Golden State

Warriors Will Be Battling Themselves Next Season

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Next year, Michael Pietrus will be a sophomore, Michael Dunleavy, Jr., and Jason Richardson will be third-year pros, and Speedy Claxton will be a fourth-year player. Nick Van Exel and Erick Dampier may or may not opt out this summer, meaning the future of this club is in the hands of the youngsters, unless the Warriors are able to strike a deal for some size in the center.

The Warriors have been building to have salary cap space at the end of next season, and if Van Exel does not opt out (it appears likely he will not), then that is exactly what they will get. His expiring contract could potentially be used as trade bait for other teams looking to get below the cap, but most likely the Warriors just want to have flexibility when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed.

All indications are that it should be a fairly routine extension of the current CBA with a few modifications but no major stumbling blocks. When the current CBA expires after next season, the Warriors want to be in a position of having players under inexpensive contracts.

Unfortunately, that strategy is likely to result in the lottery again for the Warriors next season. They just don't seem to have the assets to trade for an impact player, and they are already so young that a rookie from this year's draft class is probably not going to be able to have an immediate impact, because of the lack of leverage.

Losing is a drag; next year, when the Warriors go through an extended dry spell, there will be bickering of the sort we saw between Gilbert Arenas and Kwame Brown this year. NBA players want to win ball games, not position themselves for financial flexibility after the season. When the bickering starts, it could spell disaster for Golden State if the Warriors start battling themselves.

The Warriors Basketball Camp for kids will feature appearances by current and former Warriors. There will be sessions in Oakland, Santa Rosa, Pleasanton, Saratoga, Larkspur, Newark and San Ramon. For more information, click here.


Gary Peterson ofThe Contra Costa Timeswrites: Welcome to the NBA playoffs, the most exciting 174 days in sports. Or, as it's known around the Warriors offices, Passover.

Matt Steinmetz ofThe Contra Costa Times answers email questionsabout the Warriors.

Scott Howard-Cooper of theScripps Howard News Servicewrites: Eric Musselman has been in trouble in Golden State for going for victories instead of developing the kids.But he at least has the safety net of knowing he will be hired by someone else in the summer and that they will still be the Warriors.

The Athens Banner-Heraldlists the following events: The 23rd annual Atlanta Pro Basketball Camp, directed by Bob Reinhart (who coached at Decatur High School, Georgia State University and for the Atlanta Hawks, and who is now a scout for the Golden State Warriors)will be held July 4-9 at Rhinehardt College in Waleska. The fee for boarders is $350 and $250 for day campers. For more information, call 404-876-3471.