Warriors

As free agency begins, 10 names for Warriors to consider

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As free agency begins, 10 names for Warriors to consider

Free agency gotunderway late Saturday night, with teams beginning to make their first contactwith players. Most of the big-name free agents are either restricted meaningtheir original team has a chance to match any offer or their already startingto head to certain places.Kevin Garnett isgoing back to Boston, Deron Williams has indicated hes re-signing in NewJersey and nobody expects San Antonios Tim Duncan to go anywhere.The Warriors areover the salary cap and only have their mid-level exception worth 5 million to spend. They can spend it all on one player or break it up to sign morethan one.In other words, theWarriors have to go looking for value in the free-agent market. Here is a listof 10 free agents the Warriors will likely reach out to:BrandonBass: Bostons undersized power forward exercised his player optionto become a free agent. Warriors general manager Bob Myers talked after draftnight of the Warriors needing athleticism. Bass would provide that up front.RELATED: Bass 2012 game logs
ReggieEvans: The other thing Myers and minority owner Jerry West thinksthe Warriors need is toughness. Thats what Evans is.RELATED: Evans 2012 game logs

RaymondFelton: He wasnt in great shape in Portland, and his play showed it.Hes not the bigger-sized guard the Warriors covet, but if Felton is coming offyour bench, thats not bad.

RELATED: Felton 2012 game logs
JordanHill: The Warriors had a chance to draft Hill back in 2009, but tookStephen Curry. Turned out to be a good decision. Now it makes some sense toacquire Hill as a nice backup role player.RELATED: Hill 2012 game logs

KirkHinrich: Hinrich did not have a good season in 2011-12 with theHawks, and hes been banged up in recent years. But if hes healthy, he wouldhelp the Warriors, particularly on the defensive end. Thats where heexcels.

RELATED: Hinrich 2012 game logs
KrisHumphries: Humphries probably priced himself out of the Warriorsmarket with his play last season, but if a player like him slips through thecracks, maybe the Warriors could conjure up an offer. Hed give the Warriors ashot of frontcourt athleticism.

RELATED: Humphries 2012 game logs

Carl Landry:Not long ago, Landry was upward trending. But his career has stalleda little bit, and that could give the Warriors a chance. Hes a player whomight be gettable with the mid-level.

RELATED: Landry 2012 game logs

KenyonMartin: Martins skills have diminished but his know-how remains.And hes still fiercely competitive and more than willing to bephysical.RELATED: Martin 2012 game logs

AndreMiller: The mid-level likely wont be enough to acquire a player ofMillers caliber. But if the Warriors want Miller badly enough and he wantsto come a sign-and-trade wouldnt be out of the question.

RELATED: Miller 2012 game logs Is Andre Miller a perfect fit for the Warriors?
SheldenWilliams: Hes not a sexy name, to be sure, and his career has been adisappointment as a pro. But if the Warriors are looking for a dirty-workplayer, Williams is that. On top of it, he shouldnt cost that much.RELATED: Williams 2012 game logs

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season. 

One thing is pretty clear about these Warriors after 2-2 road trip

One thing is pretty clear about these Warriors after 2-2 road trip

The Warriors are not ready to flip their seek-and-destroy switch. Not yet.

They’re closer to being ready than, say, their longtime rivals in Cleveland, but in going 2-2 on this four-game road trip the Warriors showed they are nowhere near full annihilation mode.

They went into Oklahoma City Wednesday night and, in gulping down a 108-91 loss on national TV, came away looking more vulnerable than they have in any game this season. The 17-point loss was their largest margin of defeat and this was awful close to being a wire-to-wire rout.

The Warriors defense, so splendid during the seven-game win streak they took out of town last week, was inconsistent throughout and downright atrocious by their standards as they concluded the trip.

Their offense, which had begun reducing the turnovers to acceptable levels, came apart like a pair of $3 sneakers.

Even their body language, aside from two well-deserved technical fouls, seemed to mostly vacillate between whispers and a whimpers.

“We didn’t have any focus or concentration,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The ‘millennials’ couldn’t lock in tonight. And their coach couldn’t do much either. Long night for us.”

These were not the Warriors who posted seven consecutive double-digit wins, and they’re certainly not the team that found its competitive blowtorches last April. They weren’t visible in this game, nor were they seen for most of this road trip.

This, ahem, regular-season road trip.

That’s the catch. Last April is when the playoffs got underway, and next April is when the 2018 playoffs begin. The time between now and then is for experimenting, fine-tuning and fighting through the monotonous joys of victory -- a factor on vivid display Wednesday night.

“We played with some decent energy,” Stephen Curry said. “We just didn’t play smart.”

“They completely outplayed us, outcoached us,” Kerr said. “It was just their night. It was absolutely their night. They brought the energy, they brought the juice, they brought the intelligence. And we didn’t bring any of that.”

The Warriors entered the game after studying video and stats that illustrated OKC’s ability to disrupt an offense. The Thunder leads the NBA in steals, deflections and -- this one punches the Warriors in the gut -- forcing turnovers.

The Warriors committed 22 giveaways, leading directly to 34 Thunder points.

“Thirty-four points off turnovers, you can’t win like that,” Draymond Green said.

“I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready to play,” Kerr said. “We have a pretty loose, fun atmosphere around here. That’s great, but there are certain times where it’s like, ‘All right guys. Let’s throw it to our team. Let’s execute the play. Let’s remember the play.’ ”

Kevin Durant bemoaned the “silly turnovers” that were such a factor in the game, blaming it players rather than Kerr and his staff.

“For the most part he can’t control that type of stuff,” said Durant, whose four turnovers were second to Curry’s team-high six. “We’ve got to be better at keeping the ball in our hands, shooting more shots than our opponents and playing defense.”

Added Green: “We were pretty well-prepared. We just played bad.”

That happens to even the best of teams, a category in which the defending champions fit quite snugly. No team, not even the Chicago Bulls of the maniacally competitive Michael Jordan, is able to bring its best for 82 games a season.

The Warriors blew two 17-point leads, one in second quarter and another in the third, in losing at Boston.

They fell behind by 24 in the third quarter to the 76ers before coming back to win in Philadelphia before recovering the next night to submit their best performance of the trip in routing Brooklyn.

And in OKC, against a Thunder team that would seem to get their full attention, the Warriors were outhustled, outsmarted and played with considerably less fury.

“Right now, we’re just in a little bit of rut, where we’ve got to focus,” Kerr said. “And I know we will. We’ve done this many times in the past and bounced back. And we’ll bounce back. We need to lock in and tighten up everything.”

They will, eventually. It could happen next week, or next month, or after the calendar turns to 2018. They’ll turn it on and become the team of terror, punishing all before them. It might be April, though.

This road game indicated some truth, though, which is there will be games over the next four months in which they will lose the battle with themselves.