When Larry Riley was given the General Manager title for the Golden State Warriors, as a fan of the team, I knew it was only a matter of time before Riley would run the team into the ground. As I expected, it's happened already—just nine games into the season.
Yet, that was foreshadowed immediately during the offseason with the trades of Marco Belinelli and Jamal Crawford. With both trades, the Warriors got players who weren't going to produce much for the team.
The trade came at an unfortunate time when Belinelli was just starting to show signs of being a strong player for the Warriors especially on the defensive end. Crawford, though defensively inept, was always a capable scorer, and did much more in his NBA career than Law and Speedy Claxton who also came over in the deal.
The icing on the cake was the trade that was announced today and approved by the NBA. The trade calls for the Warriors to send Stephen Jackson and Acie Law to the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.
I get the fact that the Warriors needed to get rid of Jackson, but this was exactly what I was afraid of—getting a two players who are nowhere near the same caliber as Jackson in the deal.
Let's face it, Jackson last year averaged just under 21 points per game, averaged 6.5 assists per game, and 5 rebounds. Law showed what he could do in limited minutes for the Warriors and was one of the only players on the team that actually put forth a quality effort when he got into the games. Law, in my opinion, was just a throw into make the salaries work.
Jackson is better than Bell and Radmanovic combined and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at the numbers and see that.
Of course the NBA also plays a role in this for allowing the trade to be accepted. What's maddening now is that the NBA cares so much about salary cap situations that it doesn't really care about the players involved in the trade.
Need proof? Just go to ESPN.com and click on the trade machine. In theory you could put a trade there that has Stephen Jackson and Andris Biedrins going to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Lebron James.
Would the trade ever happen? No, Cleveland would never accept it, but based on salaries it would work.
That's what happened with the trade of Jackson—it was because of Jackson's and Law's salaries matched up with Bell's and Radmanovic's salaries.
Even more disconcerting is that the NBA ignored the fact that Bell is injured. He could clearly just decide the Warriors franchise is going nowhere and opt to have surgery on his injured wrist.
Well at least the Warriors are living up to the bill of their reputation as being an incompetent franchise heading nowhere!