Q&A: Preetom Bhattacharya from Hoopsworld 1/3/07 (Part 1 of 3)

January is a busy time of the year around the league with trade rumors running rampant and most teams and players in mid-season form. Since we have some very inquisitive minds over here at we decided to check in with GSoM friend Preetom Bhattacharya from Hoopsworld.

Here's a little bit more about Pree:

Preetom Bhattacharya is the Senior Newslines Editor and covers the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers for HOOPSWORLD. Preetom oversees the daily publication of HOOPSWORLD's newslines products for both the NBA and NCAA.

Pree has been very good to the GSoM community for a long time and frequently sprinkles in his insider knowledge into the comments and diaries.

Make the jump for Pree's thoughts on an Andris Biedrins for Josh Smith rumor, whether Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli are on the trading block, and if the Warriors front office is looking to make a big move at this year's trading deadline.

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Golden State of Mind: Rumors posted on message boards by anonymous posters usually don't have much credibility, but that doesn't mean they don't make for an interesting discussion. About a month back on Atlanta Hawks message board Hawksquawk.net a poster claimed that the Golden State Warriors sent an offer to the Atlanta Hawks: Andris Biedrins for Josh Smith straight up. How true is this rumor and how much interest do the Warriors have in acquiring Smith? Are the Warriors shopping Biedrins?

Preetom Bhattacharya: This is a rumor I heard, but it's not one I really believe was even close to coming to fruition.

If the Warriors could have gotten Josh Smith, I believe they would have made that move, contingent upon them finding another big man somehow, likely with the TPE. As Sleepy Freud likes to say, it would have been a domino move with other things likely coming along.

On the surface, it's important to know that Josh Smith is becoming an elite-level player who would absolutely thrive in Nellie's system, so I don't think the Hawks, who have grown up and are playing pretty solid ball, would give up their most popular player for a center. Especially when you consider that they've got Horford and Shelden developing. Why take more minutes away from the Landlord and the Gator?

It just doesn't make sense for both squads at this time. If Biedrins is moved, it's likely in a package with one of the Warriors' bigger contracts for a guy that can really make an impact. The good thing is that the Warriors don't have any bad contracts. The bad thing is, they don't have guys with huge salaries to move for a bunch of pieces, either.


Golden State of Mind:
Nellie has publicly stated several times that he thinks rookies Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli aren't ready to contribute this season. Given that Nellie is in the twilight of his career are either of these 2007 Draft picks being shopped around for players who can help the Warriors now? How high is the Warriors organization on these two players? Is their much interest in these two rookies around the league? What could they net in return?

Preetom Bhattacharya: There's no reason to believe that either one of these players is on the block - they're an integral part of the Warriors' future, even if Nellie isn't around to see them really grow. One thing you have to keep in mind is that the Warriors have positioned themselves to be flexible for the long-term, and part of that is keeping and developing young talent. Although B-Wright doesn't look like he'll be able to give the Dubs much this year, after adding some weight, I can definitely see him being a big part of the Warriors. Hopefully, he can do that sooner rather than later.

Everything I've pieced together is that the team is very high on both of them, especially Wright. I don't know if Belinelli can be a starter in the NBA unless he develops his point skills - but as a gunner off the bench, man can he be special. I know that Belinelli is working his tail off to get better (not that Wright hasn't, but I haven't heard stories about him like I have about the Italian sensation).


Golden State of Mind:
The Warriors are playing well right now at 18-7 since the 0-6 start. In the past few years, Mullin has had rumors swirling around the Warriors involving them in major deals during the trade deadline. Are Mullin and company looking to make a big move and risk messing with the good thing they have going right now? Or do you think they'll be focusing more on shoring up some of the weak spots on the team?

Preetom Bhattacharya: Mullin has the mentality that he'll do whatever necessary to make the team better. As much as finances were a part of the J-Rich trade (oh no .. I brought it up), it can be argued that the deal allowed the team to be better in the long run. Having J-Rich in the lineup beside Baron, Jack, and Al would have been nice, but not if it came at the expense of bringing back Azubuike and Barnes. Look at what the team is getting from Pietrus - Barnes was totally necessary.

The Warriors are going to be in the thick of a lot of rumors again this year because Mullin has that mentality, and he's basically got a $9.9-million check for anyone that wants it. I wouldn't be surprised if the Warriors made ancillary move for someone - they've already been linked to Smush Parker and may be interested in Damon Stoudamire from afar. That's the kind of move the team is probably looking at, and they've got some options to pursue that kind of a deal.

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Part 2 and 3 of our Q&A with Pree coming at ya' soon!

Feel free to leave some follow up questions and thoughts in the comments for Pree. If he has time and your follow up thoughts are well researched and thought out, he'll try to get to them. Please be respectful of our guest and make sure to give our brother that golden treatment!

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