The picture that GSoM friends Marcus Thompson and Tim Kawakami have painted is not a good one:
Sources: Nellie tells Crawford to opt out or he'll be traded [Inside Bay Area]
According to multiple team sources, Warriors coach Don Nelson told guard Jamal Crawford that if he doesn't opt out of his contract, Golden State would trade him this offseason.
Nellie Issued Crawford Ultimatum [Inside the Warriors]
Anyway, so after Nellie dropped this bomb on Crawford, he told him that he would sit him out some games in part to keep his average. (My personal opinion, it is true that he wanted to give the other guys more time, and Nellie genuinely thought he was helping Crawford by sitting him out instead of playing him sparingly and ruining his averages.)
The original plan, I'm told, was that Crawford would be the only one sitting out. But then Crawford's agent blew a gasket when he heard about this development (which you read here). Nellie, in an effort to not look as if he was singling out Crawford, then came up with the rest-a-veteran fall-back plan.
Even more, Nelson was suggesting that Crawford HAD BETTER OPT-OUT or else Nelson would probably make sure that the situation next year isn't to Crawford's liking.
My understanding is that Crawford's reaction was the same as any proud player's reaction: Why in the world should I be pushed into a decision like that?
Jump for some bullets on this recent drama...
- The Warriors (Don Nelson at least) don't seem to want to have any part of a Monta Ellis- Jamal Crawford backcourt next year. That's a good thing. It would easily be the worst starting defensive backcourt in the league. I don't want none of that. There's only so many career nights to random guards around the association that I can stomach. It would be happening on a nightly basis. Seeing as how Jamal has shot 40.9% from the field with the Warriors and Monta has only netted 39.8% of his tries this season, it's tough to argue that they'll be able to overcome their defensive woes with their scoring.
- Maybe the Warriors don't mind keeping one of Monta- Jamal backcourt, but not both. Are the Warriors worried that they won't be able to legally void Monta's contract this offseason? Are they trying to force Jamal out because cutting ties with Monta looks even more impossible?
- I really hate to see Jamal go through this. He's been classy his whole stay here in the Bay and even earlier this season in NY. In the span of months he was essentially dumped for a contract that was guaranteed to expire before his (Al Harrington) and asked to voluntarily leave his new squad.
- I do believe Nellie is indeed helping Jamal out (and the other vets) by sitting him out for entire games and not screwing up his per game averages. As a former player Tom Tolbert on KNBR has said that he would actually prefer that type of situation when he was playing. But Nellie should've been smarter about it. Did he really believe it would be that simple? He has plenty of detractors in the local and national media who were going to dig beneath the surfaces and stir a little drama (that's their job) to try to make this terrible Warriors season more interesting.
- As my main man Modi will tell you, cap space is incredibly overrated. When guys like Chris Mullin and Robert Rowell are running your front office who have demonstrated ZERO understanding of NBA economics and negotiating player contracts, it's even worse. First of all, no top tier free agent is going to come to the Warriors this offseason or next. They're only going to come here if there's something wrong with them and no other team wants them. I really don't see how they can improve on Jamal's cap number via free agency. The NBA's current CBA is designed to help teams retain their own free agents. You essentially have to overpay or get players to take a paycut to leave their current teams. Now improving via trades, that's a completely different story with precedent. Keep Jamal and try to trade him if the Warriors really want to part with him. It's not like he has a horrendous contract or anything.
- The Golden State Warriors from top to bottom are a complete mess. I hope you didn't need me to tell you that.
Also see IQofaWarriors' FanShot for more thoughts from the GSoM community.