New owner outlines direction for Warriors

Jan. 03, 2010: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during an NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Dallas defeated Golden State 110-101.

Joe Lacob held a couple of media events and answered some questions about his new team, the Golden State Warriors. Tim Kawakami has the details:

Lacob made it very clear he liked the David Lee-for-Anthony Randolph and others deal, plus the $80M contract for Lee.

On the TV side, Matt Steinmetz asked my No. 1 question and Lacob answered: No, he does not expect to bring the Warriors over the luxury-tax line for salaries.

Speaking of signals, Lacob made it all too obvious that he questions whether Don Nelson should coach the team this season, pointing out that Nelson is here for one more, tops.

Why waste that year with Nelson as a lame duck? The players will know–and could run wild. The fans know it. The management know sit. Nelson knows it.

Lacob sounded a lot more excited about Lee and Stephen Curry than he did about Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins.

Nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t presume that these guys will definitely be traded. But it’s also something everybody in the league will be watching.

The Warriors could build around a Curry/Lee combo. I’m not sure how Monta Ellis will fit in alongside Curry now that Curry has established that the Warriors are his team. They make an undersized backcourt, for sure.

Curry, 22, had an oustanding rookie season, especially after the All-Star break when he averaged 22-6-8 and shot 47% from the field, 44% from 3PT and 91% from the free throw line. He did turn the ball over quite a bit (3.7 per game), but that should improve with time.

On the season, Curry averaged 17.5 points, 5.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds, becoming only the second rookie in league history to average at least 17-4-4 with 40%+ accuracy from long range. The other guy to do it? Larry Bird.

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Knicks trade David Lee for Anthony Randolph

New York Knicks' David Lee (L) drives around Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum during first half action at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 16, 2008. (UPI Photo/Jon SooHoo) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom


Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told that Lee has agreed to a sign-and-trade worth $80 million dollars over six years with the Golden State Warriors.

The deal will send Lee to the Warriors for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike among others.

Knicks GM Donnie Walsh has coveted Randolph for years and feels he’d give the team another long, athletic forward to pair with Amare Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari in the frontcourt.

If Turiaf is indeed included, it will cut into the Knicks’ projected cap space a bit ($4.3 million) next summer, but in Randolph, the Knicks get an up-and-coming power forward that won’t have to be paid until the summer of 2013. The Knicks liked Lee, but obviously didn’t want to cut into their cap space to re-sign him. With this sign-and-trade, Lee gets his big payday and the Knicks get a young player who can grow with the team.

Lee will be a nice fit in Golden State, as he’s already proven he’s an All-Star caliber player in an up-tempo system. Don Nelson and the Warriors were clearly frustrated with Randolph’s personality (immaturity?) and they were able to turn him into a very solid player.

Five blockbuster deals that should happen (but probably won’t)

The trade deadline is just a week away, so I thought it would be fun to play puppet master and propose a few blockbuster trades that should happen, but probably won’t. Let’s start with the least likely and work our way to the most credible. (Honestly, I had this idea before I hit the ESPN NBA page this morning and saw Chad Ford’s similar piece. Don’t worry, we don’t suggest any of the same trades.) Click on the link to see each trade in the ESPN Trade Machine.

1. Amare Stoudemire for David Lee
To make the salaries work, the Knicks would also include Jared Jeffries and Chris Duhon in the deal.
Why the Knicks should do it: Stoudemire had his best years under Mike D’Antoni and would welcome a reunion. He’s also a big name that would encourage another superstar to join the franchise this summer, and he’s more likely to re-sign with the Knicks because New York is the media capital of the world. They’d also benefit from clearing Jeffries’ salary from the books, leaving around $13 million in cap space to sign a big name (assuming Stoudemire does NOT opt out of the final year of his deal).
Why the Suns should do it: David Lee is a great fit for the Suns’ up-tempo system and he’s almost as good as Stoudemire (PER: 22.1 vs. Amare’s 20.2) at about 60% of the cost. Phoenix would pay a little more this season and have to take on Jeffries’ contract, but they’d have a young All-Star caliber power forward to build around. If they stand pat and Amare opts out, they stand to lose him with nothing to show for it, as they only would have around $4 million in cap space if Amare bolts.
Why it won’t happen: Phoenix won’t want to take on Jeffries’ contract for next season without a commitment from Lee to re-sign for a reasonable salary. He was asking for $10 million per season last summer, but his price is probably going up after making a push for the All-Star Game in 2010.

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NBA Rumors: Bosh and Wade talk about 2010, David Lee to Portland, and more

Chris Bosh discussed Miami as a possible destination next summer.

“As of right now, I’m not sure. I like Miami, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t know what comes along with being a part of that organization. I don’t even have any friends in Miami, which was the funniest part. A close friend of mine hit me yesterday and was like ‘Hey there’s another article out’ and I was like ‘What now?’ ‘Apparently a friend in Miami said you’re going to Miami.’ He sent me the article and I read it, and I’m like, ‘now they’re just making stuff up.'”

For Heat fans, re-signing Dwyane Wade and signing Bosh would be a dream scenario next summer. The best thing Miami has going for it (other than South Beach, of course) is Wade, so if Bosh signs he better hope that Wade doesn’t pull an Elton Brand and bolt. Speaking of…

Dwyane Wade discussed his hometown of Chicago as a possible destination next summer.

“I’m not ruling out a lot of places, including Chicago, but I’m not really thinking about those places. Like I said, 2010 is the year when I will sit down and open up my options and, hopefully, I’m still blessed and healthy to have those options and then go from there. But Miami is my number one option and I’ve made that clear. That’s where I want to be and, hopefully, we can get everything right here in Miami.”

Wade is just keeping his options open. He has said repeatedly that he’d like to stay in Miami, but he’s keeping the organization’s feet to the fire by insinuating that he still might leave if the franchise is unable to surround him with good players. The Heat are projected to have significant cap space next summer, so they could conceivably sign Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire or even LeBron James.

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Free Agency Rumors: Lee, ‘Sheed, AI & Prince

One GM predicted that the summer of 2009 would be a “nuclear winter” of sorts for NBA free agents, and that players are going to have to dial down their expectations. Since virtually every team in the league is in cost-cutting mode, there will be bargains to be had.

– David Lee is a restricted free agent, which usually means he’d play at least another year with the Knicks, but given the current state of the NBA, there’s a good chance that the Knicks wouldn’t match a substantial offer. Sources of the NY Post say that GM Donnie Walsh would be reluctant to match an offer that averaged out to $10 million per season. At any other time, I’d say he’s worth that kind of money, but not right now.

– The NY Times says to expect that the Spurs will make a run at Rasheed Wallace, assuming he’s wiling to play for the mid-level exception. The News-Herald says that the Cavs are another possibility. He definitely makes sense for the Spurs, given his ability to space the court. San Antonio has been looking for a big man to play alongside Tim Duncan ever since David Robinson retired. Apparently, ‘Sheed asked for a buyout this season, but was denied.

– It was long thought that Tayshaun Prince was untouchable as Joe Dumars gives the Pistons roster a makeover, but not so says the Detroit News. If the right deal comes along and Prince has to go to make way for an impact forward, then so be it. Pro Basketball News says that the Hornets may try to take advantage of the Pistons’ housecleaning and target Prince and/or Rip Hamilton. I’d be very reluctant to part ways with Prince, who is a very good all around player and one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.

– Former Sixers GM Billy King doesn’t know whether or not Allen Iverson has it in him to “fit in” instead of having to be “the Guy.” The consensus seems to be that Iverson is no longer good enough to be the #1 offensive option on a championship contender, so King says he has to ratchet down his shots and try to lead a team with his experience and grit.

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