One reality NBA players must get in touch with is that this league is business first; transactions can—and will—happen.
Players get traded for all kinds of reasons. Some have bad attitudes, some have expensive contracts that need to be dumped, and some are simply being traded away for better players.
But as is always the case with trades, you never really know how it will effect your team until some time after the transaction.
Today I will be discussing the Golden State Warriors' last 10 transactions, and grading them based on how well the move worked for the team by the bay.
The Golden State Warriors are quite a different beast from the team they were just a few years ago, and these 10 transactions helped shape what you see today.
July 21st, 2004.
The Warriors acquired center-forward Dale Davis and guard Dan Dickau from the Portland Trail Blazers for guard Nick Van Exel.
In 2004, the Warriors shipped out veteran point guard Nick Van Exel in order to acquire a veteran post presence in Dale Davis. While Davis' best days were certainly already behind him, Golden State must have believed he had something left in the tank to help the Warriors in the paint.
Davis ended up only playing in 36 games in his stint with Golden State, while Van Exel remained productive into the 2006 season.
The Warriors didn't win big, or lose big with this transaction, they merely lost on a gamble.
Nothing really lost; nothing really gained.
February 25th, 2005.
Golden State acquired guard Baron Davis from the New Orleans Hornets for guard Speedy Claxton and forward Dale Davis.
He may be riding through some rough days in Clipper Land at the moment, but Barron Davis coming to Golden State was one of the best things that ever happened to that franchise. Davis fit the team's mold like a glove, and enabled Don Nelson's run-and-gun style to reach all new heights when executed through him.
Baron proved to be nothing short of electric on most nights, often carrying the entire Warriors team on his back. He was the number one force behind the Warriors defeating the Mavericks in a shocking playoff series, and he was successful in making the Warriors the most fun team to watch for several years.
Giving up Claxton and Dale Davis was a small price to pay for one of the most electrifying point guards this league has ever had the pleasure of seeing.
This was the best decision made by the Golden State brass for as far back as I can remember.
July 13th, 2006
Golden State acquired guards Devin Brown, Keith McLeod and Andre Owens from the Utah Jazz for guard Derek Fisher.
Derek Fisher did fine during his stint with the Warriors, but we all know that's not where his style of play flourishes. Fisher has not been suited to the style of run-and-gun offense since his earliest years of basketball, and that's precisely what the Warriors employ.
Golden State made the decision to ship off Derek Fisher in exchange for Devin Brown and pocket change. Was this the right thing to do?
If you're Derek Fisher, you'd think so.
Fisher went on to play great for the Utah Jazz until he was again traded back to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors, on the other hand, just lost a veteran presence.
Losing Fisher didn't hurt the Warriors as much as it would hurt the Lakers now, but the addition of Devin Brown certainly didn't improve anything.
January 17th, 2007
Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Josh Powell are traded traded to the Warriors for Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod; Renaldo Major signed to 10-day contract.
This mega-trade brought immense talent to the Warriors in 2007, equipping them with two new wing shooters, and a budding power forward in Josh Powell. Most of those involved would remain with the Warriors for a few seasons before being shipped out once again.
Steven Jackson and Al Harrington combined talents with Baron Davis and made the Golden State Warriors one of the most fun teams to watch in recent memory.
Two-thirds of the Warriors' amazing trio came into town on this bus, making it one heck of a success.
June 29th, 2007
Golden State acquired the rights to forward Brandan Wright from the Charlotte Bobcats for guard-forward Jason Richardson and the rights to forward Jermareo Davidson.
So the Warriors essentially traded away a prolific scorer who perfectly fit the team's system for a role player who has struggled to average only six points per game, adding just over three rebounds.
Who green-lit this move?
I hope they have been ousted and are now working at a nearby Taco Bell.
Brandan Wright plays just over 12 minutes a game, and can hardly be called a contributor. He's shown signs of becoming more than he presently is, but that in no way equals Jason Richardson.
Richardson has had ridiculously large contracts in his career, but maybe the Warriors should have found a way to keep the gunner around a while longer.
Complete downgrade in every way, even if salary comes off the books.
July 23rd, 2008
Acquired guard Marcus Williams from the New Jersey Nets for a conditional first-round pick.
Marcus Williams has only played 62 games for the Warriors, but I don't think anyone in the Golden State is impressed with what they see from him thus far.
Williams has only managed to average four points a game in 14 minutes a night. On top of this, his field-goal percentage is very low at 38 percent, and his free-throw percentage is laughable at 67 percent.
The Warriors didn't seem to gain much of anything in this transaction, but they didn't lose much in a conditional pick either.
November 22nd, 2008.
Acquired guard Jamal Crawford from the New York Knicks for forward Al Harrington.
Crawford has been somewhat of a journeyman throughout his career, but he's always been able to score for whomever employs his services. While Harrington could have deadly nights from long range, his decision-making and erratic behavior on the court makes him not worth his salt on most nights.
Jamal Crawford has proven to be a spark plug off the bench, possesses the same threat from long range as Harrington, and he resists the urge to force up shot after shot if things aren't exactly going his way.
While no pure scorer is perfect, Crawford is pretty close.
They ditched a head case, and received a prolific off-the-bench scorer. Not only that, they got a scorer who loves their run-and-gun style.
June 26, 2009
Warriors acquired guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton from the Atlanta Hawks for guard Jamal Crawford.
This is a perfect example of how this league can be very "here today, gone tomorrow."
Things didn't work out with Jamal exactly like they could have by the bay, so they decided to ship him out while he was still worth something for young guard Acie Law and seasoned veteran Speedy Claxton.
Claxton has always proved to be an offensive spark off the bench. While he's not a starting talent in this league, he's proven to be more than useful at the guard position. Acie Law on the other hand, has stalled in his development toward what most NBA analysts believed was quite lofty potential.
Wherever Law goes, he gets minutes, but he fails to produce enough for any coach to trust him with a larger role.
The Warriors were not in dire need for new guards, but the potential of Law excited them enough to gamble on shipping out Crawford. I mean, there's always another pure scorer on Golden State, right?
November 17, 2009
Golden State Traded G-F Stephen Jackson and G Acie Law to Charlotte for G Raja Bell and F Vladimir Radmanovic.
Just one month after being suspended two exhibition games for conduct detrimental to the team, Steven Jackson was given the proverbial "boot" by Golden State. I don't blame the Warriors for this decision, as Jackson has proven to be a thorn in more than one side, but look at what Jackson has done since then!
Jackson by all accounts has thrived in Charlotte, and greatly matured as a player.
The Warriors received Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovich, adding to their rich history of wing threats. Both players ended up finding the range plenty in Warrior colors, but they could never amount to what Jackson could have provided with a little more patience.
They had good reason to dump Jackson at the time, but he grew and thrived elsewhere right after. The pieces they got in return for him and Acie Law were not worth the price they paid.
July 9, 2010.
Golden State acquired F David Lee from the New York Knicks for F Anthony
Randolph, F Kelenna Azubuike, F Ronny Turiaf and a 2012 second-round draft pick.
Golden State's patience with Anthony Randolph finally ran out. This was a team very high on this kid's potential, but unfortunately he was not able to develop in time, and the Warriors decided that it was time for an upgrade.
David Lee seemed to be the perfect fit, as he's both a double-double machine, and a player used to the fast-break style of play. It may seem like the Warriors gave up a lot to acquire Lee, but the paint presence Lee provides was too tempting.
Lee is already battling injuries this season with GSW, but so is Randolph with the New York Knicks.
The jury is still out on this trade.