Warriors Best Move: Letting Baron Davis Go

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IAugust 2, 2008

I've read plenty of message boards stating that Chris Mullin's worse move was letting Baron Davis go and that he should have given Davis the money. Now, don't get me wrong, Baron Davis is in the top-three points guards in the league. (I have a hard time choosing between him, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul.) But I look at this kind of like the A's trading away Rich Harden for a younger pitcher who has an outstanding upside.

The Warriors have Monta Ellis and, toward the end of the season, it was him bringing the ball up and leading the Warriors, not Davis. Davis slowed down the last month or so last year. One of the reasons why I think he struggled at the end is he played too many minutes and he was also a little injured. Nothing too serious, but it did cost the Warriors down the stretch because he wasn't 100 percent. Also, with his injury history, it was better to avoid trying to outbid a Clippers team that also held an advantage of being much closer to his home.

The Warriors will be just fine without him, but I do think Golden State fans know that Davis was a huge part of the reason why their team upset the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs two seasons ago. I hear people say he deserves to be booed because of what he did to the Warriors. Honestly, I think Chris Mullin knew way ahead of time that, even though Davis really wanted to stay with the Warriors, that the best decision for the Warriors and Davis was to cut ties with each other.

An amicable split for the Warriors and Davis. When he comes to the Oracle Arena, Davis deserves a long standing ovation and no boos. Of course, that's not going to happen because I'm sure he will get an ovation when he's announced, but he will also receive a chorus of boos. It was Davis who helped the Warriors entertain the largest crowds ever to see a basketball game in the state of California, but leaving makes him a polarizing figure.

The player the Warriors signed with the money that would have gone to Davis, and only a fraction of it at that, is Corey Maggette. He's not a point guard, so there's no way to compare them, but he brings the team another wing player that can guard multiple positions. Magette also gives us the player the Warriors desperately needed, and that is someone who can cause teams to foul so they can get to the line. Unlike Kelenna Azubuike, Corey Maggette is a solid free throw shooter, which will help immensely. Part of the reason why they did not make the playoffs last season is because of foul shooting.

So what the Warriors need is for Ellis to work on his ball handling, passing, and free throw shooting, as well. Baron Davis wasn't that great of a free throw shooter, and it hurt last year.

With Maggette, I think it will be better for the Warriors, because those games that the Warriors lost due to poor free throw shooting will change with his addition. Also, I believe Ellis will also work on his outside shooting and be that much more dangerous because teams will have to respect his ability to hit the trey and drive to the rim.


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