GSoM Q&A with Tim Kawakami 11/15/06 (Part 1 of 5)

Golden State of Mind friend Tim Kawakami did another great Q&A with us last week. It's always fun to talk Warriors and Bay Area sports with Tim because he always has a fresh, witty perspective. Make sure to make Tim's blog Talking Points with Tim Kawakami a daily stop. Also, make sure to check out his work in the San Jose Mercury. Tim's always got the latest scoop on the Bay Area sports scene and some great insights. Warriors Nation is lucky to have Tim covering the Warriors.

Here's Part I of our Q&A with the other parts to follow in the next few days...

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Golden State of Mind: Baron Davis is off to a great start this season and was recently in the running for NBA Player of the Week honors. Do you think this is the BD Warriors fans are going to see this year or do you think it's a mirage?

Tim Kawakami: This is the Baron Davis we'll see if he stays healthy, I'm pretty sure. But that healthy part is probably a 50-50 or 40-60 proposition, at best, especially the way Nelson is grinding him through 40-minute plus games once or twice a week. I really do credit Monta Ellis for a lot of this and I know Nelson does, too. If you play Ellis alongside Baron, then Davis doesn't have to defend the tough point guards (how much do you think that saved his legs vs. Chris Paul, do you think?), doesn't have to initiate the offense until the fourth quarter and has another real finisher to feed in the open court.

That's why I don't think we're going to see Jason Richardson at guard for a long time. He's obviously gimpy, still. That's part of it. But Richardson, even healthy, doesn't take any pressure off of Baron. He doesn't bring it up. He sure can't defend the point. Another of 1,000 things we can bang our heads about Montgomery: Playing Monta at the point makes Baron better and keeps him fresher. No brainer!

Golden State of Mind: Monta Ellis is turning some heads in the NBA and quickly becoming a Bay Area favorite. What kind of player do you project Monta to be after 3 or 4 years in this league? Also, do you foresee the Warriors having any trouble extending his contract after this season?

Tim Kawakami: Forget about three or four years from now. He's an impact player right now for exactly the reasons we thought last year--he can defend the point and he can get to the lane and finish. Interesting that I just finished saying how much he's helping Baron. He's also Baron's replacement at point guard, I don't think there's any question. Nelson saw that right away. If you could find a big two (or if Jason gets healthy and starts playing D) to pair with Monta, there's your backcourt for the next five to seven years to match up with Shaun Livingston, Kobe, Barbosa, Devin Harris and the rest of the West.

And I think the Warriors can re-sign him--they're the franchise that got so screwed by the rules involving Gilbert Arenas so they better get the break of the rule-change that allows them to match any offer to the median NBA salary and limits any other team to only offering Ellis, a second-round pick last year, the median salary. See how that works? If the Warriors want him, they keep him. But they will have to pay him.

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Stay tuned for the rest of Tim's second Q&A with us...

This past September we did another fun Q&A with Tim: Part I | Part II

Update: Check out The Manic Nelson Era flies on without Dajuan Wagner on Talking Points

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