WRD Co-writer, Brian Wright, made in interesting comment in our last post, questioning why this team decided to amnesty Charlie Bell instead of Andris Biedrins' huge, useless contract.
I really think the lockout and non-existent offseason is what ultimately led to Biedrins' staying in Oakland. This team basically had no center options outside of Biedrins heading into the year, and even though they made large efforts to lure Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan, the only other center they were able to obtain before the season started was Kwame Brown. I think, if the Warriors brass would have had their way, they would have inked one of those top centers and could have then amnestied Biedrins. However, I think they saw that they didn't have a great shot at luring a big man here, and thought it would be a safer bet to hold onto Biedrins for depth at a spot they're paper thin at. Now, I understand that logic to a degree, but at the same time, as Brian stated in his comment, they decided to rid themselves of Charlie Bell's contract, which was set to expire and wasn't even that outrageous. I think the only person worth using the amnesty clause for on the Warriors roster is Biedrins, and they should have known that. They're locked into him long term for big money and now have no way out of that deal since they decided to jump the gun on the new amnesty rules. They should have been smart enough to save that luxury for a time when they really needed it. For a time when they could have freed up payroll in order to add an impact player via free agency.
I wasn't expecting them to use the amnesty this year since they failed to get their center of choice. I knew they were going to need to use Biedrins this year just based on lack of depth up front, but the fact is, Biedrins has steadily declined over the last few years and has gotten to the point where he's basically useless. I mean, he's still the starting center, but he plays all of 12-15 minutes per game, contributes a few boards, the occasional block and easy bucket, but is probably the most overpaid, underachieving player in all of the NBA. Had the Warriors foresaw an even further drop off in production in Biedrins like they've gotten, maybe they would have amnestied him even without any depth at center. Again, this all goes back to the absence of a regular offseason and training camp, which if the Warriors had, maybe they see the useless center Biedrins has become earlier and figured out they don't need him on the roster. As they are now, David Lee is pretty much getting most of the minutes there anyway. It may not have made much difference in the 2012 squad, but the decision to blow their amnesty on Charlie Bell, could very well come back to haunt this team for the next couple of seasons. Especially when you take into account that the Warriors will likely lose their first round pick this year, which in turn would cost them an opportunity to get a cheap, talented big man in the top part of the draft, placing even more emphasis on free agency and available cap space.