Infinity Spirals Out of Creation

There is some question as to whether drafting Brandan Wright, a potential-filled player as opposed to an established veteran, was the right move at this point, but I’d be more concerned about that if the J-Rich trade (particularly the $10 million trade exception) hadn’t also provided the Warriors with more flexibility this summer. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on a few players they’ve been linked to in the last few weeks:

Kevin Garnett: As I wrote in my first post about the Warriors’ offseason, he’s the obvious prize of the summer (this was before the Kobe situation, but for the Warriors he’s still the best option) and I’d love to see Mullin get him. Trading J-Rich hurt the possibility of a straight two-team deal because his contract made it much easier to match things up, but if a third party isn’t willing to jump in I think the deal would have to involve some combination of the following players: Monta, Biedrins, Al Harrington, Brandan Wright, Patrick O’Bryant, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Pietrus (sign-and-trade only), and Matt Barnes (sign-and-trade only).

McHale seems to want Biedrins and Monta together in any deal, which would be difficult for me to take. While I’d obviously be happy getting KG in return, I’m not sure the Baron/Jax/Barnes (I assume he’d come back then)/KG/Wright (?) lineup would amount to much more than a five-seed in the stacked West. If that’s all that comes of the deal, I don’t think it’s worth selling off most of the future for minimal improvement. Several reports have also tossed around a Wright/Monta/Biedrins deal, and it should be clear that I wouldn’t like that one much at all.

So, assuming that McHale can’t have Biedrins, the most likely deal appears to be one involving Monta, Wright, and Harrington as the principle pieces. That doesn’t come close to matching salary, though, so Mullin would also have to throw in Sarunas’s expiring deal and Albatross Foyle. As much as I like Monta and Wright, the Wolves would get a better offer from someone else, so I don’t think it’s likely that the Warriors will be able to pick up Garnett without making a long-term mistake. If they’re going to be involved in any KG deal, I think it will have to be as the third party getting someone else in return. I would mention Amare and Marion there, but I doubt that Phoenix would trade either of them to a divisional rival. Of course, they'd still win the damn championship, but those fools seem to love finding excuses not to win.

Gerald Wallace: If Mullin can’t swing a deal for Garnett, I think he should charge hard after Gerald. Others have done a better job than me of explaining his worth, but I’ll run through it really quickly: incredible athlete, outrageous defender, charges hard at all times, extremely versatile, terrific finisher. Pretty much the perfect Nellie combo forward, although he can’t shoot much (despite shooting over 40% from three in the last two months of the season). He’s also injury prone, but whatever.

Wallace is not a bad consolation prize at all. He’s only 24, which means that the team’d be getting a player better than J-Rich while still buying into the youth movement. If KG doesn’t get you a championship (as I don’t think he would with the Monta/Biedrins package), you might as well set up the pieces for a later run. Wallace would do that.

Signing him outright is impossible, but the trade exception makes a sign-and-trade possible. The only problem with that is that Gerald deserves more than $10 million/year in this NBA climate, so he’d have to backload the contract pretty heavily to fit under the exception. Let’s assume he does that. That makes the next few years a time of salary cap hell. Monta and Biedrins need to be resigned, and I imagine it will be for quite a bit. Baron wants an extension. The falcon cannot hear the falconer.

With that in mind, any deal for Wallace should involve getting larger contracts off the books from the next few years. Possible candidates include Patrick O’Bryant and Foyle (if that happens, Rod Higgins will have outed himself as a double agent in Charlotte). Honestly, as successful as Harrington was this year, I don’t think it would be a bad idea to move him in a Wallace deal either. That would create a lack of perimeter shooting on a team that likes to take a lot of threes, but I’m assuming Marco Belinelli can step it up. I also imagine Barnes could be resigned if that trade works out.

Darko Milicic:
Yes, he only averaged 8.0 and 5.5 this year, but he made big strides and looks like a guy who’ll be able to rebound and play defense for a while. That’s what the team needs. Putting him together with Biedrins and Wright gives the team three very young, very promising big men to fiddle with for a while; a team weakness could become a massive strength in just a few years. I also imagine he wouldn’t have to sign for the full trade exception like Wallace would, which means that future years would be much less hectic.

There’s the possibility that picking up Darko would kill any chance of resigning Biedrins and Monta, but it would also guard against either loss. I’d rather have either Monta or Biedrins than Darko, but the sign-and-trade would probably clear some cap space (any of the players mentioned above, basically) allowing Mullin to possibly keep all three. And that would be just fine by me.

1 comment:

Ben Q. Rock said...

I think some people forget that Darko's averages were stunted by Brian Hill's ridiculous insistence on starting Tony Battie in front of him. I think he's a 12-and-7 guy, and that's conservative. Hill wanted to make him a back-to-the-basket guy, but Darko prefers to play the perimeter. He actually has a nice stroke from the top of the key. I think his passing and shooting abilities would make him a good fit with the Warriors, provided that Nellie stays.