The Golden State Warriors have had a bit of a week so far, and it’s only Monday.
They lost chief marketer Chip Bowers to the Miami Marlins, so he can experience the magic of running the team’s revenue generation efforts – and if you know the Marlins, you know that revenue is a perpetual issue.
But marketing wizards come and go. What is more compelling is the way that the two leading buyout contract candidates they allegedly sought, Joe Johnson and Marco Belinelli, opted to play elsewhere – Johnson in Houston and Belinelli with Philadelphia.
Which leads to one question, and one alone. Are ring-chasers a rarer commodity than we think?
Clearly Johnson and Belinelli, the latter a former Warrior in the Don Nelson’s barbed tongue era, found the idea of a likely ring eminently resistable. Johnson may think the Rockets are primed to beat Golden State in a series, but the buyout from Sacramento and the $776,000 he will get as a 10-year veteran has been adjudged to be worth punching uphill in May, and the same is true of Belinelli, who goes to the last playoff team in the East and, assuming that remains the same, an opening-round series with either Toronto or Boston.
Players in Johnson’s or Belinelli’s positions (and for that matter, Brandan Wright, who also will sign with Houston), though, don’t ring-chase as much as we think they do. They seek out playing time and a chance to matter, either for a future contract or just because the team they agreed to play for showed the most desire to have them.
In other words, even a team with as presumably clear a road to Paradeville as Golden State doesn’t have everything for everybody. They could still chase other buyout class members, like Tony Allen as a perhaps, but let’s consider the words of Houston general brainbox Daryl Morey before we realize that the Warriors either don’t need the market or don’t need it enough.
“For teams who are already loaded, it's very hard to improve the rotations,” Morey said. “Most teams were in future mode. Those are the deals that happened.”
Besides, you secretly believe in Omri Casspi and Nick Young even now, and you always will.