Settling Down

by

This weekend, in spite of all the wackiness with the Warriors, my friend Sean and I upgraded our season tickets. I don’t think anyone knows what to expect from this team, including the guys calling the shots, but hell, it’s the Warriors. It’s going to be fun.

For a blow-by-blow rundown of the trauma since Baron’s opt-out, Tim Kawakami’s blog at the Merc is your go-to source. But three big questions still haven’t been answered by anyone in the media:

1. Why throw $67 million at Maggette and Turiaf without using that money to take a shot at Josh Smith?

Yeah, you’d have to overpay to get Smith since he’s restricted, and he’s got a bad rep about his attitude, but wouldn’t someone that young, talented, and athletic fit this team much better than another wing and undersized back up big man?

2. Ok, even if you decide Maggette’s the guy you want, why give him $10 mil a year?

Here’s one of those situations where, as a fan, I feel like there’s something going on behind the scenes that I must be missing. Because from what I’ve read, after the Brand-Baron fallout, the only teams with cap space to offer Maggette more than the mid-level were the Warriors, Grizzlies, and Clippers. The Griz sure as hell weren’t going to sign him. His relationship was soured with the Clips, so the only threat from them was a sign and trade. Maybe that threat was bigger than we realize, but it sure didn’t seem like it was in the offing.

That means that Maggette was likely staring at going to a contender for the mid-level — starting at about $5.5 mil a year — or taking the Warriors’ offer. So what was his leverage that got the Warriors up to $10/per? Did they bid against themselves? I’ve read thousands of words about this signing, and still no one has explained why the deal wasn’t in $7-8 million/year range.

2A. If you’re going to overpay for Maggette, why not front-load the contract?

With the Warriors sitting on cap space now, it would make sense to really overpay Maggette for 2-3 years in case they need to trade him at the end of his deal. This becomes an even bigger problem if Anthony Randolph develops into the player they think he will be, because Don Nelson has already said Randolph is also a ‘3’.

3. What’s going on with Sean Livingston?

We all know his injury was devastating, but the last report I saw on him back in April said doctors were expecting a full recovery. Since then: not a word. He’s a 22-year-old, former top 10 pick, who was just starting to come around before getting hurt, and this is a market starved for point guards — so why no news?

Some Good News

Everyone knows the Warriors need another PG, and that led to terrifying (and baffling) speculation that they would take a shot at Marbury after the Knicks cut him. Thankfully, Stein is reporting today that chatter in Vegas has Golden State going after a young, score-first, Baron-lite point guard, like Philly’s Louis Williams or undrafted free agent Bobby Brown, who tore up the summer league. Whew.

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