By Geoff Lepper
After a wait of 2½ months, the Warriors have finally acceded to Stephen Jackson’s trade demand, dealing the unhappy swingman to Charlotte along with guard Acie Law in exchange for guard Raja Bell and forward Vladimir Radmanovic and saving nearly $20 million in the process.
The deal brings an end to the stalemate between Jackson and the team, which went public in late August when the then-captain told a New York crowd that “I don’t think I’ll be a Warrior next year. I’m looking to leave.”
The deal gives the Warriors long-term financial freedom, although they will owe roughly $1.5 million in extra salary for the remainder of the season, the increase from the salaries of Jackson ($7.65M) and Law ($2.22M) to Radmanovic ($6.47M) and Bell ($5.25M).
However, Golden State is no longer on the hook for Jackson’s three-year, $27.8M contract extension. Bell’s deal expires at the end of this season, and Radmanovic has only one more year — a player option worth $6.88M.
The total savings will be worth roughly $19.5M over the life of the deals.
By Geoff Lepper
I thought I would link to my own column over at Comcast Bay Area’s site — CSNBayArea.com — discussing the fine line Stephen Curry has to walk as a rookie PG on an NBA team with some established veterans.
[Brief CSNBayArea.com tangent: You can find fresh columns there all week, from folks such as myself, Ann Killion (late of the San Jose Mercury News), Michelle Smith (late of the San Francisco Chronicle) and Dave Albee (late of the Marin Independent Journal). End of pimpage.]
There were a few observations that didn’t fit into the flow of the column which I thought I’d note here.
First things first: Curry gets it. He knows exactly what’s going on, sees the “I’m getting mine” attitude that pervaded the first couple of games — exacerbated by the Warriors’ over-reliance on one-on-one play — and how it’s totally anathematic to any consistent ball movement.
This is not a new problem, obviously. Golden State was 29th last season in AST/FG ratio. Only the Grizzlies were more parsimonious in helping one another — which makes Memphis’ signing of Allen Iverson even more hilarious.
It’s also interesting to note the one play that, for me, stood out the most from Monday’s practice.
By Geoff Lepper
Warriors coach Don Nelson was a leery of pushing Kelenna Azubuike back onto the floor too quickly. Thanks to injuries and ineffectiveness, that fear lasted only two games before getting outweighed by necessity.
Despite missing a good portion of Golden State’s preseason work because of a bone bruise in his left ankle, Azubuike is expected to start Wednesday at small forward when the Warriors host Memphis. Azubuike will play small forward and replace Anthony Randolph, with Stephen Jackson sliding up to power forward.
“Every time he’s been out before, he’s come back and hasn’t been very good his first couple of games,” Nelson said. “This was the exception to the rule, so it’s just time for him to get back. And he looks good.”
If Nelson does start Azubuike, it will be the Warriors’ third lineup in as many games this season; last year, they spun through 46 different starting fives and never really found a winner.
Azubuike worked exclusively with the team’s first unit during Monday’s practice, and afterwards, Monta Ellis gave a preview of the team’s defensive plans: “Buke gonna play (Rudy) Gay, I’m gonna play (O.J. Mayo), Steph (Curry) is gonna play somebody else. That’s it.”
We’ve just been allowed out onto the balcony at 1011 Broadway, and we were greeted by this sight in the half-court scrimmaging:
Blue team (typically the first string): Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Randolph.
White team: C.J. Watson, Acie Law, Corey Maggette, Mikki Moore, Andris Biedrins
Since then, Maggette has flipped his jersey around and given Jackson a rest, and Anthony Morrow has come in for the White side. It will be very interesting to see if the Warriors will be using small-ball, with AR at the 5, on Wednesday against Memphis.
Also, on the injury front, Devean George is still working out on his own, Speedy Claxton is only an observer and Ronny Turiaf, day-to-day with the sprained knee, is not on the court, presumably receiving treatment in the locker room.
By Geoff Lepper
If you’ve already signed up with Twitter, you probably already know that it is fast becoming the NBA’s social network of choice. There are more than 100 active players on board (although some have not posted any information there in months) from a pool of roughly 425.
Some of the NBA Tweets are amusing, such as the back-and-forth bickering between former Warrior teammates C.J. Watson and Marcus Williams. Some cause concern, such as Michael Beasley’s famous “baggie” photo and ensuing messages (“Feelin like it’s not worth livin!!!!!!! I’m done”).
But none of them carry the heat of Nets swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts.
Douglas-Roberts was a second round pick in the 2008 draft who didn’t quite fall far enough for the Warriors to snatch him up (he went No. 40; Golden State got Richard Hendrix at No. 49, and we saw how that worked out). With Vince Carter offloaded to Orlando during the summer, Douglas-Roberts has become a starter in essentially a three-guard set with Courtney Lee and Devin Harris.
And when the Nets dropped games to Orlando and Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively, falling to 0-3 to begin the season, Douglas-Roberts let loose on his Twitter account (@cdouglasroberts). None of this “Oh, we’ll get ‘em next time” stuff.
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TagsAcie Law Al Harrington Allen Iverson Andris Biedrins Anthony Morrow Anthony Randolph Baron Davis Brandan Wright C.J. Watson Chris Cohan Chris Hunter Chris Mullin Corey Maggette Dan Dickau DeMarcus Nelson Devean George Don Nelson Gilbert Arenas Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jeff Fried Jermareo Davidson Keith Smart Kelenna Azubuike Kevin Durant Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant Larry Riley Marco Belinelli Marcus Williams Matt Barnes Mickael Pietrus Mikki Moore Monta Ellis Patrick O'Bryant Richard Hendrix Robert Rowell Rob Kurz Ronny Turiaf Stephen Curry Stephen Jackson Stephon Marbury Steve Nash Troy Murphy Vladimir Radmanovic
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