Mullin's summer will be busy one

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 3:24 am
Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, May 18, 2007

Everyone in the Warriors' organization seems to be taking their cue from coach Don Nelson these days. First, the 67-year-old says he might not be back next year. Then vice president Chris Mullin, who coaxed Nelson out of retirement to begin with, says his own time might be limited, too.

So, what gives?

"There's always a time for review, recharging," Mullin said Thursday. "I think everybody does that. I'm going to do that. ... It's smart to do that."

It's also smart to underplay the delicacy of the Warriors' resurgence, which is essentially what Mullin did in his wrap-up session with the media. Though Golden State turned in its winningest season in 13 years -- capped off by a historic upset of the Mavericks in the playoffs -- Mullin is in for an intriguing summer.

His hand-picked coach is considering retirement, a quarter of his rotation is up for free agency, and his franchise player wants a hefty contract extension.

He still needs a big-time big man and is still pushing the luxury tax, and any changes he makes threatens to disrupt the Warriors' well-documented team chemistry.

The third-year executive, though, isn't afraid to break up his core in the name of progress.

"I'm not really leery of anything," Mullin said. "Again, (we're) focusing on improving. If something presents itself ..."

Then expect him to burn up the phone lines.

"There's always a window of opportunity," Mullin added. "The key is to be prepared for it."

As the Warriors look to improve upon their breakout year, acquiring a rebounding big man is at the top of their wish list, especially after Utah exposed their flaws inside.

Mullin said it didn't matter if that came in the form of a proven veteran, a young player or a draft pick, as long as it's "somebody that goes and gets the ball." He also said that adding depth -- particularly at the guard positions -- will be looked into.

But one thing that won't be explored is trading Jason Richardson.

"No," Mullin said flatly. "We like Jason a lot. His growth, his potential is great ... and he's a huge part of our success."

With power players like Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal possibly being available this summer, however, the Warriors might be hard-pressed to make a deal without Richardson's salary and scoring ability in play.

Davis, despite his stirring postseason performance, doesn't figure to be movable with his max contract, nor does Stephen Jackson with pressing legal issues. That leaves Al Harrington and Adonal Foyle as the only other high-salaried players, and rising stars Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins as the Warriors' biggest trade chips.

Here are five questions the Warriors must answer this summer:

-- Matt Barnes and/or Mickael Pietrus?

The forwards will test the free-agent market and it's highly doubtful that both will be back. Mullin likes Pietrus' upside and is likely to extend a qualifying offer of $3.5 million, after which he can match any offer Pietrus receives from other teams. Barnes is an unrestricted free agent, so he's headed for the highest bidder.

-- Time to lock in Baron?

Davis, who had plenty of MVP moments in the playoffs, is eligible for an extension of the six-year max deal he signed as a Hornet. Though it's questionable how many years the Warriors will want to commit to someone with Davis' injury history, Mullin said the two parties will address the issue.

"Obviously, Baron's a key for us," he said. "We all feel that. We all know that."

-- What to do with Sarunas Jasikevicius and Adonal Foyle?

The pair played themselves right out of Nelson's rotation, but the trick is moving them. Foyle has two years at $18.5 million left on his mega-deal, and Jasikevicius is on the books for another season at $4 million unless he unexpectedly opts out of his contract.

-- Are 7-footers Patrick O'Bryant and Kosta Perovic part of the future?

O'Bryant, last year's No. 1 pick, spent most of the season either on the bench or in the D-League. Mullin said the rookie "needs to physically catch up a bit," but believes he has a place in Nellieball.

Perovic, last year's second-round pick, just finished an impressive Euroleague season and Mullin will look into bringing him over for training camp this fall.

-- More looks for Zarko Cabarkapa, Kelenna Azubuike and Josh Powell?

The three are restricted free agents, and Cabarkapa is the least likely to return. He missed the entire year with a back injury, and though he's been doing some light shooting drills, is still some time away from NBA-caliber health.

Azubuike and Powell want to return. Both are likely headed for summer league and a training camp invite somewhere.

Briefly: The Warriors will open training camp Oct. 3 in Hawaii, where they will also play a pair of exhibition games against the Lakers. ... Before dispersing for vacation, players voted to distribute $130,000 worth of playoff shares among 10 members of the athletic training and support staff. ... Nelson dropped by the practice facility Thursday afternoon after a refreshing visit to the dentist. "They gave me the gas," Nelson said. "First time I've relaxed in eight months. It was great. I'm going back." :happy10:
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 3:35 am
You're making work a lot today, Broe. As soon as I finish reading an article you post another. :wink:

O.G. Broe wrote:But one thing that won't be explored is trading Jason Richardson.

"No," Mullin said flatly. "We like Jason a lot. His growth, his potential is great ... and he's a huge part of our success."


:headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

O.G. Broe wrote:-- Matt Barnes and/or Mickael Pietrus?


Is this even a question?. Sign Barnes, sign-and-trade MP if possible...

O.G. Broe wrote:-- Time to lock in Baron?


He still has two more years. Let him play next season with his current contract and lets start talking about an extension by this time next year.

O.G. Broe wrote:-- What to do with Sarunas Jasikevicius and Adonal Foyle?


Keep Foyle... and hopefully Cabbage will opt out.

O.G. Broe wrote:-- Are 7-footers Patrick O'Bryant and Kosta Perovic part of the future?


Perovic sucks. He's big, really big... and bad, really bad. POB... we'll see if he improved enough to be part of the rotation for next season.

O.G. Broe wrote:-- More looks for Zarko Cabarkapa, Kelenna Azubuike and Josh Powell?


Keep Powell and Azu for cheap if they want to stay... if not, let them all go.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 12:16 pm
O.G. Broe wrote:-- Matt Barnes and/or Mickael Pietrus?

Barnes. Easy. This shouldn't even be a question. Hell, even if Barnes DOES go elsewhere, that money doesn't have to be wasted on Pietrus.

O.G. Broe wrote:-- Time to lock in Baron?

Baron loves Nellie. He loves tutoring Monta Ellis. And he loves buddies Richardson, Jackson, and Harrington. He knows he's often injured. He knows the team has cap issues. And, lastly, he wants to win more than anything else in the world.

With all that in mind... I really don't see Baron's resign as a problem. I'm sure it'll be for less money than the Hornets gave him. But with less money, he'll probably want more years (I'm thinking 5).

O.G. Broe wrote:-- What to do with Sarunas Jasikevicius and Adonal Foyle?

Foyle's huge truckload of money off the books is needed to resign Ellis and Biedrins. If we trade him, it better be for an amazing pick in the draft or an established player who can contribute. I think Mullin will buy him out.

O.G. Broe wrote:-- Are 7-footers Patrick O'Bryant and Kosta Perovic part of the future?

O'Bryant is the Warriors future. Everybody whose watched O'Bryant closely can see it. If the kid pans out, we're going to the WCF immediately. If not... we lose nothing. Win/win.

As far as Kosta, I don't think Mullin ever intended to play him...

O.G. Broe wrote:-- More looks for Zarko Cabarkapa, Kelenna Azubuike and Josh Powell?

Zarko is intriguing... but I think we can do better with his money. I'd love to keep Azuibuke and Powell, but I doubt they'll both accept minimum wage.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 8:37 pm
Barnes is a must to resign but it has to be for less than 4 million a year for no more than three years because he will likely never be a starter and never get more than 25mins a game. The numbers between Barnes and Pietrus are about even for the season:
Barnes - 9.8pts, 4.6rebs, 2.1asts, 1.0stls, 0.5blks, 1.4TOs, 43.8 FG%, 36.6 3PTFG%, 73.2 FT%, 23mins53secs
Pietrus - 11.1pts, 4.5rebs, 0.9asts, 0.7stls, 0.8blks, 1.5TOs, 48.8 FG%, 38.8 3PTFG%, 64.8 FT%, 26mins53secs
If Barnes is not resigned for proper amount of money (doesn't outprice himself), Pietrus should be resigned because he had a productive season and fits in quite well. Pietrus shouldn't get more than 4 million if Barnes isn't resigned and 3 million if Barnes is resigned. Remember that the less productive and worse fit DUN JR was resgined for a way over priced 8.9 million a year!

Good to see that JRich is seen as a keeper but Mullin is an exec and he has lied before, as he did about Monty. If the right deal presents itself, he will most likely have to include JRich, because of talent and salary.

Wait another season at least to even think about resigning Baron. The team can offer him more than any other team when his contract expires anyway.

Hopefully O'bryant will get a fair bit better and at least be backup Center material for a good 15mins a game. Kosta will likely never be part of the team and that may be a good thing.

Be nice to resign Powell and Azu for less than 1.5 millon each. Mullin will have to keep most of the players together because of the success this season and the fact that there are a good 5 of them that are freeagents and it is good to keep what has worked than replaceing players. Hopefully these little used guys will resign for relatively cheap.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 6:58 pm
O.G. Broe wrote:Then vice president Chris Mullin, who coaxed Nelson out of retirement to begin with, says his own time might be limited, too.


:shock:
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:12 am
JayPat wrote:
O.G. Broe wrote:Then vice president Chris Mullin, who coaxed Nelson out of retirement to begin with, says his own time might be limited, too.


:shock:

Don't worry; Mully's not going anywhere. Neither is Nellie.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 3:10 pm
32 wrote:
JayPat wrote:
O.G. Broe wrote:Then vice president Chris Mullin, who coaxed Nelson out of retirement to begin with, says his own time might be limited, too.


:shock:

Don't worry; Mully's not going anywhere. Neither is Nellie.


How are you sure?
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:42 pm
JayPat wrote:
32 wrote:
JayPat wrote:
O.G. Broe wrote:Then vice president Chris Mullin, who coaxed Nelson out of retirement to begin with, says his own time might be limited, too.


:shock:

Don't worry; Mully's not going anywhere. Neither is Nellie.


How are you sure?

Because Nellie's a bullshit artist and Mullin's taking a cue from him.

Don Nelson only said he may not return to keep the reporters talking. Nellie's smart. He's been in this game for a long time. He realises that if you give the papers something to talk about, they won't go looking for stuff. If the head story in Golden State is "Nelson May Not Return" (like it undoubtably is right now), there will be less beat writers taking shots at the team and chiming in with their useless two cents. Meanwhile, Nellie can take a nice, relaxing vacation... and come back in a month, recharged, and ready to get next season underway.

Chris Mullin may not be Nellie's student (like Avery Johnson, Donnie Nelson, or Keith Smart), but he's learning all he can from Nellie. If Nelson's using retirement as a possible ploy to get the paper's off his back, why shouldn't Mully do the same thing? Meanwhile, Mullin can take care of his offseason duties in peace without having the press try and predict possible trades Mully may swing before the season. You really think Chris Mullin would spend the past 4 seasons in the Draft Lottery, without the playoffs, with Tim Kawakami (among others) slicing away at his manhood every chance they get... and then bolt as soon as his newly formed lineup propells Golden State into the 2nd round of the playoffs? Hell no.

This whole retirement thing is strictly for the birds; Nellie and Mully will both be back next year... which is something I can't say for Pietrus. The key for Mullin this offseason is this: what kind of team does he turn the Warriors into? Chicago broke their playoff drought... and hasn't looked back since, climbing all the way to Championship Contender status. OR... does Mullin simply not change the lineup at all, leave it up to chance, and have the Warriors suffer the same fate as the LA Clippers (with one playoff run and a miss the next year).

Chris Mullin needs to know that he can't simply sit on this lineup. Changes must be addressed: do something about Pietrus (just get him outta here). Resign Barnes and Ellis. Buy out Foyle. Let Cabbage & Chaparkaba walk. And flip a coin on Josh Powell. Meanwhile, decide whether or not you're gonna go for this whole Patrick O'Bryant project... and go from there, come Draft Day. As of right now, Golden State is still without a backup center... and its either O'Bryant or its another kid from the draft, because it wont be Foyle.
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:19 am
32 wrote:Chris Mullin needs to know that he can't simply sit on this lineup. Changes must be addressed: do something about Pietrus (just get him outta here). Resign Barnes and Ellis. Buy out Foyle. Let Cabbage & Chaparkaba walk. And flip a coin on Josh Powell. Meanwhile, decide whether or not you're gonna go for this whole Patrick O'Bryant project... and go from there, come Draft Day. As of right now, Golden State is still without a backup center... and its either O'Bryant or its another kid from the draft, because it wont be Foyle.

well said, 32. You left out Azu, who could either be a cheap deal here, or packaged along with Pietrus. Esp. in light of the lottery results, no team in the West can stand pat. Watch the KG sweepstakes begin. BTW, the two LA teams (not that I am trying to help) would both benefit from figuring out a way to land Gasol, since he fits in with both teams' pace.
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 2:21 am
coltraning wrote: BTW, the two LA teams (not that I am trying to help) would both benefit from figuring out a way to land Gasol, since he fits in with both teams' pace.


But he probably won't be traded... and if he is, the Grizzlies will try to trade him to the east. Also, I can't see what the Fakers could offer to Memphis for him. The Clips have more assets, but the Lakers are pretty dead for trades, unless they're willing to trade Bynum or Odom.
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 3:39 am
Odom alone wouldn't even be enough as the Grizz have some very good forwards as it is
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:53 am
TMC wrote:
coltraning wrote: BTW, the two LA teams (not that I am trying to help) would both benefit from figuring out a way to land Gasol, since he fits in with both teams' pace.


But he probably won't be traded... and if he is, the Grizzlies will try to trade him to the east. Also, I can't see what the Fakers could offer to Memphis for him. The Clips have more assets, but the Lakers are pretty dead for trades, unless they're willing to trade Bynum or Odom.

Which, pretty much, means Odom.

If the Lakers aren't gonna trade Bynum for Jason Kidd, they aren't gonna trade Bynum at all. They had a legitimate chance this season (with Kobe playing the best ball he's played in years) to get to the WCF if they aquired JKidd (who just happened to average a triple-double in the playoffs)... and Mitch balked, like he always does, when teams inquired about his only tradeable piece NOT named Kobe. If the Lakers want to get out of their purgatory, either Bynum needs to develop (fast) or they need to deal him for a star (like Kidd). If they stand pat and enter the postseason with an undeveloped Bynum next year, it'll be another 1st round exit.
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 9:24 am
32 wrote:it'll be another 1st round exit.


That's supposing they make the playoffs, which is far from a sure thing.
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:30 am
TMC wrote:
32 wrote:it'll be another 1st round exit.


That's supposing they make the playoffs, which is far from a sure thing.



Unless they get significantly better, the Lakers won't get back to the playoffs for a while
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:57 am
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:
32 wrote:it'll be another 1st round exit.


That's supposing they make the playoffs, which is far from a sure thing.



Unless they get significantly better, the Lakers won't get back to the playoffs for a while

Kobe and Odom are legit stars right now. Andrew Bynum is a future star. It just depends how soon.

The Lakers have a bone-headed front office, so it really depends. Do you trade Lamar Odom and build for the future... or do you trade Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd or Chauncey Billips and give Kobe one more shot at a ring?

The Lakers can't possibly think Bynum will blow up by the time they need him to. They can't stand pat with their current roster.
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