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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-05-30
You won't see their names listed among the Warriors' many free agents this off-season, but make no mistake about it: Don Nelson and Baron Davis have key decisions to make by the end of June that could impact everything else the club does this summer.

Nelson, who turned 68 in May, has one year remaining on his contract worth $5.1 million. He has told team management he needs until around July 1 to convince himself he's got another year of coaching in him.

Interviewed at his home in Maui recently, Nelson wouldn't say he's definitely coming back for a third year in his second stint as Warriors coach. But he did let a possible clue slip when discussing the future of chief aide Keith Smart, insisting, "He'll be my assistant next season."

Even before announcing whether he'll coach or not, Nelson plans to return to Oakland in June and play a leading role in talent evaluation leading into the draft. The Warriors have the 14th pick.

Something that could impact Nelson's decision is Davis' call on whether to opt out of the final year in his contract. He's due to make $17.8 million.

Davis' agent, Todd Ramasar, has been unable to get the Warriors to agree to a long-term extension, prompting him to disclose, "Baron is adamant about remaining a Warrior. But based on my conversations with the team, we have to consider all of his options."

One such option would be getting a new deal that would pay Davis less in 2008-09 but guarantee him four or five years down the line. Such renegotiations are somewhat commonplace in the NFL. That could work in the Warriors' favor, who then might be able to do some free-agent shopping as well as re-sign key free agents Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins.

Davis must announce his intentions by June 30.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: If any game typified the Warriors' season, it was their 115-111 win at the Staples Center in Los Angeles against the Lakers on March 23. When the Warriors were hot, which they were in the first half en route to 72 points and a 26-point lead, they were unstoppable. But when they shot bricks, which they did for 19 minutes of the second half as L.A. rallied to take a two-point lead, they were terrible. Unfazed, Golden State bounced back to record the much-needed win as Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis and Baron Davis -- the trio that carried the club all season -- all made big plays down the stretch. It was the team's 20th of 21 road wins during the season, nine more than they'd totaled the year before.

TURNING POINT: Some would say it was when, in the wake of one of the most exciting playoff runs in franchise history, the Warriors broke up their nucleus by trading Jason Richardson for a draft pick. The club had depth problems all season. But the Warriors undoubtedly would have been at least a 50-win team even without Richardson and would have made the playoffs had the NBA not announced on July 15 that Stephen Jackson was being suspended for the first seven games of the season as punishment for having pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness in a gun-shooting incident in Indianapolis in 2006. The Warriors opened the season 1-6 in Jackson's absence, losing their first six games. If Jackson had received a slap on the wrist and the Warriors won even just two more of those games with him in the lineup, they would have gone into the final night of the season needing just to beat a bad Seattle team to make a second consecutive trip to the playoffs.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 30, 2008


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