In the surest sign to date that Don Nelson does not intend to play small this season, the Warriors just signed the 6-9″ 240 lb. Lou Amundson to a 2-year $5 million deal. There will be no more reliance on 20-year-old matchstick men to hold off the behemoths in the paint. There will be no more courting of injury disasters such as befell the Warriors front-line last year, when both Brandon Wright and Anthony Randolph disappeared for the season. There will be no more Corey Maggette at power forward. The Warriors are going to play big this season, even when they go to the bench.
And they are going to play with veterans. High basketball IQ veterans.
The Warriors signed Rodney Carney today, a 26-year-old 6-7″ swingman who played for the Sixers last year. Not exactly “The Next Big Move” I had been anticipating, but an interesting move nonetheless, and at the position I expected. Carney is that quintessential Nellie chess piece, the long, athletic defensive wing, that I have written about recently. Think Matt Barnes, Adrian Griffin, Raja Bell, Josh Howard, Latrell Sprewell, Mario Elie. (Carney is far less talented offensively than Howard or Sprewell to be sure, but the offensive capabilities both of those players showed in the pros came as something of a surprise: they were drafted by Nellie for their special talents on defense.)
Joe Lacob has just done another major interview, this one with Tim Kawakami. What follows is my reaction to it, in the form of one last panegyric (here is the first) in favor of retaining Don Nelson as the coach of the Golden State Warriors.
First let me note that it was extremely smart of Lacob to do this interview with Kawakami. Going directly into the snake pit to draw the venom from the viper’s fangs. A strong move that indicates as much as anything else that the Chris Cohan era is well and truly dead.
No, I’m not referring to today’s invitation of Vernon Goodridge to training camp. It’s tough to know what to make of this move: I think its probably a standard invitation to someone who’s unlikely to make the roster. Perhaps it also increases the pressure ever so slightly on Anthony Tolliver. But Goodridge is something that Tolliver is not: a guy who can give you a couple of minutes at center, a shot blocker, and a defensive player with athleticism and quick feet. From his tape I don’t see much offensive potential at the NBA level, although he does run the floor and catch alley oops. My chief thought on this invitation is “What in the world has happened to Chris Hunter?” Anyone know? I thought he proved he was an NBA player last year.
But let’s get back to The Next Big Move. I sense one coming. My spidey sense has been tingling ever since the Warriors signed Jannero Pargo, just like it tingled when the Warriors moved Corey Maggette, and I immediately predicted a blockbuster move for a power forward. (I thought it might be Stoudemire, but I’m ecstatic that it’s David Lee.)
Two years, $2.4 million. Does that meant $1.2 million per year? If so, this is an incredible pickup for the Warriors, one that makes giving up CJ Watson at $4 million per a no-brainer.
Jannero Pargo is a quintessential Nellie backup point guard, quick as a dart, nice three point shot (35%), great at the free throw line (86%), good handle.
He is also a savvy veteran, and a clutch shooter, who had a great playoff run backing up Chris Paul with the Hornets a couple of years ago.
Here are three possible ramifications of this deal off the top of my head: Continue reading
Let me count the ways. — E. B. Browning
Don Nelson, Larry Riley and the Golden State Warriors have just pulled off a trade for an all-star power forward, a trade that will define the next era of Warriors’ basketball. And in the fashion typical of our wonderful Bay Area media, it was greeted by yawns and derision. Some of these esteemed commentators, and their bellowing herds of followers, even arrived at the conclusion that the Warriors LOST this trade. In their minds, because it was executed by the “old regime,” without the approval of the new owners, then it can’t be good. And because Anthony Randolph is merely 21, while David Lee is all of 27, then Randolph automatically has a bigger upside than the all-star Lee.
My initial reaction is delight that the purchaser is Lacob and not Ellison. In my mind, the franchise has a far better chance of success and stability under a team player who is part of a group than under a megalomaniacal sole owner. Then there is the fact that Lacob is a long-time basketball man who has first-hand experience in putting together a championship NBA franchise.
But my ultimate reaction, of course, will be dependent upon Don Nelson being retained to coach the playoff team that he has assembled. I’m keeping the Lagavulin corked until then.
Doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to post on the Lee trade until after the tournament; apologies to those who have been checking back for it. I just have too much to do on my days off here: friends to catch up with, summer league games to catch. And of course, the matter of returning my focus to where it’s needed most. Several posts on the Warriors moves are coming soon, though, I promise. I have too much to say to dog it. Continue reading
My mind is spinning. I am beside myself with this trade. Overjoyed. There is so much that I want to say about it, and I would love nothing better than to stay up until 4:00 AM saying it in this space. But I can’t. My priority right now is fulfilling my life long dream, and that is winning the poker tournament in which to date I have never finished better than in 18th place: The World Series of Poker Championship Event. Day 2a starts tomorrow at noon, and I’m going to be there, rested, focused and primed to rampage.
If I manage to survive day 2, I will get another day off before day 3 begins. And then I will say what I need to say, about the merits of this trade, about the great and visionary NBA lifer who made it happen, and about the legions of ill-educated and vicious national and Bay Area writers whose credibility this trade has irrevocably destroyed.
I will say this before I return my focus to dominating the field in my poker tournament. This trade will go down as one of the great moments in the history of the Golden State Warriors franchise. And in the Bay Area, and indeed in the country, there was exactly one journalist/blogger who knew it would happen, who understood why it would happen, and who predicted it would happen, steadily and faithfully, through two of the most hellish seasons any team has ever suffered. One.
You’re reading him.
My recap of this game has been posted on Golden State of Mind. As always, I will be checking comments both here and there.