After all the time Warriors fans spent in Ying (see the last 15 years), they’re finally getting back in Yang.
Since Don Nelson left town in 1994, Golden State has been the NBA’s equivalent of the dumb kid who sits in the back of the class—the one who’s happy to get the C, but isn’t too surprised to bring home the F.
C meant Joe Smith and Antawn Jamison.
F meant Todd Fuller, Tom Gugliotta, Mike Dunleavy Jr., and passing on an extension for Gilbert Arenas only to sign Adonal Foyle to a 6-year, $42 million deal.
(Higher pay rate in 2007—Foyle per minute played, or Roger Clemens per start? Discuss amongst yourselves.)
The good news for Warriors fans: Everything changed on a fateful Tuesday in mid-January.
Whether VP Chris Mullin had an epiphany or Chris Cohan hired a new consulting firm, we might never know.
What we do know is that the Warriors dumped Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy Jr. for two significantly better (and lower-salaried) players in Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson.
And ever since, it’s been all roses.
It’s just like having Carmen Policy back in town—one brilliant decision after another.
Mullin has followed up the most exciting season since the 1970s with the most exciting offseason in team history. Amazingly, he managed to improve the team's current and future talent level—while cutting costs.
It's thrilling...it's spectacular...and it's a long time coming.
Let’s recap Mullin’s summer accomplishments:
Stabilized Salary Cap Situation
• Dumped injury-prone Jason Richardson and his $50 million contract on the Charlotte Bobcats
• Agreed to buyout with grossly overpaid and underplayed center Adonal Foyle
• Agreed to buyout with $4 million dollar cheerleader/sharpshooter Sarunas Jasikevicius
Readied 2007/08 Team for a Championship Run
• Re-signed head coach/savior Don Nelson for a reasonable price
• Picked up a $10 million trade exemption for 2007/08 season ($12.1 million in total, including the exemption from the Ike Diogu deal)
• Re-signed lighting-rod Matt Barnes for 50 cents on the dollar
• Signed a veteran back up point guard in Troy Hudson for 25 cents on the dollar
Built Young/Talented Nucleus For Long-Term
• Drafted future starting shooting guard Marco Belinelli
• Drafted future starting power forward Brandan Wright
• Cleared cap room to sign center Andris Biedrins to a long-term deal
• Cleared cap room to have option to resign combo guard Monta Ellis to a long-term deal
• Cleared cap room to extend point guard extraordinaire Baron Davis
After years of famine, Chris Mullin and the Warriors are here to feast. Not just this coming season, or the next—but for years and years ahead.
Keep pulling the right strings, Mully....we couldn't be more excited.