Warriors

Steinmetz: Azubuike Signing's Domino Effect on Warriors

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Steinmetz: Azubuike Signing's Domino Effect on Warriors

May 4, 2010STEINMETZ ARCHIVEWARRIORS PAGE WARRIORS VIDEO

Matt Steinmetz
CSNBayArea.com
It was a mere formality that Warriors swingman Kelenna Azubuike exercised his player option for the 2010-11 season -- which is what he did on Tuesday.

After all Azubuike said six weeks ago that returning to the Warriors for 3.3 million next season was the logical thing to do.

Simply put, for a player who missed most of this past season, opting out would have been a gamble. So in other words, nobody in Golden States front office was surprised by the move.

Now its time to turn your attention to Anthony Morrow.

The Warriors now have three small forwards under contract -- Azubuike, Corey Maggette and Reggie Williams -- but Morrow is not one of them. He'll become a restricted free agent this offseason, and his future with the Warriors is very much unknown.

Morrow is one of the NBAs best 3-point shooters, and hes improved many parts of his game over the past two years. No Warrior spends as much time in the gym as Morrow and he is one of the most well-liked players on the team.

But unless the Warriors can make some kind of offseason deal, it's a longshot Morrow will be back. Simply put, theres not enough room for him.

As a restricted free agent, the Warriors will have the right to match any offer Morrow would get from another team. Still, the Warriors are unlikely to shell out, say, 3-plus million per year for three or four years for a player who would simply further logjam a position.

Of course, all this could change if the Warriors could find a trade partner for Maggette, but its not like they havent been looking into that for a while now. Its also possible the Warriors might look to trade Azubuike, although he is coming off a serious knee injury.

Morrow went undrafted out of Georgia Tech, but the Warriors signed him to a two-year deal in the summer of 2008. He proceeded to lead the league in 3-point shooting in 2008-09.

Theres no doubt the Warriors can lay claim to discovering Morrow. But if they want to keep him, theyre going to have to figure out how.

With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell

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AP

With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell

After getting a rude “Welcome to the NBA” facial from Rockets guard Eric Gordon in his debut Tuesday night, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell stands to get a more legitimate baptism Friday night in New Orleans.

That’s where Pelicans All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be waiting, eager to abuse the new guy.

With starting power forward Draymond Green listed as doubtful with a strained left knee -- MRI test results were negative -- Bell can expect significant minutes when the Warriors and Pelicans meet at Smoothie King Center.

Aware Green’s availability is in question, Bell sees what’s ahead in Davis and Cousins, as they both possess skills that rank among the top five big men.

“I’m definitely excited about that,” Bell said Wednesday. “(They are) some of the best bigs in the league, so I’m definitely excited to get tested against that.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr generally avoids tinkering with his set rotations, in which case David West and JaVale McGee would continue to come off the bench at center. Of the other “bigs” on the roster, Bell is most likely to start if Green is unable.

Bell played 12 minutes in the opener, and they were in slots that typically go to McGee, who never left the bench against Houston. Citing the matchups created by the Rockets’ smallish lineups, Kerr opted for the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Bell over the 7-foot, 270-pound McGee.

That will change Friday, regardless of Green’s status, as both Bell and McGee will be needed against Davis and Cousins, both of whom possess wing spans over 7 feet. Only Bell is suited to play power forward or center, and the staff is coaching him at both positions.

“At the 4, I have to be more of a facilitator, like (Green) is,” Bell said. “Some plays (Kerr) has me doing the same things Draymond does. Sometimes he has me bring the ball up in practice. Calling plays, putting me in positions on the elbows to make the right pass, make the right read.

“When I’m at the 5, I have to be more of an aggressor, a more physical guy on the court, focusing on rebounding and finishing around the rim.”

It’s exceedingly rare for a second-round draft pick to start a game in his first week as an NBA player. The Warriors believe Bell can handle it. So in the case of Green being held out, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rookie’s name is called.

 

Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI

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USATSI

Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI

The Golden State Warriors and Dubnation have been holding their breath a bit awaiting the results of Draymond Green's MRI. 

They can breathe a little better now. 

According to ESPN, the forward underwent an MRI on his left knee and results came back negative. 

Green left Tuesday's game against the Rockets one point shy of a triple double after 28 minutes of work. 

The Warriors were left in a defensive deficit in his absence and ultimatley lost to the Rockets 122-121. 

More to come...