That is the sideline. Out. Of. Bounds.
So it appears that Mickael Pietrus aka MP2 is returning for his fifth season with the Warriors. GSoM friend, Tim Kawakami, is reporting that Pietrus is coming back on a 1 year, $3.4 million deal. I know this has been covered on the site in JB's diary, "Rumor: MP back", but I thought I'd leave some more thoughts on the topic from my perspective and what this all means for the Warriors. If you haven't seen Mickael's report card yet, give it a read.
Good Basketball Deal for the Warriors
It wasn't a great deal, but right now, the roster lacks depth and keeping around a key contributor off the bench is key. If we lose both Barnes and Pietrus, that's two of our top bench players gone. There's no guarantee that we'll sign Barnes, so locking in at least one of them is necessary. You know exactly what you're going to get from Pietrus so Nellie can play him at his strengths and hide his weaknesses. What he gives you is hustle, solid D and some decent rebounding. That's what you want from your bench. He's got the physical gifts to be a better player, but at this point in his career, it looks like he can carve himself out a nice role as a hustle guy and defender. For a potential 7th or 8th man, you get what you pay for.
The 2 free throws!
MP2 left a bitter taste in all of our mouths in the Utah game where he missed 2 crunch time free throws and the Warriors wound up losing. But let's not have that define him. He did many good things last year and shouldn't be remembered for 2 free throws. He wasn't the only one who choked that game either.
Is he going to get better?
I wrote in MP2's report card,
He is what he is. I was hoping for a big jump in production as he was entering his fourth year, but was disappointed that his growth was marginal. He did improve on the amount of time he spent outside the 3 point line on offense. He used to always stand out on there waiting for the ball to rotate to him. Then when he got the ball, he would only shoot it from the corner. Last year, he didn't always shoot the 3 because occasionally he would take it to the hole. It was small improvement, but I don't expect much else from him next year. Again, he is what he is. You know exactly what you're going to get for better or for worse.
Is Mullin finally a real GM?
Ever since Nellie came on board, I've been impressed by Mullin's moves as a GM (see Report Card). Is Nellie making all the moves or is he just helping Mullin? I'd lean towards the latter. I firmly believe (with no evidence to back it up) that Nellie has played a major role in grooming Mullin as a personnel decision maker. The more moves Mullin makes soliciting the advice of Nellie, the better for the Warriors in the future. With every move, I grow more confident in Mullin's abilities because he's learning from his prior mistakes. I think he's learning from Nelson and can apply that to the Warriors even when Nelson leaves the team.
So why am I impressed with this move? Well Mullin learned from his mistakes in the past of signing his own restricted free agents. He basically outbid himself and it wound up nearly costing him his job. With Pietrus, he waited for the market to determine Pietrus' worth. Nobody wanted to overpay for MP2 so Mullin is going to get him at the price he wanted all along. Great job. He evaluated Pietrus at a certain price, let him test the waters, and now will sign him at the value he judged him to be worth.
Perhaps you can tell, but I like the 1 year deal for $3.4 million. I don't expect Pietrus to carry the team nor do I think he'll become indispensable. But I do see him as a valuable role player off the bench that can give you a solid 20-25 minutes to let the starters rest. No he's not the brightest player, but he makes up for that with his athletic ability on defense.
Now let's go sign Barnes! I think the later in the summer it gets, the better chance Mullin has for resigning Barnes.