Now that Monta Ellis and his big contract have been traded away and the starting lineup is starting to come together, being a Golden State Warriors fan is starting to look like it could actually be a good thing. From David Lee being a double-double machine to both Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry coming back from injury, next season is looking like it could be the one where Golden State goes back to the playoffs.
However, the new campaign is a long way off, and the Warriors are far from done when it comes to making moves. GM Bob Myers has a few tricks up his sleeve, and should other interested teams bite, then he could be in line for being the next Executive of the Year.
Here's the latest news out of Warriors camp regarding free agency, trades and everything else that could be used to further improve the team.
Update: Tuesday, July 31 -- Maxwell Ogden
Bleacher Report relayed an earlier report that Brandon Rush was indeed returning to the Golden State Warriors. Just hours later, it was revealed that Rush had signed a two year deal worth $8 million just one year after shooting 45.2 percent from distance.
ESPN.com has the report via The Associated Press.
Rush agreed to an $8 million, two-year deal Tuesday to stay with the Golden State Warriors after becoming the team's most reliable reserve last season. Rush's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said the second year of the contract is a player option. The deal is pending a physical that Rush will take in the next few days.
With Rush under contract, the Golden State Warriors now have a perimeter that includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush, Harrison Barnes and Richard Jefferson. Throw in Jarrett Jack and versatile rookie Draymond Green and the Warriors could compete sooner than we had expected.
Update: Tuesday, July 31 -- Joel C. Cordes
It's been long expected that Brandon Rush would return to the Golden State Warriors. They've scared off suitors by promising to match any offers for their restricted free agent. Rush has also failed to attract such an offer on the open market anyways.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson makes the re-signing seem even more imminent by Tweeting:
Congrats to @kcsfinest4! It’s Great to have u back!— Mark Jackson (@JacksonMark13) July 31, 2012
From the sounds of it, the paperwork details should be coming out shortly...
- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Top Free Agents offseason tracker.
Update: Monday, July 30 -- Maxwell Ogden
According to Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com, the Golden State Warriors are on the verge of re-signing sharpshooting defensive expert Brandon Rush. This comes as a result of an uneventful offseason for Rush, whose value was marred by the Warriors' dedication to re-signing him.
As a restricted free agent, Rush had the right to sign an offer sheet from another team and then wait for the Warriors to match the offer or not. But Rush had failed to get a qualifying offer, and so he will simply come to terms on a contract with Golden State.
Brandon Rush is coming off of a season in which he shot 45.2 percent from distance. He also averaged a career best 9.8 points per game and played the role of lead perimeter defender for the up-and-down Warriors.
He'll reprise that role in 2013.
-- Report via B/R's Free Agent tracker
Update: Wednesday, July 25 -- Joel C. Cordes
Brandon Rush wants to return to the Golden State Warriors, but he also wants a long-term deal (just like everyone else in the NBA). However, given that there haven't been many outside offers, Rush's agent Mark Bartelstein doesn't have a lot of leverage except to play nice.
Warriors insider Rusty Simmons has quoted Bartelstein as saying:
(Rush) "had a great year, he loved playing for the Warriors, the fans treated him great, and Coach (Mark) Jackson treated him great. Everything was real positive.
The nature of the business for restricted free agents is that they have to get an offer sheet from somebody else. ... With that being said, if we can work something out long term with the Warriors, we’d be interested in that also.”
The Warriors have likely scared off suitors by promising to match any offer. Brandon of course would like them to get around to sending HIM an offer one of these days...
Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Maxwell Ogden
With the 2012 class of free agents has been gutted of all big names on the market. What remains, however, are more than a handful of valuable role players whose upside is tremendous and skills well-honed.
Swingman Brandon Rush headlines that class, as his lockdown defense and lights out three-point shooting would be of value to any team. If Rush had it his way, however, he wouldn't be going anywhere new.
Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com has the story.
“It’s been going pretty well, just talking with some teams and trying to figure out where I’ll be next year,” said Rush. “Hopefully I’ll be back in Golden State.”
This should be music to the Golden State Warriors' ears. Rush shot 45.2 percent from distance in 2012 and would remain the best perimeter defender on the roster.
Finding playing time alongside Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson could be tough. The deal, however, would be worth Golden State's while.
--End of Update--
According to Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com, Warriors general manager Bob Myers wants to keep Brandon Rush. The team's ability to do so, however, hinges upon the price they must pay to retain him.
Steinmetz speculates that:
If a team were to offer Rush a contract starting at $3 million or so and build up, the Warriors would likely match and retain Rush. But if a team were to offer Rush most, or all, of the $5 million mid-level exception, that might be too high a price for the Warriors.
This comes on the heels of Myers' statement that he wants to retain Rush's services. The Warriors certainly placed themselves in the proper position to do so upon extending a qualifying offer.
Update: Monday, July 30 -- Maxwell Ogden
Carl Landry has been one of the hottest names on the open market this offseason. As of July 30th, 2012, his flame has been put out and he has agreed to sign his name to a dotted line.
As for who the lucky team is that acquired Landry's services, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that a team on the West Coast will sign him to a deal.
Agent Mark Bartlestein says forward Carl Landry has agreed to sign with the Golden State Warriors.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 30, 2012
Update: Wednesday, July 25 -- Joel C. Cordes
Though he's been connected with Charlotte Bobcats trade rumors, it sounds as if Carl Landry's agent, Mark Bartelstein, is pushing hard for any and all options.
Warriors' insider Rusty Simmons quotes Bartelstein on Sulia:
There are a lot of teams pursuing (Landry), because he’s probably the premier unrestricted free agent on the market. He just has to weigh his different options.”
Landry is a talented front-court scorer, but he seems to have been the odd man out in nearly every starting lineup and free agency period he's participated in.
2012 has been no different, and Landry is left with a tough choice: start with the lowly Charlotte Bobcats as the only such opportunity remaining or accept a bench role elsewhere?
- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Top Free Agent offseason tracker.
Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof
According to Warriors beat writer Marcus Thompson (on Sulia), Landry is expected to make his decision in the very near future. Per Thompson, He'd like to play for the Warriors, but money could be an issue.
Carl Landry is expected to decide where he's signing in the next couple of days, according to a league source. Landry would like to play for the Warriors. He thinks it's one of the better situations for him. But being one of the best free agents available may end up getting him a contract offer too rich for the Warriors' blood.
-End of update-
The Golden State Warriors have one of the better front courts in the NBA with David Lee lining up alongside Andrew Bogut. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com, it appears as if they are not yet comfortable with their ability to score in the front court.
Free agent Carl Landry wouldn't come out and say where he's going to sign, but he did mention the Golden State Warriors as a possibility.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 15, 2012
Carl Landry has long been one of the better scoring forwards in the league. He's also been one of the most injury-prone, which should make him a perfect fit in alongside Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut.
In an article published about a month and a half ago, Tim Kawakami of Mercurynews.com noted how in terms of the Warriors' starting five going into next season, Dorell Wright is the weakest link. I hate to say it, but the man couldn't be more right.
Update: Monday, July 16 -- Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes
As previously reported, Dorell Wright has been shipped out and will go to the Philadelphia 76ers. We've since discovered that point guard Jarrett Jack will be headed to the Golden State Warriors as the New Orleans Hornets have emerged as the third team involved.
Jack is the perfect backup in Golden State, as he's capable of playing either guard position and is a steady two-way player. It might be possible that he starts at point guard, with Steph Curry sliding to the two and Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes playing the three on certain nights as well.
For compensation, Golden State sends Edin Bavcic to the Hornets.
Update: Wednesday, July 11 -- Joel C. Cordes
The Golden State Warriors had to make a move at the small forward spot, and Dorell Wright is the odd man out according to CSNPhilly.
Having drafted Harrison Barnes to be their next scoring star, the Warriors also have fended off suitors for super-shooting sub Brandon Rush.
Wright has been a solid starter in Golden State for the past two seasons, but the 26-year old appears to have hit his ceiling as a 10-12 point per game contributor who can stretch the floor.
Barnes is the high draft pick with more upside and Rush will gobble up all the bench minutes at either wing spot. Wright will enter an even more confusing logjam with the Philadelphia 76ers alongside Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Moe Harkless.
Update: July, 4 by Jesse Reed at 4:50 p.m. EDT
Kawakami has confirmed that the Warriors are looking to move Wright at any time, via Twitter:
NBA source on Warriors and Dorell Wright: "They're really trying to move him." Before, during or after the draft? "Whenever they can."— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) June 27, 2012
--------End of Update---------
The Warriors need a lot of help at the 3, and Wright just isn't the man for the job. Golden State needs a great athlete who can play well on both ends of the floor, and Wright is just a three-point shooter. Given all of the small forwards I just mentioned and what Bob Myers is willing to offer, including Wright, a trade for any of them could prove to be easier said than done.
Unless the deals are sweetened with someone like Brandon Rush or an extra draft pick, I wouldn't count on Wright playing anywhere new next year.
Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes
It's not surprising that Andrei Kirilenko is still mulling his return to the NBA. That rumor has been floating around for nearly a month now.
The more surprising part is that the presumed destination might be different. As well-regarded NBA scout Wendell Maxey mentions, AK-47 seems closer than ever in his return to the States:
narrows it down to 30. RT @selloutxboy: Anrei Kirilenko will join NBA club, CSKA president Andrey Vatutin told Russian paper Sport-Express.— wendell maxey (@w_maxey) July 24, 2012
However, it's long been assumed that Kirilenko would join the Russian-owned Brooklyn Nets. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News refutes this idea, saying that AK-47 wants more than the veteran's minimum salary, which is all the Nets can currently offer:
Andrei Kirilenko is not interested in signing with the Nets for vets minimum, according to a source— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) July 24, 2012
Kirilenko will have plenty of teams interested in his services, but not many who will have their mid-level exception money left to pay. Isn't that why he went back overseas in the first place?
Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Utah Jazz offseason tracker.
Update: Friday, July 20 -- Joel C. Cordes
This is not surprising, considering the Nets are owned by Russian comrade Mikhail Prokhorov. However, the Contra Costa times also mentions the Warriors as having "AK-47" on their wishlist yet.
During his first few seasons with the Utah Jazz, Kirilenko was a nightmare on fast breaks and a defensive wrecking ball at either forward position. However, teams would be penciling him in as nothing more than a versatile, experienced rotation guy these days.
Would he give up his stardom and big European contracts potential to come back to the NBA?
Update: Wednesday, July 8 -- Joel C. Cordes
Eurohoops.com reports that Andrei Kirilenko has opted to remain in Europe and will sign with his Russian club CSKA.
This is much less surprising than the rumors of AK-47's return. He stands to garner much more money and playing-time overseas where he's still a big name. At this point, he couldn't expect to be more than a key rotation defensive and athleticism cog in the NBA.
Kirilenko was an up-and-coming star nearly a decade ago, but injuries and regression hindered him from living up to the max deal he last played on with the Jazz.
- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Utah Jazz Offseason tracker.
Per a report via Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com, the Golden State Warriors have begun searching for toughness in the frontcourt. Their target to fill such a role is reportedly Kenyon Martin.
Warriors have reached out to free-agent forward Kenyon Martin. bit.ly/LeeS3O— Matt Steinmetz (@MSteinmetzCSN) July 13, 2012
Martin, the first overall draft choice in the 2000 NBA Draft, has long been respected as a player who adds to the quality of whichever team he joins. From New Jersey to Denver to Los Angeles, every team he's played for has also made the postseason.
The superstitious types should be excited.
Though he was something of a summer league star turned regular-season underachiever when in Golden State, the Warriors are apparently interested in bringing Marco Belinelli back.
According to Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld, Belinelli is drawing interest from a number of teams, including Golden State.
Similar to when he last played with the Warriors, Belinelli would be caught in a wing logjam behind Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Richard Jefferson and (potentially) Brandon Rush. Chicago's open guard spots seem to be the most attractive spot for "Nelly" right now.
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Golden State Warriors have emerged as a favorite for the services of Antawn Jamison. Jamison, of course, was a member of the Warriors from 1998 to 2003 and was once represented by current G.S. general manager Bob Myers.
Keep eye on free agent F Antawn Jamison and the Warriors, source tells Y! He used to be repped by GS GM Bob Myers.LAL and CHA interested too— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 4, 2012
Unfortunately for Warriors fans who are hoping to see a reunion, a surprising team has emerged as the most likely suitor.
Bonnell just talked with Antawn Jamison...says Jamison very serious about ending career in Charlotte— ESPN 730 (@ESPN730) July 6, 2012
I told you it was surprising.
The Warriors are trying to get more physicality and toughness on to their roster going forward. That's exactly what they'd be getting if they landed restricted free agent Darrell Arthur from the Memphis Grizzlies.
According to the Bay Area News Group's Tim Kawakami, Arthur might be the team's first priority at this point:
Arthur, if healthy, could slide into the rotation backing up David Lee; currently, Lee doesn’t have a true back-up on the Warriors’ roster...It’s not clear that Memphis, jammed up financially right now, would match a solid offer for Arthur.
It's a deal the Warriors may be able to do without having to shell out too much cash, too. Arthur's ACL injury has likely caused his value to drop, but his injury risk is one the team should take.
Despite the presence of both Andrew Bogut and David Lee in the starting lineup, the Warriors could clearly use some help in the big man department.
Andris Biedrins and his inflated contract simply isn't going to cut it.
According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Warriors are expected to have interest in bringing in veteran forward Antawn Jamison.
Additionally, J.J. Hickson is once again on Golden State's radar (via Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld), while the team is said to be "intrigued" by unrestricted free agent Jordan Hill (via Contra Costa Times).
Stephen Curry's ankle issues have some in the Warriors' front office predictably concerned.
After Curry was severely limited during the 2011-12 season, Ken Berger of CBS Sports tweeted that it was unlikely for the point guard to receive a contract extension this season.
It's not all that shocking to learn Curry's new deal is on the back-burner right now, and it's still extremely possible that Curry's long-term future is outside of California.
It will be interesting to see if his name pops up in trade rumors next year.
With the inclusion of Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, the Warriors got a whole lot better on the wings. They still need a point guard, but perhaps Brandon Roy would be just enough to get them by this year.
There aren't any affordable point guards right now. The team is tight on cash, and they will likely not be able to make any moves in that direction.
All in all, there isn't much the team can do right now unless they manage to trade Wright.