NBA mailbag: Amnesty of Charlie Bell still hurts


NBA mailbag: Amnesty of Charlie Bell still hurts

Mailtime Does theCharlie Bell amnesty hurt the chances of Brandon Roy coming to Golden State?Chris, Parts Unknown.Steinmetz:There is little debate that using the amnesty provision on CharlieBell last year was a strategic mistake for the Warriors. It was short-sightedin that it didnt do the Warriors any good last season in terms of anacquisition and it didnt do them any good in terms of long-term flexibility. Bellscontract was set to expire at the end of the 2011-12 season, so by waiving him beforelast season began, the Warriors got rid of an expiring contract, which couldhave been used to their advantage at last seasons trading deadline.REWIND: Warriors amnesty Charlie Bell
Instead, theWarriors waived Bell and cleared out more than 10 million in cap space tomake a run at DeAndre Jordan. But Jordan wound up returning to theClippers.Now, depending onyour perspective that could be a good thing. In fact, you could make a casethat had the Warriors chosen to amnesty Andris Biedrins instead of Bell, thatthe Warriors could have then made a bigger offer for Jordan one the Clipperswould not have matched on.But under thatscenario, the Warriors would have Jordan under contract at more than 10-12million a season and probably wouldnt have Andrew Bogut. Jordan had a verydisappointing season for the Clippers in 2011-12.The reality is theWarriors should have abstained from using the amnesty clause lastyear.Had they not used ita season ago, they would have still have the ability to use it one time thisyear or beyond and Biedrins would have been a legitimate amnesty possibilitythis season.Being able toamnesty Biedrins this summer would have and could have dramaticallyaffected the Warriors approach in free agency.The freeagents on your list dont seem impactful. A trade might be the only way. IfDallas was looking at Hasheem Thabeet before Oklahoma city signed him, wouldthey consider making a move for Biedrins. Scott, Modesto.Steinmetz:If weve learned anything over the years its that no contract isuntradeable. Corey Maggette, said to have one of the NBAs worst contracts, hasbeen moved a couple of times since he signed a 50-plus million deal yearsago.Biedrins wont beeasy to trade, but its not outside the realm of possibility. First off, if theWarriors move Biedrins dont expect them to get much, if anything, inreturn.What team out therewould acquire Biedrins, who has been ineffectual for the past three years, andgive up something worthwhile? It seems like a longshot. Now, there could beseveral contending teams that would want Biedrins as insurance maybe in athird-center-off-the-bench role.Miami is always inneed of size, and they would seem to be a possibility. I could also see theDenver Nuggets being interested.But even if theWarriors make a deal for Biedrins, and its hard to envision at this point,its unlikely they will get much tangible from such a deal. Best they could dowould likely be trading Biedrins for a player or players whose contracts expireat the end of this season getting the Warriors out from under that deal ayear early.Do youthink Brandon Roy and the Warriors are a good fit? Scott, Fremont,Calif.Steinmetz:That all depends on Roys health. If hes the player he was two orthree years ago or a semblance of the player he was two or three years ago then hes a perfect fit: Someone with size who can play both guardpositions.The real question iswhether Roy is a fit with where hes at at his career. Roy, 27, may not havemany years left considering hes already retired because of chronic kneepain.So, will he reallycome to the Warriors who dont have a boatload of cash to offer? On thesurface, it would seem like Roy would be more interested in playing for acontending team.But if the betterteams are leery of Roy, then the door may be open for the Warriors to pluckRoy.Who do youthink will be the starting small forward next season -- Harrison Barnes, DorellWright or Richard Jefferson? Maggie, Davis, Calif.Steinmetz:I would say that Jefferson will start early in the season, but thatBarnes will eventually supplant him. Im taking Dorell Wright out of theequation because I just cant seem him the opening night starter.And I see that fortwo reasons. One, its no secret the Warriors have a glut at small forwardright now. Theyve got Wright, Jefferson, Barnes, Draymond Green and we haventeven got into Brandon Rush, whom the team hopes to re-sign. There are just toomany players for that position.So, I see theWarriors looking to move Wright, who has just one more year remaining on hisdeal. Also, even if Wright doesnt get traded, I dont see himstarting.The reason beingthat coach Mark Jackson is not a big fan of Wright. That became apparent overthe course of the season, with Wright seldom playing when games were on theline.

Steph Curry knows it comes with risk, but he's not going to change the way he plays


Steph Curry knows it comes with risk, but he's not going to change the way he plays

OAKLAND -- When he returns to the Warriors, likely on Friday, Stephen Curry will alter nothing about his game despite coming off a four-month period during which his surgically repaired right ankle endured multiple aggravations.

He’ll be the same Curry that fans have come to know, diving into passing lanes on defense while firing up 3-pointers and darting in and out of paint traffic on offense.

It’s the only way he knows how to play, and he’s played long enough to accept that it comes with risk.

“When I wake up in the morning I’ll know the difference between my right (ankle) and my left,” Curry said Thursday after practice. “But that won’t stop me from being who I am on the floor and having confidence in myself when I get back out there.”

Curry missed 11 games after spraining his ankle on Dec. 4 in New Orleans. He missed two games after tweaking it in shootaround on Jan 10. He missed no games after tweaking it March 2 in Atlanta. He has missed the last six games after tweaking it on March 8 against the Spurs.

“I’ve been very durable over the course of my career,” said Curry, who is listed as probable but fully expects to play Friday against Atlanta. “It’s just that I’ve had three untimely, freak accidents happen.”

Curry stepped on E’twaun Moore’s foot in New Orleans, on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in Atlanta and Dejounte Murray’s foot against the Spurs at Oracle Arena.

Not once in the previous five regular seasons did Curry miss significant time due to his tricky ankle. He missed a total of 16 games during that span, never more than four in a season, and six of those were for reasons of rest.

This season, however, has tested Curry’s patience like nothing since 2011-12, after which he had his second ankle surgery. He concedes that being in and out of the lineup has left him at times feeling “boredom, monotony and frustration.”

Though some of that can be attributed to the rehab process, there is no doubt part of that stems from watching the Warriors from the sideline.

With Curry out of the lineup this season, the Warriors are 13-8 (he missed one game with a hand bruise, another with a thigh bruise). That they are 40-10 when he’s in the lineup illustrates his importance.

It’s not just that he’s important. Curry is the catalyst for the offense and he can only be that if he is playing without regard for the possibility of injury. A hesitant Curry can’t be an effective Curry, so full throttle is the only way to go.

"If we’re trying to win a championship, I need to be out there,” he said. “That’s a given. We want every single guy out there, healthy and available, myself included. That’s the ideal situation.”

If he gets hurt along the way, so be it. As man of faith, he believes that anything that happens is influenced by a higher power.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting 3s or pullups are going into the lane or playing defense, that’s liable to happen any time,” Curry said. “Other than those instances, I haven’t had anything to worry about on the injury front. We are prisoners of the moment when it comes (playing the game). I don’t feel like I’m at a point where I have to change anything based on me being a durable player and being on the court consistently.

“Down the line, if you ask me about it in three of four years, there might be something I might need to change. But not right now.”

There is a segment of fans, worried about Curry’s health and realizing it is tied to the fate of the team, who would like him to dial back his aggression. Maybe avoid the paint and settle for more jump shots. He’s heard the advice and is not unwilling to launch a few more shots from deep.

But Curry is going to go where he sees daylight, and the best chance to make a positive play. He’ll take his chances because hesitation has no place in his mind or his game.


How Iguodala helped Looney get career on track, 'I finally listened to him...'


How Iguodala helped Looney get career on track, 'I finally listened to him...'

Back in late October, the Warriors declined their $2.3 million team option on Kevon Looney for the 2018-19 season.

How did that make him feel?

"It was kind of a let down," Looney told Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson on the Warriors Plus/Minus Podcast. "I knew it was up in the air. It was going back and forth, back and forth. When they didn't pick it up -- they told me why, I understood, I've been here for three years, I've seen a lot of players come and go; I know basketball is a business -- I was kind of let down.

"But I knew I was going to try and make the most of it. Now I'm playing for my contract for next year. I just wanted to go prove myself. I knew this summer there was a lot of doubts about what I could do. People were doubting if I would even be in the NBA still ... I knew what I was capable of."

Looney underwent surgery on his right hip in August 2015, and appeared in just five games during his rookie season.

He then had surgery on his left hip in April 2016, and appeared in 53 games (8.4 minutes per night) during the 2016-17 season.

This year, he's averaging career highs in points (3.5), rebounds (2.9), blocks (0.7) and minutes (12.0).

"This summer, I decided I just wanted to try go back to the way I played in college. It's been working for me," Looney explained. "I lost about 30 pounds this offseason and it's really made me a lot faster and a lot quicker. And I've been staying healthy."

How did he drop all that weight?

"A lot of broccoli and turkey and plain food. Food that wasn't that good but it's something that I had to get used to," Looney said. "Taco Bell, fried chicken, I was eating that on the regular ... coming off of injury, you can't eat like that. It's a different level of intensity in the NBA.

"I had to change my diet. Andre (Iguodala) was in my ear for two years about it. I finally listened to him and it paid off."

Looney will become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Although the Warriors declined the option, the 22-year old could return to Golden State -- but the max amount the Warriors can offer him is $2.3 million.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller