NBA AM: Carl Landry Seeks Long-Term Home
Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry is arguably one of the most underrated frontcourt talents in the game today. Despite having a starting lineup caliber skillset, Landry has only started 63 contests out of over 330 regular season appearances since entering the league in 2007.
While Landry continues to provide consistent on court production, over the course of his six year career he has played for four different franchises in Houston, Sacramento and New Orleans before signing a two-year $8 million deal with the Golden State Warriors this past offseason.
Landry, who holds a player option for the 2014 season, is hoping his latest stop in Golden State will be the last in his career journey, for a long while.
“Golden State has been more than good to me so far and that’s an understatement,” Landry told HOOPSWORLD. “I’m really excited to be here. I signed a two-year deal and hopefully I can be here for a very long time.”
For his career, Landry has averaged 12.2 points and five rebounds per game on 54 percent shooting from the floor (78 percent from the free throw line). For his career as a starter, Landry has averaged 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds. On a Per 36 minute basis, Landry has even stronger career averages of 17.6 points and seven rebounds.
But despite producing at a higher level than most starters at his position, if given the minutes, Landry has yet to receive a lucrative long term offer. After the lockout ended in 2011 Landry inked a one-year $8.5 million deal with the Hornets before inking the two-year deal with the Warriors this past summer.
Its clear Landry is seeking the security of a long term deal whenever he hits the free agent market again, whether it is after this season or the summer of 2014.
“I think every player wants some type of security,” Landry said referring to his desire to settle in with one team. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the league for six years and I’m very blessed to have an opportunity to do so.”
Landry says he’s having the most fun of his career in Golden State up until this point and credits the chemistry in the Warriors’ locker room. It is a situation where he’d like to be long term but will the numbers tie out financially?
The Warriors currently have $75 million in salary commitments for the 2014 season, likely placing them in luxury tax territory. Richard Jefferson ($11m), Brandon Rush ($4m) and Landry ($4m) all have player options at the end of this season they can decline or exercise, while Andris Biedrins ($9m) has an early termination option as well. The contracts for Jeremy Tyler ($884k) and Kent Bazemore ($789k) are non-guaranteed for next season.
Charlotte Bobcats Fully Buying Into Mike Dunlap’s Blueprint
The Charlotte Bobcats won a grand total of seven games last season during the lockout shortened campaign, setting a league record for futility in the process. This season it took the Bobcats just 12 contests to achieve the seven win mark. Aided by the hiring of head coach Mike Dunlap, the addition of talented rookies and solid veterans the Bobcats are in much better shape as a franchise, even though the club is mired in a 12 game losing streak.
Veteran forward Reggie Williams was a member of last year’s unit and says the team has the right head coach for the job in place and feels the chemistry in the locker room continues to improve.
“It feels really good,” Williams recently told HOOPSWORLD on the team’s development since last season. “Last year it just went south for us. There were a lot of injuries and we never got it clicking. This year everybody came into training camp in shape, everyone has bought into coach’s philosophy and the chemistry with the team is great. Guys clicked really fast, got know each other and enjoy playing with each other. So this is where we are.”
Williams credits the Bobcats’ front office for bringing in veterans Ben Gordon and Brendan Haywood to help stabilize the locker room and provide leadership. Both guys boast playoff experience. The club also drafted two rookies in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor who have immediately contributed to the lineup on a nightly basis.
“The guy’s that they did bring in, the new pieces and the draft picks are helping to change the culture bringing in a winning attitude,” Williams said. “They also brought in some vets who have been to the playoffs, one who has a ring (Haywood) that has played with great players.”
“We have good veteran leadership and presence in the locker room,” Williams added. “Those guys know what to bring to the table and know what we’re here for. We don’t want to relive last year and with them coming in they don’t want to either. They’ve taken that responsibility upon themselves to come in and help change what we’re trying to do.”
The Bobcats started the campaign 7-5, but have since dropped their last 12 games. The club finishes the month with five road games (Phoenix, Golden State, Denver, Brooklyn and Chicago) and just two home games (Miami and New Orleans).
Boston Celtics Title Window Now Completely Closed?
The Boston Celtics have been fixtures amongst the league’s elite since the 2008 season when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen arrived into town to join Paul Pierce. Allen departed this past summer in free agency and is now a key reserve for the Miami HEAT and the once dominant Celtics have struggled to a .500 mark to begin the season.
After the latest loss, a double-digit defeat, at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers admitted his current roster just hasn’t been a good basketball team.
“We’re going to keep searching, this team is not a good team right now,” Rivers said according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “It’s who we are right now. I’ve been saying that. This is who we are. We’re a .500 team and we play like that. We’ve won two games in a row [once this] season. Right now we’re not a good team. We’re going to find it, but we’re not right now.”
Many thought the Celtics reloaded this season in such a fashion to compete for the Eastern Conference title. The team signed veteran guards Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa, signed forward Jeff Green, acquired Courtney Lee via trade and drafted promising rookie Jared Sullinger.
But veteran forward Paul Pierce says the team still doesn’t have an identity and that’s key to the early season struggles.
“Right now we have no identity, that’s simple and plain,” Pierce said. “We’re supposed to be a defensive team, [but] give up 100 points every night, inconsistent on both ends of the court. We’re searching, trying to find out who we want to be for this season.”
Next up for the Celtics are home games versus Cleveland and Milwaukee before a four game road trip to Brooklyn, Los Angeles (Clippers), Golden State and Sacramento to end the year.
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