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  • Oct

    Rowell rejected Mullin? It’s not that simple…

    Ah, Baron Davis. The story that just keeps on giving. This week’s latest revelation came from my esteemed former Dean Mob colleague, Tim Kawakami, who spoke to folks that said Warriors executive vice president Chris Mullin had agreed to a three-year, $39 million extension for Davis — on top of the $17.8 million he was due in 2008-09 — only to see it vetoed by team president Robert Rowell.

    Plenty of people have latched onto this as the latest sign of a rift between Rowell and Mullin, one that might threaten to drive Mullin, whose contract expires at the season’s end, into the arms of another team.

    Mullin declined to comment on the Davis discussions, as per his usual stance regarding contract negotiations.

    Rowell wouldn’t directly address Kawakami’s item either, but did have this to say on the topic of Davis: “Every discussion that I ever had with Chris Mullin with respect to Baron Davis, we could never get past salary protection and protecting the team, long-term. And that was all of our goals. And I’ll leave it at that.”

    A source with knowledge of the talks corroborated the 3/$39M numbers, but also backed up the accuracy of Rowell’s statement. The final numbers weren’t the sticking point — it was guaranteed money at the heart of the problem.

    Davis’ camp expected the entire $39 million to be set in stone, but the team was insistent that all but a small portion of the final year’s salary needed to be at the team’s discretion. That would serve as an insurance policy in case the 29-year-old Davis — who played in all 82 games last season but missed a total of 130 games over the previous five years — couldn’t finish out his deal because of injury.

    It’s easy to see how that could end up getting tumbled in the NBA rumor mill and coming out as “Rowell rejected Mullin,” but I’m not sure I would go that far in my characterization. After all, two summers ago, Rowell fought with Don Nelson for weeks over whether the final year in Nelson’s reworked contract would be guaranteed or a team option. Rowell won the battle at that point, but as Nelson was leading the team to its highest win total in 15 years — and several weeks before the deadline — the team rewarded him by picking up the full value of his deal.

    It seems like BD’s extension-that-wasn’t was more a matter of control, and the fact that two strong-willed people — Davis and Rowell — were unwilling to hand it all over to the other.

    – Geoff

2 Responses to “Rowell rejected Mullin? It’s not that simple…”

  1. long-suffering Warrior fan

    Sorry Geoff, I don’t buy the story Rowell is giving you.

    Since when do NBA players sign “non guaranteed” contracts? Maybe the Dan Dickau’s of the world, but not marquis players like Baron Davis.

    Whether or not one thinks extending Baron’s last year with 3 more was a good idea or not, it’s pretty obvious from Rowell’s explanation that it was in fact his call, and that he rejected it, not Mullin.

    And the fact that Rowell is involved in basketball decisions is troubling, to say the least, considering that this team sets the standard for NBA futility under his reign.

  2. the real question is: whose fault is the Maggette signing?

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