It’s no secret that the new Golden State Warriors ownership wants to succeed. Right now.
Having scraped the bottom of the cellar for most of the past 17 years, the Warriors have committed to the reclamation project of themselves, continuously moving forward in their quest to regain relevance and remain relevant.
New owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have taken it upon themselves to redecorate the culture of the perennially moribund franchise. By hiring a new general manager in Larry Riley, new special advisor in Jerry West and a new head coach in Mark Jackson, the Warriors are dedicated to transforming the organization into a legitimate playoff team—something that they’ve only been once since 1993.
In the attempt to be considered postseason contenders—as well as invite the shimmering NBA spotlight—Lacob and Guber have dedicated themselves to constructing a competitive team by making a big splash in the free-agent pool. Their attempts to acquire universal star power has generated rumors of trade talks for point guard Chris Paul and center Tyson Chandler, which, in the world of the NBA, was seen as quite brash. After all, Golden State has traditionally been a mediocre franchise; so the mere mention of the Warriors in the same breath as Paul and Chandler was in the very least impressive.
Unfortunately, Golden State’s invitations were not returned. Both Paul and Chandler were never seriously considered to land in Oakland. The Warriors were like a contestant who won backstage passes: happy to be there, ready to shake hands with the stars, wanting an autograph but not really prepared to hang out at the after-party. They made some connections and left to be where they belonged.
And where they belonged is with Kwame Brown and Dominic McGuire.
Earlier this week, the Dubs signed Brown, the 10-year veteran center, to a one-year, $7 million deal. On Thursday, according to CSNBayArea, another former Bobcat, McGuire, signed a one-year deal worth just under $1 million.
These are the names that belong with the Warriors, not the big-time megawatt superstars like Howard and Paul.
For the time being, at least.
Right now, Warriors owners should focus on what and whom they have in front of them. A young core with a new coach and a strike-shortened preseason are not an easy mix to start out with. But mixing up the ingredients to land a superstar—seemingly simply for the sake of it—is not the way to go. Paul would almost certainly not have stayed beyond the two years remaining on his contract. And Howard most definitely was/is a pipe dream.
That is why Lacob and Guber have to focus on whom and what is in front of them. A young core led by Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, a new head coach in Jackson and a strike-shortened preseason do not afford the Warriors an opportunity to jump into the deep end with the big teams of the NBA. There is no need to hurry and run around the pool hoping for that big cannonball splash.
The Warriors will be disappointed that they were unable to miraculously land Paul or Chandler or Nene or anybody else. But in the end, they are where they should be. Instead of lounging around in the endless river of losing at the water park, Golden State should tread water and wait for that wave-maker to carry them to the where all the fun is next season.