Baron opts out, signs on with McDonalds?!
After the draft where we picked up another big man project and let the trade exception expire, wake up Warrior fans, Baron Davis has opted out of his contract. What looked like a relatively boring offseason - the draft and resigning Monta and Beans - just got verrrry interesting. Opting out does not mean he's leaving, but it does give him some negotiating power with Mullin. And most likely, even if Baron leaves, we'll get some sort of compensation though I'm not sure how well Mullin will negotiate that.
Some thoughts after the jump...
Why did Baron opt out?
I'm not really sure on this one but I have to think it was a combination of factors:
1) He wanted a long term deal now. He's coming off a season where he started all 82 games and with his injury history, the time to cash in is now. He proved he can stay healthy, albeit in a contract year, and teams in need of a top flight PG will want his services.
2) Mullin and Co. have done nothing to improve the team. I'd say another factor in Baron opting out was his way of him telling management that he can only come back if the team is improved. Simply resigning Monta and Beans, drafting a guy who won't contribute for 2-3 seasons, and letting the trade exception expire are not signs that the Warriors are trying to win this year. Baron knows he doesn't have much time especially with Nelson around for most likely, 1 more year. If I were him, I'd be upset that the Warriors did nothing at the draft to improve the team and did nothing creative with the trade exception as well.This puts pressure on Mullin to make a decision to build for the future (just play the young guys this year) or re-sign Baron and make another play for a top player (Artest? Brand? Marion?)
What does this all mean?
In my quick analysis, a few things could happen:
1) Baron re-signs with the Warriors for a long term deal. Obviously, he won't be getting the 17.8 million he would have received this season, but he would guarantee himself much more in the long term. So, the Warriors retain his rights at a lower cap hit this year than it would have been if he had not opted out.
2) Memphis, Philly, or the LA Clippers sign him outright. The only 2 teams with enough cap space to give him a 10+ million dollar deal would be those 3 teams. Unless he's taking a severe paycut, he's not going to a contender without the Warriors receiving compensation.
3) And lastly, by far the most interesting and controversial outcome, Baron forces a sign and trade from the Warriors to another team. Most likely, he would force a trade to a contending team. Just as I thought the ridiculous trade proposals would die down with the expiration of the trade exception, Baron throws a twist and we'll now see lots of Fan Posts trading Baron to any and every team.
4) Elton Brand opted out as well. Could the Warriors be eyeing his services now? I didn't think he'd opt out either but supposedly after seeing what the Celtics did with 3 stars, he wants to do the same. So he wants to see the Clips make the same type of dedication to winning. I'm sure Baron has that in mind as well. Brand would look good in a Warrior uni, next to Baron of course.
Leave your thoughts in the comments.