According to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, the Warriors have once again whiffed on signing a talented big man, with J.J. Hickson serving as the latest missed opportunity:
Source says Portland has been awarded forward JJ Hickson from waivers. Golden State misses out.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) March 21, 2012
The Warriors were expected to sign Hickson once he cleared waivers, but the Blazers stepped in to claim him before he got through.
Despite Golden State owning a worse record and, in turn, a better spot on the waiver wire than Portland.
JJ Hickson, I'm told, is in New Orleans with Golden State & will now be rerouted to Portland. Ouch.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) March 21, 2012
Why, exactly, the Warriors declined to enter a waiver claim on Hickson, who was bought out by the Sacramento Kings on Monday, remains to be seen, though the result of their inaction adds to a disheartening trend of front-office failure that's plagued the team's pursuit of a talented big man in recent months.
Which big man represents the most painful missed opportunity for the Warriors?
These particular woes of the Warriors date back to the offseason, when they wasted their one-time amnesty waiver on Charlie Bell to clear cap space in pursuit of Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan. Chandler wound up with the New York Knicks and DJ re-upped with the Los Angeles Clippers, leaving Warriors GM Larry Riley with little more than buyer's remorse, Andris Biedrins' contract still on the books and Kwame Brown on a one-year, $7 million pact.
Brown, by the way, went down with a season-ending knee injury in early January.
At least the Warriors were able to use his expiring corpse in a deal to land a talented big man, when they shipped Brown and Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson last week.
Of course, Bogut isn't likely to play again until next season on account of an ankle injury, and that swap also forced Golden State to part with Ekpe Udoh, a promising young pivot in his own right.
Not unlike J.J. Hickson, whose association with the Warriors will, for now, amount to nothing more than a wayward sojourn to the Big Easy.