Sunday, February 10, 2008
Oakland -- With less than two weeks remaining before the Feb. 21 trade deadline, it's no secret that Mickael Pietrus is still the Warrior hoping most for a change of scenery.
The fifth-year forward has wanted a new home since the summer, when Golden State wouldn't budge from its one-year qualifying offer and turned down all potential sign-and-trade deals.
Seven months later, the Warriors still haven't come across a trade to their liking, but they may have found a way to placate the disgruntled Pietrus.
Coach Don Nelson said before Saturday's game that the 6-foot-6 Pietrus will move back to the small forward slot, where he'll become the primary backup to Stephen Jackson.
"I think in his mind, he had problems when people thought he was a four," Nelson said. "I told him he was a three, he'd be playing small forward ... a few weeks ago, and he's been playing better ever since."
Nelson insisted the move has nothing to do with the upcoming trade deadline, though the better Pietrus plays, the higher his value becomes. The forward's numbers haven't spiked in the last five games, but his mood has elevated since he spent some time at the three against Chicago on Thursday.
"Everything changes," Pietrus said. "When you look at it, it seems easy, but when you get on the floor, you try to get a rhythm on offense. When the five sets the screen, you have to rotate. ... At the three, you just chase."
Nelson hopes the change in position can help bring Pietrus back to last year's stature. Pietrus' production has essentially been halved in 17. 3 minutes per game compared with 26.9 minutes in 2006-07.
"Whatever the problems are in a contract year, he's probably had all of them," Nelson said. "But I had penciled in the same kind of rotation we had a year ago, maybe even more without (Jason Richardson). But that really hasn't happened. He really hasn't played up to a year ago."
- Janny Hu
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EMan32 wrote:sleandres wrote:I will help him pack his bags
you're a nice guy. and in that same spirit of kindness, ill offer to pay for his plane ticket. coach of course...im not rich. or greyhound if he's going to sac
I knew someone would 1-up me on my offer