NBA mailbag: What are options with Brandon Rush?


NBA mailbag: What are options with Brandon Rush?

Mailtime What happens if Brandon Rush doesnt receive anoffer sheet from another team? Are the Warriors still able to sign him? Eli,Santa Rosa, Calif.Steinmetz: Yes, the Warriors can still sign him.In fact, the Warriors can sign Rush at any time right now, on their own,without needing another team to be involved.What the Warriors are waiting for, of course, is for anotherteam to sign Rush to an offer sheet so that they can determine whether to matchit or not. But the Warriors also have made it clear that theyre likely tomatch any offer sheet he signs.
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So, in essence, the Warriors have dissuaded teams from goingafter Rush. For example, why would a team try to sign Rush to a contract itknows the Warriors will match? This is not an uncommon strategy for teams withrestricted free agents.So, three things can happen. First, he could get an offer.If that happens, the Warriors will decide whether or not to match. Second, Rushdoesnt get an offer but he and the Warriors agree to a contractextension.Or, three, Rush can pass on signing a long-term deal withthe Warriors and instead play for the qualifying offer which would be oneyear, 4.3 million and become an unrestricted free agent next season.Over under on Warriors wins 41? Peter,Texas.Steinmetz: At this point, Id have to say under.While I think the Warriors will be better than last year, I think its a longway toward .500. Can it be done? Yes, it can be done. But at this point itseems as if a lot has to go right for that to happen.The Warriors are going to need Andrew Bogut and StephenCurry to be healthy, and theyre going to need Klay Thompson to take the nextstep, which means he becomes a bona-fide starter who is consistent.The Warriors also need Harrison Barnes to have a very nicerookie year. The other thing is this I just think the Warriors arent deepenough on their front line. If David Lee or Bogut gets into foul trouble, whois the first big player off the bench at this point?Well, its Jeremy Tyler or Festus Ezeli or Draymond Green.Thats a problem, far as Im concerned.Theres no doubt the Warriors are still trying to sign afree-agent big man, whether its Kenyon Martin or Carl Landry or even SheldenWilliams. If and when they can acquire one of those players, it might be timefor a little bit of a win-total revision. But right now, I see 41 wins as a tadon the high side for the Warriors.How does the Kent Bazemore signing impact futureroster moves? Chris, Bay Area.Steinmetz: At this point, that is unknown. First of all, Bazemorescontract is not guaranteed so the bottom line is that what the Warriors havedone with him so far is simply ensure that hell be at camp.Still no guarantees he makes the team, although itspossible he becomes a player such as Chris Wright, whom the team kept aroundfor all of last year to get a real good look at.Bazemore is a small forward so in theory he would beprotection against the possibility of losing Brandon Rush. But I dont thinkthe Warriors are thinking that far ahead right now.I think the Warriors have every intention of re-signingRush. Bazemore is just a player they want to get more of a look at to see howgood he is defensively and whether or not he could step into some minutes atbackup two and three.The Warriors like Bazemore, no doubt. But were still a waysaway from him becoming an integral part of the team.

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.