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.)
Yesterday, the Pistons signed Tracy McGrady to a 1 year deal. Today a massive 4 team deal was announced:
In the proposed deal, the Houston Rockets will send Ariza to the Hornets, who in turn will send Collison and James Posey to the Pacers. The Pacers will send Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets. And the Nets will send Courtney Lee to the Rockets.
Here are my thoughts on these deals as they potentially impact the Warriors’ quest to fill out their roster:
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.
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
The move for an impact big man for which Nellie has been angling for two years appears to be close to fruition. Marcus Thompson reports that the Knicks and Warriors are close to a deal that would send Anthony Randolph and a couple of lesser Warriors for David Lee in a sign and trade.
My initial reaction is Whoopee! I could barely believe that we might land Lee for Monta Ellis, but if we can land him while retaining Monta I believe that we are an instant playoff team, and are in for an incredibly exciting season.
I will expand on this if the trade actually goes down, but here’s a thumbnail of my feelings about Lee: An exceptional pick and roll partner for Stephen Curry, a relentless rebounder, and a very underrated defender, who I believe simply needs to be paired with a shot blocker — as opposed to being left on an island in the middle (as he was by the Knicks) — in order to become recognized as a good defender. And finally, finally, a power forward who will gladly accept the assignment to bang with the Gasols and Duncans of the league. Finally.
If the trade goes down as reported, the Warriors will still have shotblockers to pair with Lee. Biedrins and Udoh at the least. Assuming of course, that Udoh is healthy by the start of the season. (Will these ridiculous injuries ever stop?)
I believe that Stephen Curry is the only correct choice for NBA rookie of the year. My arguments are posted in this piece on Golden State of Mind. Comment here or there as you like, I will be checking both.
Anthony Morrow: Before you get too excited about Morrow’s lights-out shooting in the Hornets game, take a look at what Stojakovich, Mo Pete and Marcus Thornton did against him. The Warriors were fortunate that the Hornets gave Posey as many minutes as they did, so that he had a stiff to guard for 20 minutes.
How do you know that you are not an NBA defender? When you get assigned the stiff, and the random D-league call-up gets assigned the tough cover.