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NBA Sunday: Warriors Loaded For Title Run
Posted By Lang Greene On July 14, 2013 @ 1:08 pm In NBA | No Comments
The Golden State Warriors won 47 games this past season and reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 campaign. The team would eventually lose in the Western Conference Semifinals in six games versus the San Antonio Spurs.
Not wanting to rest on this success the franchise has been very active this offseason targeting talent to push the club into the ranks of true title contenders.
The team signed former All-Star forward Andre Iguodala to a four-year $48 million deal in free agency giving the team even more depth to a young core which already feature Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. The team also signed Marreese Speights, Jermaine O’Neal and Toney Douglas.
“We felt we needed to get better,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told HOOPSWORLD. “I think every team always feels they need to get better. We felt we had a good run last year but we needed to build on that talent wise. We think we did with a player like Iguodala.
“We’re hopeful to sign a couple more guys. We just want to be in the conversation of being a contending team. We felt if we added a couple of pieces we could be there and we’re always going to keep trying to do that.”
As it stands currently the team has roughly $63.2 million in guaranteed salaries on the books for next season. The team’s positioning to the cap also meant valuable reserves on last season’s roster such as forward Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack were forced to find new homes in free agency this summer.
One of the strongest attributes of the Warriors last season was there team chemistry. Myers understands you can’t arbitrarily duplicate chemistry but feels the guys who were recently signed should fit into the culture of the team.
“Those guys were great for us,” Myers says about the departed players due to free agency. “When you sign a player you never really know what they’re going to bring and how they’re going to fit. Chemistry is a fragile thing. With Jack and Landry last year we were hopeful they would do what they did but we didn’t know it would gel like it did. So we just hope the guys we bring in will be similar to that; good culture guys who know their roles. So we’ll see. Time will tell.”
The team was also linked, early in free agency, to All-Star center Dwight Howard. The Warriors were reportedly open to the idea of trading Andrew Bogut as part of package to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Howard.
As the reports became more rampant, Bogut was reportedly upset about being used as a trade asset. However, Howard ultimately decided to head to the Houston Rockets and Myers says there is no lingering frustration between Bogut and the organization.
“He’s great,” Myers said. “I spoke to him the other night. He’s fine. It’s the NBA. These guys make a ton of money and they see their names in the media quite a bit. A lot of it is inaccurate, but he’s good. He’s a pro and he’s a great center so we’re thrilled he’s coming back with us next year. We think he’s one f the best.”
Hawks Match Bucks’ Offer Sheet For Jeff Teague: One of the more prominent remaining free agent guards on the market this summer will be remaining in Atlanta after securing a multi-year deal.
The Atlanta Hawks matched the four-year $32 million offer sheet Jeff Teague signed with the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday well before the 11:55pm EST deadline to do so.
As part of the current collective bargaining agreement, a franchise can match any offer an opposing team makes on a restricted free agent.
As a restricted free agent, Teague fit into this category. So when the Bucks sent Atlanta the official paper work late Wednesday night the Hawks had three days to decide whether to match the deal or let the emerging guard walk in free agency for nothing in return.
Another wrinkle in this situation, per the CBA, is that since Teague signed an offer sheet, the Hawks would subsequently match, the team cannot trade him for a year without his consent. The clause also excludes Teague being sent to Milwaukee in a deal during this timeframe.
“We are happy to bring Jeff back to our team,” Hawks president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry said in a press release. “He has improved each year of his career and continues to get better. At 25 [years old], he’s already been a key contributor on a playoff team and we look forward to seeing him develop into even more of a leader on our team.”
Teague was reportedly upset throughout his first free agency process because of the lack of attention he received from the Hawks’ front office. But most restricted free agents have to endure the same waiting game as because most teams don’t want to tie up their existing cap space by targeting a player in this position where their original club can match the deal.
Teague averaged 14.6 points and over seven assists per game this past season. Teague was also part of the 2009 NBA draft where Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday were all selected ahead of him on draft night.
Rubio didn’t come over straight to the NBA and the trio of Curry, Lawson and Holiday all received deals earlier this season. Curry signed for four-years and $44 million, Holiday signed for four-years $41 million and Lawson agreed to a four-year $48 million contract.
Teague’s production last season was similar to Lawson’s and Holiday’s and his new deal will pay him roughly $8 million annually.
At this yearly rate it doesn’t come as a complete shock at all Ferry and team decided to match the Bucks’ offer and keep Teague on the frontlines of their restructuring process.
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