Warriors: Keeping Pietrus Waiting
By Preetom Bhattacharya
Aug 27, 2007, 23:54
Mickael Pietrus will have to continue waiting to learn what team he will play for next season.
The Miami Herald reported on Sunday that the HEAT have continued their pursuit of Pietrus' services, attempting last week to marshal a package for a sign-and-trade deal. However, an informed league source told Basketball News that with James Posey signing with the Boston Celtics over the weekend, the likelihood of a Pietrus deal to Miami became increasingly low and dwindles options Pietrus now possesses.
Without Posey as a centerpiece for a sign-and-trade deal, the source said the Warriors were unwilling to pull the trigger, claiming Posey was "the platform through which the Warriors would be willing to do a sign-and-trade."
Despite Miami offering several packages, which may have included the expiring contracts of Jason Williams or Michael Doleac, the Warriors have made it clear that they are unwilling to take players that do not fit their system or players whose cap figure is too high. The team's primary focus is getting better on the court at a reasonable rate.
Miami was rumored to be looking at options other than Pietrus two weeks ago, including a long-rumored run at Mike Bibby, which may have affected any deals they offered the Warriors.
According to a well-placed league source, Pietrus' representatives are now looking to facilitate a deal that the Warriors would be a willing trade partner in - thus far, the team has turned down every package presented to them. Pietrus has not been signed to any offer sheet yet (if he had, it would be publicly announced) and if he does do so, the Warriors would have the opportunity to match it because the team tendered him a $3.5-million qualifying offer.
Pietrus must now decide to either take the qualifying offer for one year with the Warriors or pursue the limited options he has in restricted free agency. The Cavaliers and Knicks are rumored to have interest and could offer the Mid-Level Exception deal Pietrus was looking for from the start of free agency. Sign-and-trade options will be available in the latter scenario, but it would depend on what the Warriors would be receiving in return, as they are seemingly being careful with who they add.
Rookies Healthy and Working
Brandan Wright and Stephane Lasme are in Oakland working out and both have looked good thus far. They are both healthy, which couldn't be said while the team was in Las Vegas for summer league action, and are currently working on their conditioning and on specific skill drills.
Both players have thus far been able to do everything the coaching/training staff has asked of them, an optimistic sign of their health and possible readiness to contribute at some point this season.
There's been a lot of noise coming out of Sarunas Jasikevicius' camp lately about his status with the Golden State Warriors. Rumors had surfaced that his agent had worked out a deal with Olympiacos of A1 Ethniki, the highest basketball league in Greece, but Jasikevicius told a radio station in Israel that the story was not true. He told the radio station that his agent had given the Warriors several options that would allow him to play for another team, including possible trades, but the Warriors didn't like any deal.
"NBA is strange a lot of times," Jasikevicius said. "I would think if they didn't want a player, they'd get rid of a player."
Although Jasikevicius insinuates that the Warriors no longer want him, Jasikevicius seems to be the one that wants to leave the Warriors presumably because he doesn't get as much playing time as he feels he deserves. Jasikevicius had his opportunity to leave if he truly wanted to do so - he had a player option for next season and could have opted out of his deal, making him a free agent who can join any team of his choosing.
Jasikevicius chose not to opt out of his deal, which will pay him $4-million salary for this season. As a league source said, Jasikevicius "made a business decision" in protecting his salary for next season. The Warriors should not be faulted for having an unhappy player on their roster when that player had an opportunity to leave on his own accord, as some media outlets have failed to report.
Now the team is making the business decision to hang onto Jasikevicius until an opportunity comes across for them to better their squad without him, should it arise. His expiring contract certainly could be an attractive moveable piece around the trade deadline.
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:05 am
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The Broe Knows Dont Hate....
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:29 pm
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I think Cabbage can't do worse than he did last year... We just need 10-15 productive minutes from him each game to spell Baron....
for $4 million, I sure hope he can do that, otherwise he SHOULD be dealt to Boston for some draft picks or Leon Powe...
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