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Hollinger on Kwame Signing

Man, Hollinger is on fire. Pretty much sums up the futility that is the GSW Free Agency period. Link is ESPN Insider, so: Kwame Brown to Warriors, for one year, $7 million: Thumbs down I'm so sorry, Warriors fans. You thought everything would get better once Chris Cohan sold the team, and then stuff like this starts happening. While Brown wasn't that bad in Charlotte last season, he wasn't good either. He's a serviceable backup center since he's big and fairly mobile, but that's it. He won't score or block shots because he is slow off the ground, has hands of stone and is a poor foul shooter. Also, everybody seems to be glossing over just how injury-prone he's been. Over the past five years he's played 41, 38, 58, 48 and 66 games; a few of those were DNP-CDs in Detroit, but mostly it was because he kept getting injured. I realize it's a one-year deal so it takes risk out of the equation, but the Warriors basically signed a very expensive backup center under the mistaken impression that he'd be a decent starter. I question even whether this was a primary need. Golden State had four bigs on the roster already with Ekpe Udoh, David Lee, Andris Biedrins and Louis Amundson. While Brown can defend big post players better than any of them, there are more pressing issues here, like the fact that the only backup perimeter players are rookies Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins. Golden State already forfeited both its amnesty provision and the rights to both Reggie Williams and Jeremy Lin in their bizarre quest to overpay DeAndre Jordan; now the Warriors have also forfeited most of their cap space. They'd have been better off living to fight another day and using their cap space via trade or targeting less expensive players. It's tempting, for instance, to think that there were no centers available, but that isn't true. Even if you say Golden State had to get a big, burly post defender, several players of that type who are only marginally worse than Brown could be had much less expensively. For instance, Kyrylo Fesenko is a better defender than Brown and will end up costing about a quarter the price. Reggie Evans is out there too, for perhaps a third the cost. Shelden Williams, Aaron Gray and Jason Collins signed for the minimum; Darnell Jackson is still hanging out in Europe waiting to get the minimum. Alternatively, Mehmet Okur is eminently acquirable in a trade; I'd imagine Ian Mahinmi is too. In other words, Kwame Brown and Sam Dalembert were the "only" centers left only if you constrained your thinking to 2010-11 starters who were unrestricted free agents. Golden State reacted to a perceived scarcity that didn't actually exist, and as a result traded Reggie Williams for Kwame Brown while losing both its cap space and its amnesty.

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