Friday, July 24, 2009

Orlando is Haven for Ex-Warriors

Apparently the Warriors are the minor league farm organization for the Orlando Magic. After struggling for playing time with the Warriors, Mickel Pietrus went over to the Magic and made a name for himself in last year's playoff run to the Finals, playing solid perimeter defense against LeBron James and hitting that signature corner three.

Recently the Magic have signed C.J. Watson, and now the once beloved Matt Barnes will join Orlando. There are similar scenarios in pro sports. In the NFL, ex-49ers seem to get picked up by the Raiders and the Broncos. In MLB, the Red Sox and Yankees constantly exchange help, dating back to Babe Ruth and in the modern era, Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon.

The Warriors, like the A's of baseball, are viewed as a minor league club, an entrance into a pro sports career. A place to rent a house and lease a car, not to buy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Watson Heading to Orlando

It's not quite official yet, but the C.J. Watson will likely be wearing a new uniform to start the 2009-10 campaign. According to the San Jose Mercury's Adam Lauridsen, Watson, a restricted free agent, has signed an offer sheet with the Orlando Magic, reported to be a three-year pact with financial terms undisclosed.

Watson really is a hard working player, and worked his way from the NBA D-League into the Warriors rotation, and really had some nice games for them when they were missing Monta Ellis towards the latter half of the year. In fact, as a starter over the last 4 games of the season, Watson averaged 23.5 ppg, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and nearly 2 steals per night. He showed that he could be a reliable back-up point guard throughout the season, and proved that he could even handle starting here and there with that play late in the year. However, with the addition of Speedy Claxton, Acie Law and Stephen Curry to the Warriors back-court over the last couple of months, the resources and roster space for another guard just aren't there.

Other than that, the Warriors have been extremely quiet in regards to player movement ever since the draft and I'm not really expecting much more to happen before camp opens up in October. They don't really have the cap room to ink any difference maker, so if they do end up making any other roster additions, it would likely be via trade. The Amare Stoudemire rumors have really quieted down, as that proposed deal appears all but dead, but I'm still holding out some hope that the Warriors may be able to deal one of their wings along with a future draft choice or something for another big presence in the front-court. I'm not really sure who is available and who could realistically be had, but a couple of guys that would fit nicely in my mind would be Carlos Boozer or Chris Bosh. If there were a way to attain one of those two without giving up Biedrins, Curry or Randolph, I think I'd pull that trigger.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Randolph Gets Team USA Invite

After an impressive performance in the Summer League, Anthony Randolph has received an invitation to try out for Team USA. The 20 year old Randolph will go back to Las Vegas for the three day try out.
I'm absolutely sure this recent accomplishment won't go to Anthony Randolph's ego at all. I'm proud of him taking his body and game to the next level. Comparisons to Lamar Odom would be selling Randolph short. (Odom is a candy eating underachieving who brings his A game out every 10 or so games. If Randolph continues to progress, he could take after Chris Bosh with his length and versatility.

Will the consideration for Team USA inflate his ego and make him more of a problem for the coaching staff or inspire him to continue his hard work that has delivered the successful results? Is Anthony Randolph the best player on the Golden State Warriors?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Morrow Scores 47 in Last Summer League Wrap Up

Anthoy Morrow scored 47 points, the most ever scored in a summer league game. Morrow's big performance comes after a game where Anthony Randolph tied the old high mark of 42 in a game. Key to Morrow's offensive explosion was his near perfect three point shooting, going a lights out 7-9 from beyond the arc. The second year undrafted guard out of Georgia Tech complimented his 47 points with 7 rebounds.

The Warriors fared well in the Summer League going 5-1, but I am not convinced the pre-season success will translate into the regular season. I am excited to see an improved Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph, along with last year's top college scorer in Stephen Curry. As usual, the Warriors will have a high octane offense, but the lack of defense will prevent them from a making a playoff appearance.

The Warriors did a poor job of closing out games last season, due to youth and the lack of a true point guard. Who will have the ball in the end? Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, or maybe a precocious Curry? The talent is there, but not the decision making...Could there be more moves before 2009 Tip-Off?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Randolph Scores 42 in Win Over Bulls

The Warriors are now 3-1 in Summer League play after defeating the Pistons and now the Bulls. Much of the Warriors success can be attributed to the play of Anthony Randolph, who is a class above the players in summer competition. In tonight's victory over the Bulls, Randolph scored 42 points.

Absent in today's action was the Summer League sensation Cartier Martin, who has opened the eyes of Warriors fans and NBA GM's alike. Martin sat out to rest a strained left shoulder. Martin has proven to be worthy of a spot on the Warriors roster, a roster already glutted with wings. There is the possibility than Martin will get a chance to shine when Corey Maggette goes down with (fill-in-the-blank) injury. Martin and Maggettte have similar attributes, the main difference is about $20 million.

Sure, this roster has an abundance of wings, but the Warriors can never have too much depth, considering how injuries plagued this team last season, combined with Don Nelson's frenetic playing style. Some one will go down at some point and Martin will get his chance to be part of the Warriors future.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Curry Sharp in Summer League

After the first two games of Summer League play in Las Vegas, the Warriors are 1-1 and Stephen Curry has met expectations. Curry scored 16 points Friday, in a loss to the Rockets, followed by a 29 point performance in an overtime win over the Kings.

The surprise player of the summer has been Cartier Martin, a second year forward out of Kansas State, who scored 14 and 27 in the first two games. Martin is a 6'-7" 220 guard/forward and if he makes the team, he would be competing against Corey Maggette and Kelenna Azubuike for playing time, not to mention Stephen Jackson depending on how small Nellie wants to play. If Martin can play defense without fouling and show initiative to rebound, he'll most likely make the roster. Like your perverted uncle at Hooters, Nellie can't get enough wings.

Notes: Anthony Morrow has yet to play a Summer League game due to a right ankle sprain. Anthony Randolph put up double figures in scoring and rebounding in the first two games with 20-10 and 24-11.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Curry Signs Amidst Front Office Turmoil

Like most Americans in this wretched economy, the Warriors are in over their head. Reliable sources around the Bay Area confirm recent reports that Warriors owner Chris Cohen is looking to sell this team, and its likely to be a drawn out process.

Other news that makes Warriors fans uncomfortable are recent rumors the Warriors could be dumping off Andris Biedrins to the Suns for Amare Stoudamire, only to have Amare for a year and be rid of Biedrins' and the 5 years remaining on his contract and allow the Suns to get a great player in a repo like deal. It would be better to get rid of Stephen Jackson and Corey Magette, but no one wants them. It's never that easy.

Some positive news for the Warriors is the recent signing of rookie Stephen Curry. Curry's contract, which was finalized Wednesday Jul. 8, is reported to be close to $12.7 million over four years.

The future of this club remains blurry, but there are some talented young players that will bring the people out to Oracle. The 2006 "We Believe" band wagon fans may thin out, while those of us from the Antawn Jamison, Bimbo Coles, and Vonteego Cummings days will be last fans standing.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer League Tip-Off Friday

This Friday, Jul. 12, the Warriors play the Houston Rockets in the first game of summer league and all eyes will be on highly acclaimed rookie Stephen Curry. Other notable Warriors joining Curry in summer league play are Anthony Randolph, Anthony Morrow, and newly acquired A.C. Law.

Keith Smart will assume the coaching duties without Don Nelson. Last year, Nelson handed the reins to Smart for a game during the regular season and let Smart call the defensive plays from the sideline on another occasion. Expect Smart's coaching responsibilities to expand more this season, as Nelson gets older and more involved in pulling the strings in the front office.

Keith Smart should be the leading candidate for Nelson's job in the near future, he has put in the time and has earned the respect of the players on this team. The Warriors coaching staff needs to provide solid leadership to make sure Monta Ellis doesn't turn into an Allen Iverson, team chemistry killer. Monta will come into this season with a chip on his shoulder, no doubt, and it's critical Don Nelson makes Ellis buy into a future in Golden State.

The Warriors will play five summer league games, with the last game on Thursday Jul. 16. And to Prepare for the upcoming NBA betting season, check out Bodog Sportsbook Review.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Warriors Need Leadership

I really hope the Warriors get a new owner by October, when next season begins. Talk about a situation where there are way too many incompetent chiefs and misled Indians. Warriors fans are some of the best in the NBA...How the hell have we tolerated such poor products season after season?

The unrest in the front office has trickled down to the floor and held the Warriors back from establishing their presence as a power in the Western Conference. It's not like the fans have stopped supporting the team and lack of talent coming into the organization is no excuse. Why do we still continue to believe when the basketball world refuses to take us seriously? It's because Bay Area sports fans are loyal, intelligent sports fans and it will be all the more gratifying when the Warriors can pull it together and get to the next level. Until then, the reality is the Warriors need more than just a power forward. They need to get serious about winning, which starts at the top.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Artest, Turkoglu Find New Homes

Ron Artest is the newest member of the Lakers and Hedo Turkoglu will be with the Blazers this upcoming season. By picking up Artest, the Lakers will most likely not resign Trevor Ariza, who's agent must have asked for too much during negotiation. Ariza is a very good complimentary player that gives you solid defense, but he has not yet established himself as a 'go-to' type of player.

Turkoglu is a great pick up for the Blazers and will help this young, deep team get further into the playoffs this season. Led by my favorite non-Warrior, Brandon Roy, the Blazers will benefit from having a veteran like Turkoglu and another player that can hit big shots under pressure. Great move.

Rumor has it that Warriors owner Chris Cohan could be selling the franchise, according to the latest report in Tim Kawakami's blog, due to problems with the IRS. I'm not sure what type of buyers could be suitable during this current recession. (There can't be many Mark Cuban dot com millionaires lurking) Under Cohan, the Warriors have made one trip to the playoffs in 14 years.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cavs Interested in Artest

Around the NBA with WRD

Reports indicate the Cleveland Cavs are interested in signing Ron Artest, after recently acquiring Shaquille O'Neal. These moves (if Artest signs) would be answers to the Celtics' Paul Pierce and Orlando's Dwight Howard. More importantly, this is the last year for Cavs GM Danny Ferry to give LeBron a chance to win an NBA title. Personally, I think LBJ will depart after this season, even if the Cavs win it all.

The Detroit Pistons were busy yesterday, as they signed free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. The acquisition of Gordon indicates the Pistons may be interested in shopping Rip Hamilton. Villanueva will have the privilege of studying under Rasheed Wallace, as both players share traits in the sense they are both 6'11" and can shoot from three point range. Who will be the new coach? Reports indicate Avery Johnson is the front runner for the position.

In Lakerland, signing Trevor Ariza is the largest concern, as Ariza's defense was key to winning both the Conference and NBA Finals. The busy Cavs are considering Ariza along with Artest, but the Cavs will not be able to match whatever the Lakers offer.

Stay tuned for more Warriors off-season reporting. I have a feeling Larry Riley and his puppeteer Don Nelson are not finished...

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