Golden State Warriors
Posted on Fri, Apr. 21, 2006
Some variables the Warriors must take into account as they prepare for next season:
Roster commodities: Forward Troy Murphy has the salary ($8.3 million next season) and talent to interest several teams, especially those with a quality center. Swingman Mickael Pietrus' potential is appealing, especially to those who don't see him every day. Forward/center Andris Biedrins and forward Ike Diogu are deal-sweeteners, and there will be no shortage of calls about rookie guard Monta Ellis.
Salary-cap space: None.
Draft picks: With so many young players on the roster, the Warriors can afford to offer this year's pick in a trade. The higher the pick they get in the May 23 draft lottery, the more attractive their offer becomes. They also have two first-round picks in 2007 (one from Dallas), even more money in the bank.
Free agents: The cap-strapped Warriors can't sign a free agent outright, but could maneuver a sign-and-trade. Detroit center Ben Wallace, Atlanta forward Al Harrington, San Antonio center Nazr Mohammed, Denver forward Nene, Cleveland forward Drew Gooden and Portland center Joel Przybilla headline the free-agent market.
On the block: Many expect Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett, Toronto forward Chris Bosh, Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal and Boston swingman Paul Pierce to become available.
Mid-level exception: The Warriors still have theirs, which is expected to be just above $5 million next season.
-- MARCUS THOMPSON II, KNIGHT RIDDER
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