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NBA Free Agents 2012: Warriors Smart to Play Waiting Game with Brandon Rush

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 15:  Brandon Rush #4 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena on February 15, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 20, 2012

The Golden State Warriors are playing chicken with Brandon Rush, and it's likely to pay off.

According to the Mercury News' Marcus Thompson II, the Rush situation shouldn't be as nerve-racking for some Warriors fans as it is:

It's still pretty quiet on the Brandon Rush front.

Some Warriors fans seem aggravated by the lack of news on that end, but lack of action doesn't mean the Warriors will lose Rush. It probably means they are more likely to keep him.

General manager Bob Myers is using a simple business tactic that will tilt the scales in favor of the organization. The closer the calendar gets to the 2012-13 season, the bigger advantage the Warriors have over the restricted free agent.

Don't think that Rush isn't sitting at home thinking about why no other teams have come to his doorstep begging for his services. Surely, he goes about his daily routine, thinking about the day when he will once again be employed.

That's exactly what the Warriors need him to be doing. Sure, it sounds harsh, cruel and morally indecent, but that's the way the NBA works these days.

According to Thompson II, the Warriors are willing to match a mid-level offer sheet for Rush. Thompson also writes that "only four teams remain that have the cap space to offer Rush anything more than the midlevel."

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves are the four teams that can pay Rush more than what the Warriors want to.

The Cavaliers have Dion Waiters, so they are unlikely to look for a young shooting guard. The Rockets just drafted Jeremy Lamb, so the same goes for them. The Timberwolves are bringing in Brandon Roy.

That leaves the Suns as the only team that could seriously compete with the Warriors for Roy.

Sports 620 KTAR Phoenix's John Gambadoro recently tweeted about two players that the Suns have been looking at:

Suns still interested in bringing back Shannon Brown and have some interest in Courtney Lee as well

— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) July 15, 2012

Courtney Lee is now a member of the Boston Celtics (via the Boston Globe), so that leaves Shannon Brown as one of the primary target for the Suns.

That means the Warriors are running out of time to fully control the situation, but they still have a bit left. Even if the Suns extend an offer sheet to Rush, which there has been no indication that they will, the Warriors would still be able to match.

If Golden State pulls the trigger at the perfect time, or even lets Rush come to them, they could come away with a huge bargain for a guy who shot 45.2 percent from three-point land last season.

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