard almost every night.” My heavens. Almost every night. Mark Jackson must be terribly de-motivating then.

          • Interesting that when talking greatest/most famous coaches two names that immediately come to mind are probably known more for their motivational speeches than any gameday on-field strategies:

            Knute Rockne

            “On November 10, 1928, when the “Fighting Irish” team was losing to Army 6-0 at the end of the half, Rockne entered the locker room and told the team the words he heard on Gipp’s deathbed in 1920: “I’ve got to go, Rock. It’s all right. I’m not afraid. Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are going wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Rock. But I’ll know about it, and I’ll be happy.” This inspired the team, who then outscored Army in the second half and won the game 12-6.”

            Vince Lombardi

            “Teams do not go physically flat, they go mentally stale.”

            “Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action.’”

            “Mental toughness is essential to success.”

            “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

            “You never win a game unless you beat the guy in front of you. The score on the board doesn’t mean a thing. That’s for the fans. You’ve got to win the war with the man in front of you. You’ve got to get your man.”

            “If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”

            And even more telling with Lombardi is the impact he had on the lives of so many of his players, who to this day swear they never would have become the men they did had it not been for their Hall of Fame coach. Somehow I doubt they were talking about his decisions to run left instead of right or to pass more than run.

  34. Felt, you’ve made me rediscover why I never wanted to grow up to be a doctor.

    I think the thing to keep in mind when trying to play amateur MD in regards Andrew Bogut and his future as an NBA player is something very simple, he’s getting a hell of a lot better care and advice as it pertains to his health (ankle, elbow, etc) than the average person would be getting, and for obvious reasons. The Warriors have millions of dollars invested in his long term well-being and as such no expenses are spared in treating his condition and needs.

    With that in mind………………

    “What imaging procedures are used to diagnose ankle osteoarthritis?

    Weight-bearing x-rays of the ankle are indispensable for diagnosing ankle osteoarthritis. Non-weight-bearing x-rays provide only a part of the necessary information, such as the axial placement, the pattern of the cartilage damage in the ankle and possible causes of the osteoarthritis. An x-ray of the position of the heel bone prior to surgery will help the surgeon determine the necessity of rear foot correction.
    Weight-bearing x-rays of the foot are taken to determine the degree of any existing osteoarthritis in the joints near the ankle. Whole-leg x-rays are important for surgical planning. Computed tomography images offer a means of effectively visualizing any accompanying osteoarthritis. SPECT/CT images may provide important information about the spontaneous bone remodeling that takes place as a result of the changed weight distribution.

    How does your doctor detect ankle osteoarthritis in an x-ray?

    Early Signs of Ankle Osteoarthritis:
    A narrowing of the joint cavity is a sign of cartilage damage and ankle osteoarthritis.
    The subchondral bone begins to thicken and harden (subchondral sclerosis) in response the added pressure that arises as the cartilage begins to wear away and lose its cushioning and gliding function.

    Signs of Advanced Ankle Osteoarthritis:
    The joint cavity disappears as the cartilage continues to disintegrate. The subchondral bone shows even more thickening. The bone reacts to the increased pressure associated with the loss of cartilage by producing osteophytes (bony outgrowths or spurs). Subchondral cysts appear. Tiny cavities form in the subchondral bone as bone tissues dies. As the condition progresses even further, the bony parts of the joints begin to deform as a response to the new distribution of weight. The talar dome flattens out and the tibia begins to slide forward. These changes lead to increasing disability that will ultimately have an impact on neighboring joints.

    What are the goals of treatment for ankle osteoarthritis?

    Removal of aggravating factors (floating joint fragments, inflammation in the synovial membrane)
    Reconstruction of damaged or missing cartilage surfaces
    Protection of newly formed replacement cartilage

    Initial treatment is usually conservative, with the particular measures depending on the stage of the ankle osteoarthritis. The goal of treatment is to delay the progression of the osteoarthritis.
    The treatment may include Diclofenac or other NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), physical therapy and a prescription for orthopedic shoes (e.g. for ankle fixation or to facilitate rolling).
    Special injections may used in an attempt to prevent further cartilage deterioration and stimulate cartilage repair.”

    The Warriors said at the time of the trade that their doctors reviewed all the information available (surgery details, x-rays, etc), which given the importance of any trade in pro sports (millions in salaries, future health concerns, etc) is something that all teams do. The fact the trade was consummated I’ll assume means that the doctors involved all gave a thumbs up to the likelihood that Bogut would not be damaged goods going forward.

    When the most recent surgical procedure was performed (debridement) it took place after another examination and more x-rays, I would assume.

    The latest update was that Bogut, after flying from Australia to LA, was again examined by the doctor who performed his debridement (more x-rays?) and was given encouraging news and continued advice on how to continue his rehab.

    The bottom line is that modern day medicine (and especially for those who can afford it) can work wonders, especially in the shorter term, which as cold as it might seem is all the Warriors care about given their investment in Bogut for at least the next two years.

    The fact that Bogut is still in his 20′s can’t hurt, as any form of arthritis becomes more painful and debilitating in our older years. Hopefully Bogut’s quality of life will be great after he retires and grows older but the only thing the Warriors (and their fans) care about is the here and now. With some good luck and plenty of that “best care money can buy” I think Bogut and the Dubs will live happily ever after.

    http://www.gelenk-klinik.com/osteoarthritis-ankle.html

    • This link gives an excellent overview of the definition and causes of osteoarthritis. All you need to connect the dots for yourself.

      • Felt, yes, “the dots” say it’s likely that Bogut will have to deal with some form of osteoarthritis in the future but isn’t the premise of your piece the likelihood of his Warriors career being threatened?

        My point is that while your “dots” link injury to osteoarthritis it’s still more likely that if indeed Bogut is affected it won’t be in a meaningful way (given the care and preventive measures described in the link and most assuredly applied by Bogut’s doctors) until years from now when he’s either playing for another team or simply retired from the NBA.

        In reading further about osteoarthritis age is often mentioned as a contributing factor to the degree of severity along with the fact that it can be as long as 20 years before osteoarthritis becomes more troublesome.

        Everything considered I’d say if Bogut is affected sooner or later it’s likely to be the latter. We’ll know soon enough.

  35. “Unless they deal for Howard, Los Angeles won’t be winning games on the defensive end of the floor. They go 38 (Nash), 34 (Kobe) and 32 (Metta World Peace) on the perimeter, and while Gasol and Bynum are fairly mobile for 7’0 250+ post players, neither has the foot-speed to defend out to the three-point line.

    In a seven-game series, an elite offensive team like the Thunder will be able to expose their defensive deficiencies. The Lakers will need to maximize their offensive efficiency to get out of the Western Conference, much less challenge the Heat. That means running an offense where all four of LA’s stars get the chance to score and feeding the one with the biggest mismatch on the floor, regardless of a set pecking order.

    On Team USA, Kobe is one of many offensive weapons at Coach K’s disposal. It makes no sense for a team that has Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Durant to give a 34-year old shooting guard the green light to shoot the ball at will. The same is true for an NBA team with Gasol, Bynum and Nash.”

    http://basketball.realgm.com/blog/222628/Why_The_Lakers_Need_The_Team_USA_Version_Of_Kobe_Bryant#ixzz21ppv4pm1

  36. I would say if there is one move the Warriors have to make before the season begins, it is to find a PF backup. The only way to do this would be to trade Rush. Some kind of PF could probably be found, and so-and-so could fill in for Rush, etc.—

    But I don’t want to waste any time defending that move. The real problem is that the team has put itself in a position to make bad compromises and give up the real and affordable potential in Rush and others.

    Gentlemen, I am tired of criticizing the organization. It is demoralizing and it has worn me out.

    Go Dubs.

    Sigh.

  37. @rgg – Cheer up! True – W’s have no proven depth behind Lee/Bogut – but even SI said that they can’t wait to see them play!

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/27/nba-western-conference/

  38. From the blogosphere:

    Re: Bogut ankle update

    by paul on Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:37 pm

    Jester_ wrote: Why is everyone being so morose over this? He announced it as “good news”, so I’m assuming he’s ahead of schedule and the pain is expected.

    He IS ahead of schedule, the pain IS expected as swelling subsides, this IS good news. Guys are reading this incorrectly.

    He just spent a week in LA where the Warriors medical staff put him through testing and found that he’s well ahead of schedule. By the sound of things rehab is going better than anyone could have hoped, he’s been working out and shooting pretty much every day for a fair while.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Re: Bogut ankle update

    by lawrybeard on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:01 am

    It’s not much to go on, but I saw Bogut on Thurs in Melbourne and he was walking fine. Was a little surprised actually as I was expecting him to be favouring one foot. Would be interesting to see how his ankle goes in a training session though.

  39. Great job by “gumbyhighlights” putting together “Road to the Golden State Warriors 2012 Draft

  40. Only Portland without a HC

    KBergCBS A news conference is expected Monday to introduce Vaughn, a Spurs assistant, as the successor to Stan Van Gundy, sources said.

    KBergCBS League sources confirm @JoshuaBRobbins report that the Magic have hired Jacque Vaughn as their next head coach.

  41. From Ken Berger’s “mailbox”:

    You wrote a great feature this week about Mark Cuban and his approach under the new CBA (see post #30 for the link). Is it possible we’re going to see an unprecedented run under one owner with Cuban? He’s already pulled off an amazing feat with 10 years of 50 wins, and 50 next year wouldn’t be shocking with how the Mavs have restocked. Going forward, if he snags another big fish, they’re set for post-Dirk life. How good can this franchise be long-term?

    Berger: I like your premise and mostly agree, although Cuban still has to win three more titles before he can be in the same conversation with Peter Holt and the Spurs. But for little money I have compared to fellow Indiana University alum Cuban, he’s about as good as it gets as an owner if you’re a fan of an NBA team. As James Dolan has proved by paying more than $195 million in luxury tax for one playoff win over the past decade or so, it isn’t just spending that matters, but spending wisely — and knowing when to back off. Cuban’s done the latter brilliantly in the past 13 months, and it won’t be long until he’s back to his big (and smart) spending ways.

  42. At # 50

    No one rates Mark Jackson with Vince Lombardi.

    Rockne and Lombardi were masterful coaches first and foremost, the best of their era. They earned their credibility as leaders with hard work and impeccable preparation – and a history of success.

    Rockne and Lombardi led by example. People took Lombardi’s motivational words to heart because they truly admired, trusted and respected him as a person. They had 100% faith that he personally lived his words, they weren’t some empty attempt to manipulate others.

    Rockne and Lombardi never, ever conceded a game, and they never failed to give their best effort. Their teams knew without doubt that they could always trust the coach to give his team its best chance to win. No retreat, no excuses. No hack-a-Howard game.

    In referring to their teams, Rockne and Lombardi always said “We,” and never referred to their players as “they.” They were as loyal to their teams as they demanded from their teams. It was perhaps their greatest lesson in leadership: loyalty is a two-way street. No post-game finger pointing.

    I don’t know Mark Jackson, and from where we sit it’s hard to really know the inner workings of a coach and his team. But he’s no Lombardi.

    • +1 Something else they never did: throw games for their employer.

      • On Jackson’s relationship to the great motivational coaches. Cf. Lloyd Bentsen’s reply to Dan Quayle:

      • It’s fun imagining someone asking Vince Lombardi to throw a game. He’d punch them in the nose. Even his boss.

    • Congratulations, you’ve just transitioned from “The Power of Motivation in Coaching” to “No One Rates Mark Jackson With Vince Lombardi (or Knute Rockne)”, aka the biggest understatement in blogging history. LOL

      • Steve are you still claiming the Lacob’s Warriors did not tank last year after they traded Ellis?
        LOL.

        • On that I’ll take the Fifth……and then drink it……and that’s TheTruth.

          • Tanking is a league-wide phenomenon (spelling?). Thus, the invention of the lottery… Wait for a LeBron James-type prospect… It’ll get embarrassing for the league! LOL!

      • Just responding to the notion that Mark Jackson is a motivator. If Lombardi represents one end of the scale, MJ is on the other half.

  43. “They are coming, finally. Eventually.

    The Olympics are the last step. Victor Claver will play for Spain as a heavy favorite to medal and Joel Freeland for host Britain as a heavy favorite to not medal. They then become Trail Blazers teammates with enough recovery time on their hands before training camp opens.

    That they will become Blazers at all is a development more significant than most international arrivals. Two at the same time is noteworthy. Two at the same time for the frontline, with the chance to immediately join the rotation, is important for a team trying to push back into the playoffs and can use their help.

    Claver, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound small forward who can play some power forward, was the No. 22 pick in 2009. Freeland, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward who can play some center, was No. 30 in 2006. That’s a lot of waiting that, at last, faces a payoff.”

    http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2012/07/27/long-awaited-picks-claver-freeland-finally-set-to-be-blazers/

  44. GSW fans speak out: Lacob or Ellison?

    ————————————————

    Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    Moderators: floppymoose, Sleepy51, GSWbandwagon, Chris Porter’s Hair, Hopper15

    by EpicUdoh on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:05 pm

    Everyone was so pissed when the team was sold to lacob instead of ellison. Are you guys happy/content with what lacob has done so far opposed to what could have potentially happened if ellison had won the bid?

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by Jester_ on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:10 pm

    Lacob has been one of the best executives in the league over the last year. No complaints here. Just because Ellison is richer doesn’t mean he’d make a better exec.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by The Maestro on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:36 pm

    I hated Lacob until the Bogut deal. That changed everything for me. I like the general direction of the franchise now and it’s nice being a fan of a legitimate basketball organization for the first time in 30 years.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by HiRez on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:36 pm

    I wasn’t pissed about Lacob getting the franchise over Ellison. Ellison thought he could miss the deadline and still waltz in and grab what he wanted because he’s Larry Ellison, and, perhaps for the first time in his life, he didn’t get what he wanted. I wouldn’t say Lacob has spent extravagantly, but they’ve made sound financial decisions and at least haven’t shown a propensity for cheapness (for example, buying draft picks instead of selling them off).

    Lacob & Co. have made some mistakes (wasting the amnesty on Bell the most damning of them), but they are really turning things around, finally. The Monta for Bogut move was outstanding, they’ve been making really solid draft picks (Thompson, Jenkins, Barnes, Green, Ezeli) and excellent offseason acquisitions to round out the bench (Rush, McGuire, Jack, etc., even Kwame was a good move under the circumstances).

    I’m cautiously optimistic for the first time in years.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by Little Digger on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:43 pm

    If you’re not complaining about Fitz still being our voice of the franchise, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

    I like or love 87% of what Lacob-Guber ownership group has brought to our GSW’s..It’s the other 13% that makes me want to vomit.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by HiRez on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:46 pm

    Little Digger wrote:If you’re not complaining about Fitz still being our voice of the franchise, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

    I love 87% of what Lacob-Guber ownership group has brought to our GSW’s..It’s the other 13% that makes me want to vomit.

    That’s a good point, easily my biggest remaining complaint. However, there are ways to sync up the radio broadcast and being out of town, I can choose the other team’s broadcast (which can be a mixed bag but at least it’s Fitzless).

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by Muggsy Bogues on Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:52 pm

    Yes, I think we’d be better off. He strikes me as the kind of guy who wouldn’t balk at going into the luxury tax to build a winner, and we would’ve seen the Monta/Curry backcourt scrapped maybe half a season into his tenure, which needed to be done. Lacob’s had his share of ups and downs, and may well turn out to be quite good in the long run, but everything else being equal, I’ll always go for money first.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by FireNellieQuick on Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:57 pm

    Larry Ellison is too cheap to buy a team… but apparently would throw money around and go into the luxtax? Logic fail.

    Lacob and Co have done excellent so far, and have done it pretty quickly.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by killacalijatt on Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:55 pm

    Great Job so far.

    Signed Kwame to a 1year deal- Very Smart
    Traded Ellis for a legit C
    Tanked for our pick
    Not to mention JJ for Wrong was a complete steal, so was Rush for Amundson.

    If he brings back Rush and signs Landry, this is probably the best offseason since…….(when was the last time we had a successful offseason?)

    Only thing I didn’t like was the Jackass hiring. Other then that he’s cleaned house very well.

    Fire Mark Jackson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by Golden State on Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:30 pm

    The FO, Coaches, Santa Cruz, a new location, adding quality vets, quality draft picks, …Lacob has set a sound foundation for this and our future seasons.

    Luck and opportunity do not have a schedule so it is important to put effort into being ready in case it comes knocking. ….GSW is putting that effort in.

    Only disappointment: Plans to have home games on a SF pier. Basketball is played in the winter. Piers are on water, water is cold, fog is damp & cold. Views? Most bskbl games are night games, dense fog, wet windows, and walls all around does not enhance seeing anything. I’m there to see the action at center court! lol

    2017 is far enough away where I feel this “idea” can be reversed and improved upon.

    Lacob’s partner Guber is the PT Barnum here. Guber wants an all purpose venue for events now held at the Cow Palace, summer “good weather” events and other attractions 12 months a year. His experience with Mandalay Bay & Sony taught him a lot and now expansion out of Vegas seems to be the goal. Especially with partial ownerships in the L A Dodgers and GSW. I can see where having the GSW as his anchor tenant is beneficial for his goals, but beneficial for enjoying basketball? …not so much.

    Ellison most likely moves the team to SJ, ….I like the convenience of the arena’s location now.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by statsman on Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:44 pm

    killacalijatt wrote:Only thing I didn’t like was the Jackass hiring. Other then that he’s cleaned house very well.

    That and I didn’t much like the Bell amnesty and subsequent offer to DJordan. Would have preferred waiting at least one season to use the amnesty option. At least at that point Lacob and Co were too blind to see that the Clippers would (thankfully) match the offer.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by J-Rich- on Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:49 am

    Hell yes we’d be way better off with Ellison. Ellison would do anything to win including spending any amount of money on players as well as sacrificing 3 goats and 2 human virgins if it meant we’d win. Now tell me which owner would sacrifice that much to win…Exactly, no one but Ellison.

    Re: Would we be better off with Larry Ellison at this point?

    by DubZzZzZ on Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:57 am

    Lacob and co. has made ALOT of good and smart moves I cant say that there was one move they made that was really bad, the only move that was in question was using the amnesty on Charlie Bell but a vet that wasn’t going to play and just had a DUI and showed up the his DUI hearing drunk? vs. using it on a young center that they thought would still have trade value seemed like a reasonable move to me.

  45. If Lacob had amnestied Bell last year, and had done so withBiedrins this year, and not traded for an injured Bogut, the Warriiors would have had Udoh and Ellis, and an additional $16 million (loss of Biedrins and K. Brown) to, spend on free agency to strengthen our front court. We would still have retained Ellis as a valuable asset to trade, and and had enough money left over to buy a draft pick in this year’s draft and still have been able to draft Ezeli. Also, we would not be saddled with Jefferson’s bloated contract for the next two years.

    However, we would not have been able to draft Barnes, as we would not likely have been in the lottery.

    If Bogut does not fully recover from his injury, his contract will be a further albatross on the Warriors neck. The Warriors should not have traded for a player who was both injured and who shot the last 2 years under 50% from the field and s just over 65% from the foul line.

    And given up Udoh, who the last two years, has helped the Warriors outscore their opponents by a big margin when he was on the court.
    and I predict that Bogut, even if healthy, and playing at times with additons Jack and Barnes, won’t match Udoh’s positive impact on the team.

    If both Curry and Bogut are healthy, both big ifs, the Warriors right now are stronger a PG with the addition of Jack, still have a hole as SG until we are able to sign Rush to back-up Thompson , has a hole with no back-up at PF other than D.Green, and have an unanswered question whether a Jefferson-Barnes combination at SF will perform better than a Jefferson- D. Wright combination, and whether a Bogut-Ezeli is better that a Udoh-Ezeli center combination.

    By not amestying Biedrins and making the trade in which they gave up money they could have used if they had not traded K.Brown but just let his contract expire, the Warriors are cash-strapped, won’t pay the luxury tax, and are having a tough time signing a decent back-up at PF.

    • Frank, I think Lacob must have come to regret the Bell amnesty after the fan revolt last season, if not before. It may even have factored into his decision to push Larry Riley out of the Warriors front office.

      In perfect hindsight, keeping Biedrins was a bad idea of course, but you can see how it made a kinda-sorta sense to a GM used to working under the Cohan economy plan. Amnestying Beans would have taken him off salary cap considerations, but still cost the team the same total amount of bux, for zero return.

      At the time it seemed there was a chance he could return to form. Since the team wasn’t allowed to interact with Biedrins (or presumably his doctors) during the lockout, they didn’t have much time to assess his performance. In addition, he was the team’s only “true C,” and Bell was outta here no matter what (DUIs, domestic violence, useless player).

      Lacob is a VC fund manager, not a rabid fan “win at all costs” guy. In the debate over Lacob v. Ellison, that’s the big difference between the two. After following Ellison’s yacht racing career, I suspect he might have amnestied Biedrins just for the personal satisfaction of firing a loser. Ellison really is a “win at all costs” guy.

      But that’s all moot now. Right now we’re left with a (theoretically) better balanced team than last year’s, which was marginally better than the year before. With some smart trades, player development, and good coaching, the dubs could be decent for the next couple of seasons. And if they quit being a laughingstock, things will get easier for them. It won’t be so hard to get talent.

      • “Amnestying Beans would have taken him off salary cap considerations, but still cost the team the same total amount of bux, for zero return”

        Yeah I guess things like making one freethrow all year is far greater than a “zero return”?

        BTW I don’t think we’ll ever see Lacob admit “regret” or admit any mistakes…not in his overconfident blowhard DNA! In fact heard him say numerous times the Bell amnesty was “The right thing to do”!

        As we all know, at the very least the Dubs should still have that Amnesty chip to play…what a wasted opportunity.

        • Amen, brother. I think everyone, even Lacob, knows that not amnestying Biedrins was a big mistake.

          I also doubt that Lacob will admit it anytime soon, though if he did at this point it would probably play in his favor among fans. Nobody’s perfect, and nobody expects perfection. Denying obvious mistakes says you’re lying. Admitting them says you’re learning.

        • BTW, Bell’s contract was small enough and short enough ($4mm) to write off or simply wait out, not amnesty away. He only had one year left on his contract. Bell’s amnesty had the 2nd lowest value in the league:

          http://www.slcdunk.com/2012/7/18/3167854/nba-off-season-amnesty-aftermath-which-teams-used-theirs-which-teams

          If the Ws had kept that amnesty card “just in case,” at this time they could have used it on Jefferson, who has an even more cap-limiting contract than Biedrins. Then they could get that PF of their dreams, or a good veteran backup C, or a superior 6th man. Jefferson earns Monta money. Dammit.

  46. Marcus Thompson

    According to league sources, the Warriors’ reported interest in free agent SF Josh Howard is, at the very least, minimal. Golden State’s focus is still on landing a back-up power forward, with Carl Landry atop the wishlist. After drafting Harrison Barnes, and with the expected re-signing of Brandon Rush, the Warriors aren’t in the market for a small forward unless he can play power forward (someone like Andrei Kirilenko or Dominic McGuire). At 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, Howard is too small for such a role with the Warriors. To be sure, some in the front office do like Josh Howard’s game. But something would have to go wrong in the Brandon Rush saga for the Warriors to have serious interest in a small forward.

  47. I had a chance to discuss the Bogut injury with a doctor friend of mine yesterday. Admittedly not an ankle specialist (he’ a neurologist), but a nationally regarded physician and author. His comment:

    “This is what they shoot horses for.”

  48. Rush and Landry signings a done deal according to MT twitter.

    • Nice – Green 3 yrs $2.6 million.

      Pretty deep roster now:

      PG: Curry, Jack, Jenkins
      SG: Thompson, Rush, Bazemore
      SF: Jefferson, Barnes, Green
      PF: Lee, Landry, Tyler
      C: Bogut, Ezeli, Biedrins

      Some borderline starter quality NBA players on our 2nd team:

      PG: Jack
      SG: Rush
      SF: Barnes/Green
      PF: Landry
      C: Ezeli/Biedrins

    • Is that one hand clapping I hear felt for the Bob Myers moves?

  49. More recent W’s Front Office moves (Myers fingerprints-assuming he was heavily involved in trade for Bogut):

    Adds:
    Bogut
    Jefferson
    Ezeli
    Barnes
    Green
    Jack
    Landry
    Rush (Re-sign)

    Subtraction:
    Ellis
    Udoh
    Kwame’s expiring
    D. Wright
    McGuire
    Robinson
    C. Wright
    D-Leaguers

  50. By signing Landry and Rush, the Warriors will have their offense in order and be deep, but we are left with only two decent big inside defenders in Bogut and Ezeli.

    Landry’s offense and will give the second unit four offensive players, but I don’t think it will be enough to offset opponent’s offenses. But time will tell. They still need to make a trade for a taller and quicker front court player.

    The offense still is dependent on a healthy Curry and Bogut.

    The Warriors were three or four games down in the loss column when the trade was made. Even with the newly constituted roster, and a healthy Curry and Bogut, do you see them up by three or four games
    at midseason?

    • Frank, per the link @80, some interesting stats regarding Landry compared to McGuire (defensively speaking). Your take?

      “On the defensive end, Landry is also surprisingly effective. In situations where he was the primary defender, Landry allowed an average of .79 points per play last year—a figure that ranks him in the top 20 percent of NBA players.

      On the topic of defense, many Warriors fans will lament the fact that the Warriors’ now-completed 15-man roster will not include free agent Dominic McGuire. But worry not.

      McGuire was a top-notch defender in isolation situations, but Landry was actually better overall; McGuire allowed an average of .82 points per play to Landry’s .79. Of course, their respective teams’ style of play and help defense has an effect on that figure. But even when adjusting for those outside factors, Landry and McGuire are similarly effective on defense.”

      • Bogut, Ezeli (from what I’ve seen), Bazemore, Rush, and Jack can all play excellent defense. Probably Bogut and Bazemore defend at an elite level (who knows – I’m reading McGuire, an elite defender, is still a possibility). The jury’s out on Barnes/Green – they both have potential for playing excellent defense in the future.

        See Steve’s link for an argument supporting Landry’s defense… I’m a bit skeptical since I’ve never viewed Landry as playing great defense! LOL! However, at least it’s not Landry hitting up the Warriors for 20 points and 10 rebounds anymore since he’s on our side now!

  51. OK, Feltbot. It’s back to school time. The Lakers are looking to hire Eddie Jordan as ass’t coach to implement the Princeton offense. Kobe has had influence here, and I suspect the interest is how to get the ball in his hands.

    From AW at Yahoo—the link’s too damn long.

  52. A thumbs up from Bogut via Twitter:

    Andrew Bogut‏@AndrewMBogut

    Loving our new signings!! Welcome to the team @CarlLandry24 ! @warriors

    • From Hoopsworld Twitter:

      AlexKennedyNBA: The Golden State Warriors are definitely a team to watch next season. If they can stay healthy, they may be able to sneak into the playoffs.

      AlexKennedyNBA: Warriors are very deep: Steph Curry, Andrew Bogut, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, Richard Jefferson.

  53. Warriors vs Dallas? One a playoff team? Both? Neither?

    Sounds like Dallas sportswriter Gerry Fraley is not too overly excited about the Mavs (taken from a TV Q&A earlier today in Dallas):

    On if fans should expect a better Mavs team:

    Fraley: “No, it won’t be better. It’s not going to be as bad as it was three weeks ago. That was a lottery team. This will be mid-40 wins maybe a sixth seed and a first round loss. This team is definitely hitting that down cycle.”

  54. Carl Landry: Happy to announce I will be joining the @Warriors family. Time to go to work!!! # WarriorNation Twitter

    Carl Landry: Very impressed with @Warriors Management & Coach Jackson’s commitment to winning. Really looking forward to the season!! #WarriorNation Twitter

  55. Matt Moore, Senior NBA and Olympics blogger for cbssports.com, on the CLandry signing for GSW:

    “Landry averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds per 36 minutes last season for the Hornets, playing 24 minutes a game in 41 games. His true rebound percentage is low for a big man at 12.8 percent and that’s where he struggles the most. But he’s a versatile inside scorer and a hard worker defensively, able to guard bigger opponents and rotate well.

    Behind David Lee, he completes a suddenly very solid second line for the Warriors, with Jarret Jack, Richard Jefferson, and rookies Festus Ezili and Draymond Green. It’s a solid mix of youth and veterans and with the injuries the Warriors suffered through last year, getting depth can be considered crucial.

    Either way, the Warriors get tougher and for this kind of deal in a bench role, Landry’s a terrific signing.”

  56. Looks like Brandon Rush has re-signed:

    Mark Jackson tweeted:
    “Congrats to @KCsFinest4! It’s Great to have u back!”

    Brandon Rush tweeted:
    “@JacksonMark13 Thanks Coach”

  57. Perhaps excluding “Feltbot’s Warriors Blog” the general consensus of the blogging GSW fan base is a fairly sizeable thumbs-up to GM Joe for his work in the now all-but-concluded offseason retooling of his roster.

    With maybe a sprinkling of “overexuberance” evident in the mix, a sampling of Warriors fans from around the net:

    “Great off-season. No single “holy sh–” moves like people want to point to when they talk about off-season changes. But a series of extremely solid, professional moves that will add up to something great.

    Additions: Jack, Landry, Barnes, Ezeli, Green, Bazemore
    Subtractions: Wright, Robinson, McGuire (maybe)

    I didn’t include Bogut in the above list, but technically we didn’t have him last year, so he’s almost a part of the off-season too….”

    “my oh my, what a wonderful day”

    “Good signing. Glad the W’s were able to get him signed without having to go 3 years on the deal. Will provide some scoring on the bench and is one of the few guys who can get himself to the line. I can live with his limitations at this price.”

    “This is FANTASTIC. I’m a huge fan of this move. Great player for cheap. Watching him against the Warriors I was always thinking why can’t we get a guy like this. What a team.”

    “So he can play this year for a big contract and then opt out next year. Might be good.”

    “Doubt he opts out. 4 mill is probably more than he’ll get next year after playing behind DLee and not starting. He seems like the type that would love the Bay aswell. He’s from Milwuakee, this is paradise compared to that place.”

    “Damn, I’ve been celebrating with friends ever since I got the news of the signing. I am 24 years old and never in my lifetime have I been this excited about an upcoming season (including the year after we beat Dallas)”

    “Well done Meyers (uh, sir, that’s GM Joe) and Team. Finally, a FO that makes rationale and smart free agent decisions. OK, in the draft, we were lucky. But to sign Jack, Rush, and Landry (not to mention trading for Bogurt). We now have a quality starter and backup at all 5 positions.

    If Curry and Bogurt can stay healthy, we will be back in the playoffs this year.”

    “Let’s go Myers!” (Obviously meant GM Joe)

    “Job well done to Myers (GM JOE!!!) and the brass– there’s definitely a lot of anticipation on my part waiting for this season to start. This has to be the deepest team I’ve seen within the last 7 years. Really excited for all the great changes we’ve made. Stay healthy Curry and Bogut!!!”

    “Great job. Great signing, one after another.”

    “Best bench we’ve ever had.”

    And finally (will GM Joe ever get the credit he deserves? SHEEZ!!)………

    “Why didn’t Lacob let Myers run the show last year, instead of letting Larry Riley waste a year basically doing very little to make a difference in the roster? Very impressed with the moves so far, and the draft looks promising, finally it looks like the Warriors will not be the laughingstock of the bay area. Still no superstar on the roster, but as long as Bogut and Curry stay healthy, at least the team may not have to tank half the season to keep a draft pick.”

    (All fan comments courtesy RealGM, GSOM and Inside the Warriors)

    • Steve, it’s crazy that sooo many people keep thinking this Myers guy is the GM for the W’s when in fact it’s really Joe Lacob. Crazy I tell you…crazy.

      Anyway, congrats to GM Joe Lacob for a job well done this off-season. His very first full off-season in which he could actually work his GM magic.

      A round of applause from everyone…yes?

      • Brytex, how goes it?

        Funny, but I go to the other blogs that talk Warriors-talk and without exception LOTS of (mostly positive) comments over the last 24-36 hours on the signings of CLandry and BRush to round out the Warriors offseason FA dealings. But here?

        Felt has said nothing (although I’m sure he’ll eventually explain how, led by an “arthritic cripple” who should have been shot instead of traded for, everything will come apart at the seams), nor have most of his other disciples. And what about bloggers from ancient history like MWLX (BTW, hope all is well)?

        Not that I’m surprised given the initial feeling that most fans are experiencing looking at one of the deeper and most talented GSW rosters seen around these parts in many-a-moon vs the perpetual dark cloud that blocks most rays of Warriors sunshine from shining on Feltbotsville.

        Yes, all on paper, and contingent on a season of relatively good health to certain key players, but still, for August 1st, when fan-atical dreams are usually running the wildest for most NBA fans, this is a roster deserved of at least a temporary bout of overexuberance here in the Bay Area, not to mention that round of applause for one GM Joe (and considering the creepy, spooky, almost ghostly silence this seems most appropriate).

  58. Nate Robinson to the Bulls! I like this.

    • Glad to hear they’re planning to keep Jenkins. If he could develop a 3-pt. shot he’d have a pretty complete game. With his notorious work ethic, it’s probably just a matter of time.

      He may end up playing more than Jack, too. Despite Jack’s rep as a defender, 82games.com gives Jenkins better offensive AND defensive stats. (If I read them right, even Curry has better defensive numbers than Jack. On the other hand, comparing individual player stats across different teams with different defensive schemes probably isn’t fair).

      http://www.82games.com/1112/11GSW5.HTM

  59. Dump Tyler and keep McGuire? Do we give up anything, even at backup center, other than about an inch and twenty pounds?

  60. Assessing the new Warriors (and the owner):

    On March 11 of this year, the Warriors defeated the playoff bound Clippers with a front lineup of Curry, Ellis, Lee, Wright, and Udoh at center (and Curry only played 9 minutes). The date is significant because it is the last game the Ellis played and marks the time of the Bogut trade.

    Up to that point , the Warriors were 18-38. Curry missed over a third of those games and they had no strength at center beyond some fine performances by Udoh.

    The previous season they were 36-82. The bench was miserable and they still had little help at center beyond Udoh.

    And there was considerable question about the coaching both seasons, as anyone who reads this blog knows.

    Yet in both cases, the team was a handful short of .500, the mark I give the team next year if all goes well. How much of a significant gain is that and can we expect much more in the future? And what it has to measured against is how strong the team might have been had other options been pursued than the Bogut trade, as has been discussed at length in this post.

    I’m guessing FR will weigh in before long.

  61. “There are far more questions than answers when it comes to Monta Ellis’ tenure in Milwaukee. So what can we learn from the times when things went well?

    The early returns weren’t overly encouraging.

    Odds for the future seem stacked against them.

    Most evidence, be it statistical, anecdotal, astrological, anything, would suggest the Bucks’ backcourt combination of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis is capped at “entertainingly mediocre”. With Jennings looking more and more like a fixture in Milwaukee’s future, the biggest question mark, perhaps on the entire roster, remains Monta Ellis. Will he sign an extension with the Bucks? Do the Bucks want him to sign an extension? Should they?”

    http://www.brewhoop.com/2012/7/31/3205186/monta-ellis-milwaukee-bucks-best-game-new-part-1

  62. Zach Lowe: Court Vision

    “One candidate for that “interesting” title: the Warriors, who rounded out a very nice offseason — on paper — by signing Carl Landry for a big chunk of the mid-level exception and re-signing Brandon Rush via Larry Bird Rights. The moves take the Warriors about $1 million over the luxury tax, though they could minimize the hit (or eliminate it, depending on the precise math) by eventually cutting Kent Bazemore and/or Charles Jenkins.

    Landry provides a veteran third big man. Rush supplies what he always does: very good outside shooting, decent off-ball cutting, solid defense and the ability to play both wing positions while not really contributing anything spectacular.

    As I wrote last week, the Warriors’ approach is spot-on. In reality, we have to learn the answers to several core questions, such as the health of key players, the readiness of two youngsters on the wing (Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes), the ability to wring meaningful minutes from the big men outside the top three and the state of the defense when center Andrew Bogut hits the bench. I can’t wait to see them play.”

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/31/court-vision-lakers-offense/

  63. From Hoopsworld: The Kings, Seattle and Anaheim

    The Kings, Seattle and Anaheim: The Sacramento Kings will play out the 2012-13 NBA season in Sacramento. Where the Kings will play in 2013-14 still remains very much up in the air. The team and the city of Sacramento have effectively ended talks on a new arena in Sacramento and the tensions and distrust between the two sides makes it improbable that a deal is ever going to be reached.

    The Maloof family, owners of the Kings, say they want to make Sacramento work, likely because they know that moving to Anaheim, as they tried to do in March of 2011, is now so far out of reach that they have few other choices.

    The appeal of Anaheim was easy. It was Southern California. It was Orange County, one of the wealthiest counties in America. The wrinkle that likely kills the deal is the Los Angeles Lakers’ new multi-billion deal TV deal with Time Warner. If a third NBA team comes into the marketplace, the value of that deal goes down radically to the tune of a couple hundred million over the life of the deal.

    It would be cheaper for the Lakers to buy the Kings and dismantle them, rather than allow them to move to Anaheim and that’s overlooking that the Honda Center is a 19-year-old building. The window for Anaheim has closed, unless the Kings want to buy off the Lakers, the Clippers and the NBA and that won’t come cheap.

    So what’s next for the Kings? They clearly have to wait out some processes, namely what’s going on in Seattle.

    Valiant Capital president Chris Hansen is trying to build a world-class arena in Seattle with the hopes of luring a NBA team there. Read that to mean the Kings because they are the only NBA team not locked into a multi-year, hundred-plus million dollar lease agreement.

    The Hawks could leave Atlanta, but it would cost more than $150 million to secure a lease exit. The Memphis Grizzlies have a similar clause worth more than $136 million, but they have a possible new owner who says he wants to stay in Memphis. The New Orleans Hornets just inked a new deal in NOLA, so they are off the table too. So it again comes back to the Kings.

    Hansen’s group is battling the political process but is willing to put up $200-plus million in private funding if the city and state will pony up the rest and there seems to be real interest. A deal is still a long way off, but there is optimism.

    The new NBA collective bargaining agreement and a new revenue sharing program coming next season will help the Maloof’s stay afloat, but it’s fairly obvious that unless the team is sold – which there are local investors willing to buy the team – the Kings will be relocating at some point in the not so distant future.

    It’s clearly not going to be Anaheim for a laundry list of financial reasons.

    Seattle seems likely if Hansen can deliver a building.

    All of the other options like Kansas City, Louisville, Las Vegas and St. Louis become viable if the economy swings upwards in a serious way, mainly because the NBA is not going to approve a move to a smaller market with teams struggling to sell products, unless one of those markets offers a monster TV package.

    So for now, the Kings are staying in Sacramento and the Maloof’s are blowing kisses at their fans and talking about renovations to the former Arco Arena, now Power Balance Pavilion, mainly because the realistic relocation options are slim.

    Keep your eye on Seattle, because if Hansen and his group can land a deal for a new building, the Kings won’t be far behind unless they get sold, which is a story for another day.

  64. From Hoopsworld: Landry, Warriors Playoff Bound?

    There was mutual interest between the Golden State Warriors and power forward Carl Landry since the early stages of free agency. Landry, a veteran with five years of experience, entered the week as the top free agent on the market. The Charlotte Bobcats were making a big push to sign him, but in the end the Warriors won his services with a two-year $8 million contract offer.

    “Golden State was always a place that I had considerations of going to,” Landry said in an exclusive interview with HOOPSWORLD. “I didn’t know how long it was going to take to get the deal done and it finally got done. It’s a good fit. They have absolutely great fans. They have a good coach in Mark Jackson and general manager in Bob Meyers. There are a lot of good things going on there in Oakland.”

    Although this is the time of year where every lottery team feels they have a chance to make the playoffs next season, the Warriors have legitimate reasons to believe they are a top eight team in the West now. Along with signing Landry, they kept guard Brandon Rush, acquired guard Jarrett Jack, drafted promising rookie Harrison Barnes and have center Andrew Bogut getting healthy.

    “(Making the playoffs) is all they talked about,” Landry said. “When I talked over the phone and in person with them it was all about making the playoffs. I’m really excited about playing for a team where the fans are going to be behind you 110 percent and making that push for a playoff run. I’m excited and looking forward to the season.

    “The Warriors haven’t been to the playoffs in 18 or 19 years but maybe one time so it’s been awhile since they went to the playoffs. That’s going to be the goal, to always get into the playoffs. It doesn’t matter what team I’m on. The goal is to get into the playoffs and see how far you can go when you can get there.”

    With their roster vastly improved, the biggest question about the Warriors regards their head coach. Jackson went 23-43 last year in his coaching debut, but this season will be the true test of his abilities now that he has a healthy team capable of winning. His naysayers are quick to point to his lack of experience, which is a valid point. However, what most fail to recognize is that he has one of the most experienced assistant coaching staffs in the league.

    “They’re really good,” Landry said. “Mark Jackson is obviously a player’s coach. I’m not saying he lacks in any area, but your staff has to pick up in the areas a head coach lacks and his coaching staff from top to bottom could possibly be head coaches in this league. They have really good coaches.”

    If Jackson has the most amount of pressure on him, Bogut is a close second. The Warriors traded guard Monta Ellis, a fan favorite, for him despite the fact that he was injured. The anticipation to see him don a Warriors jersey will have been building up for over seven months by the time opening night arrives. Landry, too, can’t wait to see him out on the floor, especially while he’s on it as well.

    “He’s one of the best centers in the league when healthy,” Landry said. “He can score, block shots, defend and pass. Obviously, he was the number one pick. He can do a lot. Having the opportunity to play alongside him and David Lee will be a great opportunity for me and a great experience.”

    As much as Bogut should help open things up for Landry and make his job easier, Jack could have the biggest impact on him. The two became good friends over the last two years in New Orleans with the Hornets. Jack publicly campaigned for Landry as soon as he became a Warrior and Landry is happy to be his teammate once again.

    “It’ll be really good going out there into a situation where I have someone alongside that I’m familiar with besides Mike Malone who was in New Orleans two years ago too,” Landry said. “They got a tremendous steal in Jack. He’s one of the best backup point guards in the league and he can start and still be one of the better point guards. He’s a good player. I’m looking forward to player with him again and making some things happen this year.”

    Jack and Landry will be looked at as the captains of the Warriors’ second unit, which could be one of the league’s best.

    “I think that bench is really deep and anytime you want to be a good team and go far in the playoffs you have to have a bench and that’s one of the things the warriors have now,” Landry said.

    Landry’s deal has an out clause after the first year, but he’s not going into this season thinking that he could be on the move again next offseason. He’s actually hoping to be a Warrior for much longer than just two years.

    “I’m a loyal type of dude,” Landry said. “If this situation works out right that’s the goal going into this year: to stay there as long as I can. I’ll represent the city of Oakland at a high level.”

  65. It’s great to see the Ws take Feltbot’s advice: Spend the money!

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2012/08/01/warriors-over-the-tax-line-not-by-much-but-its-a-big-change-anyway/

    The best thing about signing Carl Landry might just be that the team added a world of flexibility to the roster. Imagine an “undersized” but quick lineup featuring Lee and Landry playing with the Ws’ long range sharpshooters. Or a big-and-tall game with Bogut/Ezeli, Lee/Landry, Green at 3, Rush/Bazemore at 2 and possibly even Thompson (?) at the point. Having options is sweet, especially after the team has routinely run short-handed for over 20 years.

    Don Nelson would KILL with this team. No one would ever be able to game-plan against a single lineup or strategy. He’d mix ‘n match, swap ‘n switch for every edge throughout every game, ruthlessly.

    The “problem” with a decent lineup is that it brings the coaching into stark focus. Let’s see if that poser Mark Jackson is smart enough to let a pro run the show. There’s still time for him to step down for the good of the team.

    • “Spend the money!”

      Still, there’s a lot of filler and floor sweepings and other questionable stuff in this hot dog. At the end of next season, we’ll have to evaluate it according to the BFB statistic—Bang For the Buck.

      BFB = total salary divided by total wins.

      • rgg,

        Why do you care how much the Ws spend on salary? The only problem I can see with being capped out is the potential to get stuck with missing pieces. That mostly happens when the FO cuts corners. This is the first time in modern history that the Ws didn’t do that. Great!

        If you’re concerned about Lacob making money, well, don’t worry about it. The team is almost guaranteed to book an annual operating loss no matter what they pay their players. But the value of the franchise will more than triple in the next 10-15 years if the team gets their new arena and continues to put butts in seats. That’s a billion dollar return on Lacob’s investment. He’ll be fine.

  66. “Don Nelson would KILL with this team. No one would ever be able to game-plan against a single lineup or strategy. He’d mix ‘n match, swap ‘n switch for every edge throughout every game, ruthlessly.”

    Absolutely! Talk about “KILL”, I’d KILL to see Nelli coach this group.

  67. Marcus Thompson: Carl Landry said, on paper, the Warriors are a playoff team Twitter

    Marcus Thompson: Carl Landry (who’s been shot and had his teeth knocked out by Dirk’s elbow): “If you want toughness, I’m the guy you’re looking for.” Twitter

    Rusty Simmons: Brandon Rush said Milwaukee was actually closer to signing him than MIN or LAL, but he’s happy to be back in the Bay Area. Twitter

    Rusty Simmons: Rush said he’s coming to camp with his sights sets on starting at small forward. Twitter

    • I like how Myers quotes me:

      “So I think we’re well-balanced… we’ve given our (assistant) coaches and (head coach) Mark (Jackson) a chance to play any style… we really have the ability to play fast, play slow, play halfcourt, play uptempo… I don’t think it’s unfair to ask to go forward and do well with this group of players.”

      Geez, Bob, just give everyone the link to Feltbot. They can read it directly. In fewer words.

  68. One thing about Myers’ mandate to Jackson has me slightly puzzled: Why did he need to say this?

    Does this mean the Warriors had a different mandate the last two seasons?

    • You’re right, the wording is strange. It almost sounds like Myers is putting Jackson on notice, i.e., no excuses.

      But it’s probably closer to Myers’ point to say that this looks like a better roster than any Warriors coach has had in years. Maybe Myers is just congratulating himself in a roundabout way. Every move he made after the Bogut trade filled critical holes and help round out the roster. Looking back to the Mullin and Riley years, we didn’t always (ever?) see that kind of thing.

      That being said, the Ws clearly did have a different mandate the last 2 seasons. It was like they were in a holding pattern until now. At the risk of sounding cynical (who, me?), maybe ticket sales are off.

  69. Blast from the past: March 14, Eric Freeman on the Bogut trade:

    “Before Lacob took over, the common complaint about the Warriors was that they had no plan beyond selling tickets and possibly challenging for a playoff spot. That’s not Lacob’s problem — he has the goal of winning a championship and seems to think that a defense-first squad is the way to get there. But if a trade should reflect a franchise’s long-term vison, then the Warriors now seem to aspire to little more than challenging for a playoff spot whenever their players are lucky enough to be healthy.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/warriors-direction-long-term-plans-130226201.html;_ylt=AnxzZrXmMwsydyUhMdrhWcG8vLYF

    And here’s some more good reading from around that date:

    http://feltbot.com/2012/03/12/two-the-right-way-warriors-111-mavericks-87-warriors-97-clippers-93/

    • At the time the Bogut deal came down, the Ws had a number of holes in their lineup and it wasn’t apparent if or how they would be filled. Based on the team’s track record for acquiring talent, who could be optimistic? But the worst holes have actually been filled, and the simple addition of Landry improved the flexibility of the lineup tremendously. This team has more options than last year’s, and more talent overall.

      The biggest surprise to me was the impact of the new CBA. Salaries for mid-level players like Landry are a fraction of what they were the year before. That helped the Ws a lot.

      I think Monta’s 40 min./game are going to be missed a lot more than the Ws would have us believe. Despite his rep as a no-D ballhog, he a) averaged roughly 40 productive minutes a game, b) ran the offense well, c) was a reliable bailout shooter (better than Kobe), and d) played defense far better than the guards slated to start next season. That’s not easily replaceable, and the team didn’t replace him. They built a team that hopefully won’t need to get so much from a single player. That’s alright.

  70. From MT:

    Obviously, health is the big question mark. But that’s the big question mark for every team. Any team in the league would suffer a drastic decline if they lose a star player. So let’s just presume health. If Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry and David Lee are healthy, and they’re all expected to report to camp healthy, this team had better make the playoffs. They’re out of excuses.

    This team should win 45 to 48 games. If they don’t, it’s because somebody didn’t do their job. Probably multiple people.

    “So, Are the Warriors a Playoff Team?”

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2012/08/02/so-are-the-warriors-a-playoff-team/

  71. Posted March 28:

    “Ekpe Udoh, Monta Ellis And The Dissonance Caused By Advanced Statistical Analysis”

    http://www.brewhoop.com/2012/3/27/2890646/monta-ellis-ekpe-udoh-milwaukee-bucks-2012

  72. From Zach Lowe:

    Golden State Warriors

    Everyone was excited about the Warriors even before they filled out the wing by re-signing Brandon Rush and finding a sorely needed third reliable big man by enticing Carl Landry out of New Orleans with the mid-level exception — transactions that took Golden State barely over the luxury tax. Warriors Mania has infected these parts, too, and that’s a bit nerve-wracking, considering that outside the defensively challenged Stephen Curry/David Lee pairing, the core players here have played close to zero meaningful NBA minutes together.

    Lauding Golden State’s offseason also shows how tricky these judgments can be. For one, the Warriors’ offseason really started at the trade deadline, when, with the Monta Ellis/Andrew Bogut swap, they gave up on a team that had proved to be no better than mediocre in exchange for one with unknown potential to be something more. And discussions over that deal, both internally and between the teams, started long before the deadline.

    Golden State also took on small forward Richard Jefferson’s $11 million deal — in 2013-14 — for the right to draft a total mystery in center Festus Ezeli with San Antonio’s first-round pick. Rewind further, and you’re reminded that the Warriors could have had an estimated $8 million in cap space had they used the amnesty provision on center Andris Biedrins instead of wasting it on shooting guard Charlie Bell’s small expiring deal as part of the team’s ill-fated pursuit of center DeAndre Jordan.

    But all of that happened, and it’s very hard to argue with much of what has happened since. Bogut is one of the half-dozen best defensive big men in the game — and that may be under-selling it when he’s healthy — and one player like that can lift an otherwise-awful defense into league-average territory. Combine a league-average defense with a top-five offense, and you’ve got a dangerous playoff team.

    The Warriors ranked 11th in points per possession in 2011-12 despite Curry’s lost season; 58 combined starts from Biedrins and rookie Jeremy Tyler; having zero reliable bigs beyond Lee after dealing Ekpe Udoh in the Bogut trade; and pulling one of the NBA’s all-time prolonged tank jobs. We can’t project them as a top-five offense until we actually see them play and learn more about Curry’s troublesome ankle, but the tools are here — along with a vision you can see coming together. That wasn’t the case a year ago.

    Stealing backup point guard Jarrett Jack from other suitors at the last minute was a nice example of dealing from a position of strength (the wing, with Dorell Wright going out the door) for a position of weakness. Jack can fill that role and is big enough to defend shooting guards, meaning coach Mark Jackson can play Jack and Curry together for stretches, freeing Curry to run around screens off the ball.

    The Warriors will be capped out next summer, so this is essentially the team for the next two seasons. The books are pretty clean after that, meaning Golden State can hit reset on the Bogut experiment after 2013-14 if it isn’t working and try something else around the Curry/Lee duo — or try to break them up, likely by dealing Curry at some point.

    “Teams left smiling from NBA offseason”

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/08/02/nba-offseason-winners/

  73. From BR:

    It’s treacherous to bring any sense of optimism to ORACLE Arena, but the incoming Golden State Warriors make it awfully tempting. Last year’s team—even when in tank mode—made for some fun and decidedly imperfect basketball, but the additions made since mid-March position these Warriors to be a shockingly good NBA outfit…provided expectations are kept in check. Preseason optimism has a way of spiraling out of control, but in this case, it’s possible for the Warriors to be noteworthy and successful merely by competing for a playoff spot. Anything beyond that is luxury, if only because it’s essentially a Warriors custom to underwhelm just when things start to get interesting.

    This impromptu rebuild has a bit of a different feel than the last few cycles, largely because of the presence of Andrew Bogut. It’s easy to glance past a big man who has played just 77 games over the past two seasons, but Bogut has the potential to be that unicorn of NBA roster construction: the defensive big who rectifies the weakness in the rest of the roster. Bogut could have plenty makeup for with this particular cast, but simply having such a tremendous defender on the floor gives Golden State an air of defensive respectability.

    Beyond Bogut’s delayed Golden State debut, the Warriors’ improvement is all about incremental gain. Brandon Rush was re-signed to fill out the rotation with productive, low-risk minutes. Harrison Barnes was drafted by Golden State to complement the scoring core already in place. Klay Thompson already has shown some signs of improvement at the Las Vegas Summer League and should look even better in a more balanced role. Carl Landry was signed to a completely reasonable deal to punch up the bench. Jarrett Jack was acquired in exchange for the now-redundant Dorell Wright to help stabilize the Warriors’ ball-handling.

    No single move takes the Warriors over the top, but that’s a lot of gradual improvement for a single offseason—particularly with the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture so wide open. The West’s best are relatively stable, but there’s plenty to be decided beyond the top few seeds. With a good run, Golden State slides into the postseason. With anything better (or some correspondingly good luck), the Warriors become almost shockingly relevant. The ceiling on this team is very much indefinite, but it’s their projected mean that makes them so compelling; for the first time since 2007, there’s sound reason to expect something of these Warriors, even if doing so welcomes the possibility for an all-too-familiar disappointment.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1278302-warriors-moves-warrant-a-quiet-optimism

    • Conspiracy theory of the day:

      If Myers really did intend to “send a message” to Mark Jackson through the press, what does that say about Jackson’s role in the front office? Whether or not it was intentional, I can’t even imagine a respected coach (Jeff Van Gundy, Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson) reading something like this over his morning coffee. Any one of them would have been intimately involved in Myers’ talent search. Nelson would have been breathing over Myers’ shoulder all summer. Deep, stinky breaths, 20 hours a day.

      Add Myers’ latest quote to his earlier comments about the draft decision making (he named everyone except Jackson and Riley), and it makes you wonder if Jackson is out of the loop.

      And then there’s the PR angle: Lacob & Co. are perfectly aware of fan opinion. It’s central to the business, and Lacob is a proven sucess at business. Lacob and Myers drop Jerry West’s name at every opportunity, because he lends unquestioned fan credibility to everything they do. But they barely mention Jackson by name at all. A possibility: it’s not an oversight, they’re intentionally downplaying Jackson based on his fan approval ratings.

      And one last item: what about that “best assistant coach of the year,” huh? Malone didn’t make it to the final 4 in any of the 3 head coaching gigs he interviewed for this summer. Is that because, well, he ain’t so hot after all? Or is it posssible that he’s already bagged a head coaching gig and was just giving other teams a chance to make him a better offer?

      As time goes on, it’s harder to picture Jackson’s resignation scenario. But reading between the lines, it’s still on the table.

      That could be wrong, of course. Or maybe they have to run a few more focus groups, or they’ll wait to hear Jackson getting abused by obscene courtside hecklers. Or maybe, now that all the players are signed, the team can focus on negotiating a separation agreement with Jackson.

      Whew. Glad I don’t have to sign my name to this crap.

      • Players subtracted Players added
        Veterans
        Ellis Bogut
        Udoh Jefferson
        Mcguire Jack
        Robinson Landry
        D Wright

        Rookies
        CWright Barnes
        Tyler? Ezelli
        Green
        Bozemore

        Add to this the oft mentioned Salary restrictions to get more and better players this season and next (caused by Bogut and Jefferson acquisitions).

        I am wondering if the vet changes will net many more wins (Myers pressuring Jackson? I feel your pain Coach Jackson). Team definitely lacking a player who can score going to the basket.
        Especially in last play of quarters and games.

        transactions net out to the rookies making a big effort, or Mark J will be the Keith Smart of this season.

        One significant gain is addition by subtraction and the fact Biedrins will keep the bench warm instead of being the opening day starting center. With Ezelli he may not even see the light of the game, or just be required to play against the other teams backup depending on the matchup on a given night.

        This may all work out — and making Jumps in the NBA is extremely difficult at best. I just think the expectations are a little high. If anything Dubs may get better because some teams got worse (refer to Houston , Portland, Phoenix, etc), and we may get to a higher spot because of this not an increased talent level.

        • Lacob’s real coup, after what we endured the last two seasons, may be that he has got us to lower our expectations.

          • rgg+

            I heard a famous Don Nelson Aha Aha laugh when I read your post.

          • I don’t know. Yeah, low expectations happened, but if that was Lacob’s plan he wouldn’t have pointed to the rafters on day 1.

  74. Players subtractions
    Veterans
    Ellis
    Udoh
    Mcguire
    Robinson
    D Wright

    Rookies
    CWright
    Tyler?

    Additions
    Players added
    Veterans
    Bogut
    Jefferson
    Jack
    Landry
    D Wright

    Rookies
    Barnes
    Ezelli
    Green
    Bozemore

  75. From MT:

    Center Andrew Bogut said he likes the job Warriors’ front office has done. But he stopped short of saying the Warriors had arrived. “We got much better on paper. Paper doesn’t win games. We have work to do.” While many people, including myself, are calling the Warriors a playoff team. One of the locker room leaders are trying to make sure the players don’t get ahead of themselves. That’s a good sign.

  76. From BR:

    “Golden State Warriors: Why Dubs’ Improved Roster Could Get Mark Jackson Fired”

    Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers is a man who means what he says. And despite his brief tenure in the Warriors’ front office, he’s clearly being taken very seriously by the rest of the NBA.

    Remember when Myers made it abundantly clear that re-signing Brandon Rush was a top priority and that the Warriors would match any offer sheet Rush got from another team? Nobody called Myers’ bluff on that one—Rush received no other offers, and the Warriors brought him back at a team-friendly salary.

    Then, a couple of weeks ago, Myers said flat-out: “we’re going to sign a player.” By the end of July, the Warriors agreed with Carl Landry on a two-year deal. In that same press conference, Myers told reporters that the Warriors would even flirt with the luxury tax if it meant bringing in a difference-maker. Well, for the first time ever, the Warriors are now slightly over the tax after the Landry signing.

    The takeaway here is that Myers isn’t afraid to speak frankly, a real departure from most front-office types. More importantly, he’s backed every word with action so far.

    Which is why Mark Jackson’s seat just got a little hotter.

    In a press conference on August 1, Myers had this to say to the media:

    But I told Mark [Jackson]. I called him after the Landry signing, I said, ‘You’ve got something to work with.’ Which I truly believe. And I don’t think he’s running from that challenge. I think he’s embracing it. I think he’s saying: ‘Yeah, I do.’ It’s up to them now to go forward with this group. I don’t know what your guys’ opinions are, but I don’t think it’s unfair to ask to go forward and do well with this group of players.

    As usual, Myers spoke plainly. He’s made it clear to his head coach that the team now has enough talent to win. In other words: Mark Jackson can’t make excuses this year if the Warriors’ aren’t successful.

    Couple Myers’ statement with the single-minded dedication to winning demonstrated by Warriors ownership, and it’s pretty clear that they’re not going to suffer incompetence.

    Jackson didn’t get to play with a full deck last year, which earned him a pass from management. After all, the team was in all-out tank mode after trading Monta Ellis in March.

    But now, the writing’s on the wall. Myers worked all summer to assemble the most balanced, exciting Warriors roster in years. And now he’s handing it over to Jackson—and telling him not to screw it up.

    Jackson’s aware of the very capable and highly coveted Mike Malone right behind him and must know that now’s the time to prove his worth. And as Myers said, the talent is there now. It’ll be up to Jackson to use it correctly.

    If he can’t, expect Myers to continue to do what he’s always done: stay true to his word.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1282613-golden-state-warriors-why-dubs-new-roster-could-get-mark-jackson-fired

  77. so far the lacobite kool aid looks like it’s doing a brisk trade. they only need to keep the team in the playoff discussion to keep the ticket prices stable [avoid the heavy discounting that came during the push for the seventh pick] and the season tickets renewing. bogut and jack haven’t played a millisecond with their ‘mates yet ; even the 3/5 starters returning didn’t play extended minutes together, because thompson couldn’t get consistent minutes ’til the ellis trade, and curry going down soon after.

    as felt-capo notes, it’s unrealistic to expect barnes in his rookie season to match d.wright’s production, and it appears that his ball skills might not equal thompson’s. and why should we be confident that jackson can adequately develop a rookie like barnes ? the ‘no excuses’ guy won’t be able to rationalize that he didn’t have a training camp and preseason to work the players, and hasn’t yet demonstrated his merits beyond his media/p.r. skills and maintaining his owner’s explicit support — as important as those may be.

    the roster tweaks might support the notion that the team can rise a bit higher than the pack of pretenders probably scuffling for the 7-8th playoff seeds, but the season barely began last year when brown’s injury brought on an expectations-reset. there’s quite a handful of teams in the west who’d like to think they’re the ‘surprising upstart’ this coming winter. the team wasn’t even in the mediocre midsection of the bell curve last year, and much easier to rejoin it than going to the realm of consistent winners . we shouldn’t forget that lacob and his brain trust were the same group (except for the demoted riley) who thought jordan would be a winning center, and that tyler and jenkins would grow into better players than lin.

    • Right on, moto. Developing team play and developing rookies takes good coaching and it takes time. The Ws have pieces. Now they have to be assembled. It’s fair to say that last season’s team play doesn’t prove it will come together quickly. Even before the tank job the coaches hardly moved the needle on offense or defense (based on team ranking), and that was with a team with fewer personnel changes.

      With all the new faces, next year’s team-building challenge is even greater. Is the coaching suddenly a lot better? Are they putting more time into it? Are Jackson and Malone even in town? On paper this Ws team has more upside than last year’s, but even good coaching won’t make it a winner immediately. And weak coaching won’t ever get it done.

      Re Lin, even he saw that he wasn’t good enough in his first season to stick in the NBA, so I think the Ws can be given a pass on releasing him. Lin’s summer improvement was highly unusual, the team was forbidden to communicate with him before the rushed training camp, and the Ws had watched a whole season of the Lin who couldn’t dribble, shoot or finish at the rim. Letting him go in favor of a cheap big and Mr. New York Basketball seemed pretty reasonable at the time. Lin surprised everyone in the league, not just the Ws.

    • Pilsner@Beantown.com

      Jenkins is better than Lin – just watch this season. Lin is a marketing phenom for the NBA.

      • Lin and Jenkins are both very bright people who work like demons to maximize their ability.

        Lin risks making mistakes to win games, Jenkins avoids mistakes that lose games. Lin is taller and faster. Jenkins shoots a lot better. Both look like valuable NBA players. Which looks better to you probably depends on your basketball philosophy. I’d be happy to have either on my side.

        Still, I personally prefer Jenkins too. I think more games are lost with mistakes than are won with risk-taking. But that’s my basketball philosophy.

        • jenkins has shooting ability that lin doesn’t, but even as a rookie lin showed his ability to stick with guards and most wings on defense — he was the team’s best perimeter defender. he contributes more boards than jenkins, and he assists at a greater rate, granted with more turnovers than jenkins. they’re suited to different styles of offense, but it isn’t likely that jackson is going to cook up anything to suit jenkins, while lin benefitted from d’antoni. Hou will have a template to work from if they plan on making him their principal 1-guard.

  78. To be fair, the Trade was not Bogut and JEFFERSON for Ellis and Udoh, it was Bogut and SJax.

    And SJax traded for Jefferson PLUS the number 30 pick, which turned into Festus Ezeli.

    Then when you factor in, the W’s probably win a few more close games, they lose their 1st round pick to Utah. So you must Harrison Barnes to the list. But, if they had given up their 1st round this year, then they keep their own 1st round next year.

    So, the Trade was, in essence, Bogut, Jefferson, Ezeli, and H. Barnes FOR Ellis, Udoh, and next year’s 1st round pick.

    More variables to consider on whether the Trade was worth it. Jury is out, and may be out for awhile.

    • from my selfish perspective the trade was worth it because the endless wrangling/recrimination over how good/effective ellis was as the main focus of the offense while contributing ø or minus on defense was chronically clogging up the fan blogs. fans in another city get to indulge in that joy.

      funny you should mention ‘probably win a few more close games’ with the status quo pro ante roster keeping ellis and udoh. if the team stays healthy and still ends up in the 38 to 42 win purgatory, it will probably be due to jackson’s unsteady hand in close games. and barnes could easily need more than a season to show that he was worth inflicting two months of barely acceptable to unacceptable hoops on the paying or t.v. subscribing audiences. the just outcome would be if he became just another overpaid journeyman like harrington.

      • Funny you mention Harrington, Moto. That’s the player in my mind that Barnes is the closest to, at least as he’s been evaluated coming out of college. Tweener body, great three point shooter, no dribble, no pass, indifferent rebounder, questionable heart. That’s the bar he has to rise above.

        And by the way, everyone had hopes — none so much as him — that Harrington could play small forward. It didn’t turn out that way. Neither Nellie, D’Antoni nor Karl ever gave him a minute at that position. If you can’t guard it, you can’t play it. Can Barnes guard NBA threes? To be determined.

        And I know I’m completely alone in the world in this, but for me there is a bright blazing line between tanking, and throwing basketball games on the floor. That’s something I will always remember Lacob and Jackson for. Point shaving.

        • Point shaving as in parking D Wright in crunch time? Playing McGuire at PG? Is that what you mean?

          My game eye isn’t calibrated well enough to tell precisely when Jackson transitioned from accidentally to intentionally coaching badly. A LOT of Jackson’s coaching seemed goofy, before and after the Bogut trade.

          Is it at least theoretically possible that Jackson really didn’t tank, he just honestly is that bad a coach?

          • I don’t think there’s much room for interpretation of Jackson benching his starters in the second half of close games at the end of the season. Nor swallowing his timeouts, which was catalogued by Haralabos Voulgaris, nor any number of other egregious personnel decisions, like that three center front line.

            But you’re right, I believe the point shaving began with Dom starting at 2 guard ahead of Thompson on the easiest road trip of the season. The tanked road trip that allowed Riley to go before the media with that “We’re stuck in a rut” line.

    • Al, that’s a great way to look at the returns of the trade. But the net cost side of it also included absorbing Richard Jefferson’s huge, immovable 2 years remaining in place of Kwame’s expiring deal. They’re paying near Monta money to a guy they hope they don’t have to play.

      Imagine the kind of bench the Ws could have right now if they weren’t stuck with Jefferson. That’s the rest of what the trade cost.

    • There aren’t reservations about Ellis—good to see you again, moto—that haven’t been expressed by just about everyone here. Still, with Curry’s health in question and Klay a sophomore, he especially offered the team options in offense that they have now lost. Any faltering from those two and the offense drops off. Comparable replacements will be hard to find and expensive. If nothing else, Ellis could have shored the team the next two years as they transition to whatever they’re doing next. At the very least, he might have picked up some trade value.

      As far as his top dog demeanor, he was put there by weak, decimated rosters and perverse coaching. I don’t know that he wouldn’t have adjusted. But his assist rate improved the last few years, at times was stellar. And of course he had many phenomenal games with Curry, and the few starts he had with Klay were promising. As for defense, he did turn in exceptional performances against top players. Also he had to play the last few years with a shaky front court as well as try to conserve his energy for all those long minutes he was asked to play.

      The argument, al oha, as White Hat says, is that the team has lost money and the flexibility it brings for the next two years. No trade, and we keep the promising and affordable Udoh as well as have $10m+ each year (Jefferson’s contract) to spend on workable, affordable parts up front with manageable contracts. Money would have been available down the road in the event someone really promising turned up.

      Whether the coach would have played Ellis to advantage or Lacob, now that he’s spending money, picked up sensible pieces, of course, is another question.

      • Comparison:

        Rose, for all his warts, gave the Bulls the offensive edge they’re now scrambling to replace. In many respects, I like Ellis better.

      • Keeping Ellis also would have made the Jack acquistion unnecessary—more millions to spend there. And the team would not have been utterly dependent on one player—Bogut, in case he goes down.

  79. Kirk Hinrich, 2 years, $4 million per year

    This is directly related to #10, and the contract is even worse. They let Brewer go because they don’t want to pay the luxury tax on his salary, then they shell out $4 million per year for a 9 year veteran who has not approached average in 6 years!? This is just inexcusably bad management. I understand that you need a point guard and Watson, Lucas, and James were all pretty bad…but so is Hinrich. There’s simply no point in passing on good players like Brewer and Korver to “save money” if you’re just going to turn around and spend the ****ing money anyway, especially if the players you spend it on are all terrible. There are worse contracts per se, but what makes this one terrible is that, like Felton in New York, it cost them the ability to keep a different player who was really good. Right now Chicago is putting on a clinic on how to run a franchise into the ground. What’s doubly hilarious is that management will probably fire Tibbs sometime this season when the club is playing worse than .500 ball. Chicago fans, I feel for you, I really do, you know I’ve been there.

    7. Jamal Crawford, 4 years (2 guaranteed), ~ $5 million per year

    Jamal Crawford is one of those guys who has just perpetually mystified me. I mean, even way back when Isiah Thomas gave him a boatload of money to play for the Knicks, everybody recognized that he was just a chucker. In a 12 year career, he’s only put up above-average true shooting a few times (but that hasn’t stopped him from taking more than the average number of shots), and not once in those 12 seasons has he been average or better at rebounds or turnovers. And he’s not racking up steals or blocks either. In other words, he is a shooting guard that isn’t that great at shooting and doesn’t do anything else. Seriously, why the hell does this guy keep getting paid!? Do NBA GMs know that executing a killer crossover does not actually give your team any points? A team that needs to go from good to great has wasted $9 million on Crawford and Billups when it could have had players like Ronnie Brewer or Matt Barnes for 1/3 the price. Epic Fail. They’d better hope that Odom reverts back to his old self. And of course, if he does, the team will be great, and management will look like geniuses. Blind squirrel -> nut.

    “The 10 Worst 2012-13 Contracts”

    http://www.thenbageek.com/articles/the-10-worst-2012-13-contracts#comments

    • 9) Greg Stiemsma, 1 year, $2.5 million

      Which brings us to Greg Stiensma. Boston made a similar mistake. He had a very good rookie campaign for Boston, and he’s pretty good, and $2.5 million for a “pretty good” big man, even in a reserve role, is a huge bargain. But Boston couldn’t match because of some stuff probably only Larry Coon understands, and Boston was only in this position because Stiemsma only had a one year deal. Why didn’t they offer Stiemsma a multiyear deal with a team option? Did they think Stiemsma, who was desperate to crack into the NBA, would have hesitated to sign anything that Boston put in front of him? Minnesota is profiting from Boston’s mistake and it’s a great contract.

      The only downside to this signing is that I’m probably going to misspell his name as often as I did Wally Szczerbiak’s.

      8) Elton Brand, 1 year, $2.1 million

      It’s almost tempting to make amnesty picks not count, but from Dallas’s perspective, they are paying $2.1 million for an above-average big. And they were not the only team that could have placed a bid. That makes this a steal and a great contract in my book. The fact that the bidding didn’t get higher here is weird. I imagine the GMs fixated on the fact that Brand is kind of old, and is overpaid. Neither is relevant; it’s a one-year deal, and whoever got him wouldn’t be the one overpaying him. The fact is, Brand is still good at basketball. He keeps his turnovers low, he blocks shots, and he’s still a reasonably efficient scorer and rebounder. That’s worth $6-$8 million at least in today’s NBA. I wouldn’t want Brand on a long-term contract, but at one year, this is a very good deal.

      “The 10 Best 2012-13 Contracts”

      http://www.thenbageek.com/articles/the-10-best-2012-13-contracts

    • Putting a healthy Kurt Hinrich on your team is a winning move.

      Putting Elton Brand on your team is a losing move.

      The money is quibbling.

      • Why?

        • Putting a losing player into an important role on your team is a losing move, regardless of how cheaply he came.

          And slightly overpaying for a winning player — if that’s what the Bulls did — is a winning move. Isn’t that what all fans want from their owner: the willingness to pay up for winning players?

      • Felty, I’m fairly sure this is the opposite of the truth about Kirk Hinrich and Elton Brand.

        Progressive RAPM since 2005-06
        -3.0 Hinrich (-1.9 offense / -1.1 defense)
        +2.6 Brand (+0.2 offense / +2.4 defense)

        http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/ranking_rec

        Even if you’re skeptical about plus-minus and its regularizers and adjusters, that’s a huge gap, over a big sample. And it’s fairly well borne out by Hinrich’s declining rate numbers: .511 ts%, 9.2 pts, 2.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per 36 minutes last season. Unless you’re gambling a Hinrich renaissance or a Brand collapse (always a possibility at age 33) Brand >>> Hinrich with respect to winning, and it’s not that close.

        On topic: those are some scary thoughts on Bogut, eloquently laid out as always. Here’s praying you’re as off the mark on this as you are on Hinrich v. Brand. ;-)

        • Sleepy, I have no idea what a RAPM is, and in general advanced stats have told me very little in the past. Usually because I find some reason why they give a false result. In the case of RAPM, I interrupted my homework on this rebuttal as soon as I discovered that it can’t tell players on the same team apart:

          “In fact, you often end up with certain players playing so much with certain other players that the regression can’t figure out how to separate them from each other (Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant would be one example).”

          http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2011/12/6/2602153/advanced-stats-primer#storyjump

          How useful can a stat be when it can’t tell a Derek Fisher from a Kobe Bryant?

          I’m fairly sure as well that RAPM can’t tell us when a player is being used in a system that is completely wrong for him, has been playing with some of the most selfish and clueless players in league history, or playing through frequent injury, as Hinrich has the past few years.

          And at any rate, an average result since 2005-6 is of very little use to me. I’m concerned with the 2012-13 version of Elton Brand. That player is no longer a power forward, but an undersized center. And even at center, he can barely stay in front, can’t block shots, can’t run, can’t post up, can’t run the high post. He’s a fifteen foot jump-shooter.

          Paired with Dirk Nowitzki instead of the uber-athletic Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala? Pass.

  80. “The Miami Heat won a title going small. It worked. You can bet next season you are going to see a whole lot more Chis Bosh at the five and LeBron James at the four. The Heat will be going small.

    And Pat Riley is okay with that. Mostly.

    Riley was on with friend of this blog Orlando Alzugaray — The Big O Show on 640 Sports in Miami — and talked pretty frankly about how he is not totally comfortable with the evolution of the NBA to more of a small-ball league. Riley said he worries about the lack of size more than anyone in the organization because he played with Wilt Chamberlain and coached Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal and Patrick Ewing and he knows what a great center can do for a team.”

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/03/pat-riley-on-heat-our-small-ball-team-is-who-we-are-now/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  81. A healthy Bogut will not be the transformational player for the Warriors as Lacob and Meyers think he will be as he won’t be nearly as effective on defense as Udoh. Secondly, the team is poorly constructed. Landry is not a decent defensive back-up PF. We are going to see many easy baskets scored inside by our opponents. And we have no one inside hit the three that would offset our defensive weakness inside. Green will not be that guy. The Warrior roster still has a way to go.

  82. Bogut tweets from Aussieland:

    Andrew Bogut‏@AndrewMBogut

    Good day in the Gym! Conditioning is always tough on a Monday. A Weekend of lazy catches up with you….

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