Jump for some thoughts around the league about everyone's favorite Golden State Warriors executive Robert Rowell and Andris Biedrins who seems to be actively shopped around by the Dubs.
Golden State of Mind: To put it lightly Robert Rowell did not exactly have a sparkling resume in terms of academic background or work experience prior to coming to the Warriors, yet he was able to make the ascension to President of the Warriors fairly quickly. To say he isn't exactly the most popular or highly regarded executive amongst fans and media alike would be an understatement. Let's say Cohan unexpectedly (or the Warriors next owner) cut ties with Rowell. Would any other team in the league hire him in any capacity? What are the thoughts across the league about Rowell's abilities and previous body of work with the Warriors?
Tim Kawakami: I know a few high-powered NBA people who have offered some words of support for some of the things Rowell has done--the way the arena is set up, the lively game-night experience, the fiscal moves of a few years ago... things like that.
But there is no support for him as a franchise-runner and everybody knows he's not good at handling people, despite the handful of loyalists who remain in the Warriors employ, There's definitely zero respect for the public front-office chicanery/zaniness of the last year or so.
In fact, I got calls from NBA execs wondering what Rowell was doing when he signed Jackson to the three-year extension, and got calls from the same guys laughing their butts off when Jackson made his public trade request. His dance with Nelson, also, is amusing to NBA folks who know Nelson well.
So no, I don't think Rowell would get a job in any high position in the NBA if Cohan would grant him free agency. Maybe he could be a marketing guy for a D-League team?
Golden State of Mind: In your blog post at the end of last season My Warriors' 2008-09 honor roll: Turiaf, Azubuike and Randolph you noted that Biedrins had the worst season plus/ minus on the team and that another season like that one would make his contract look very awful. In hindsight do the Warriors regret extending him before he became a free agent in the summer of 2008? Also the Warriors seemed very willing to trade Andris Biedrins this past summer. What does this say about how much they value his game and projections of his unrealized potential?
Tim Kawakami: Don't know if regret is the right word for the Biedrins deal, because he's a young big man with a great attitude who the Warriors thought they couldn't lose, even if Nelson wasn't enamored with a center who can't shoot. Biedrins had a value, and the Warriors matched it or slightly exceeded it, with an agent in Bill Duffy that they like.
But they also got caught up in standard sports uh-oh: The situation changed. A lot. Biedrins was a centepierce of a certain kind of Warriors team, along with Monta, and that team has changed. Now that long, expensive deal doesn't look so good, ESPECIALLY since Nelson continues not to be enamored with a center who can't shoot.
We could write 10 thesis papers on how much the departure of Baron Davis changed things for the Warriors. But the departure of Al Harrington changed things a bit, too: He was a shooting 4 who could play with Biedrins. Without a shooting 4, I don't know how much Nelson wants to play Randolph with Biedrins.
Which led to the Warriors dangling Biedrins in trade talks with Phoenix. (Biedrins wouldn't have minded that deal at all.) I think they'll keep dangling Biedrins, because of his salary, because other teams like him, and because they don't have the right Nellie fit in the frontcourt if Randolph is going to get the lion's share of power-forward minutes.
Keep your Internet dial on GSoM for the final installment!