The Warriors need a center, right? It looks like they're not quite dumb enough to overpay DJ so much that he signs with them instead of the Clippers. (I mean, are they really ready to pay a guy who averaged 7/7 with a 14.8 PER $11-12M/yr? Wouldn't they rather pay someone else that kind of money?) But their options at center are running thin: Tyson Chandler has signed with the Knicks, Marc Gasol looks like he'll be going to Houston for a near max deal (and never seemed to be on their radar). Nene's going to be ridiculously overpaid wherever he goes, which is probably Denver (or NJ). Dwight Howard's not coming either.
So after those big guys land somewhere outside of the Bay Area, the Warriors are not going to have a lot of options to fill the hole at center. Hey! If the Clippers keep DJ, won't they be looking to trade Kaman? Would the Warriors want him? Does Golden State have anything of similar value that the Clippers would want? Maybe! It's a match made in...desperation!
So Golden State can rule out D Howard, M Gasol, T Chandler, Nene, and D Jordan, leaving them to contemplate the following options at center:
AVAILABLE FREE AGENT CENTERS
Samuel Dalembert: Probably going to Houston or Dallas, but should the Dubs throw $11M/yr at him? Yikes.
Kurt Thomas: [Signed with Portland today] I thought that made sense for about 2 seconds until I realized we're talking about 57-year old Kurt Thomas on a running team that's struggling to make the playoffs.
Joel Przybilla: I don't think the Vanilla Gorilla is going to excite anyone in Oakland
Aaron Gray: Included for sake of completeness, not basketball skills
Jarron Collins: Might as well start Biedrins.
OK, so given the other options, Kaman might sound pretty good to the Warriors. Most people would say that Kaman's not really suited for a running team like the Warriors, but he's actually very quick up and down the court. His interior defense would be an upgrade that might fit with their new emphasis on defense. He's a two-way player, a legit 7-footer, a true center, a former All Star, not insanely overpaid, and an expiring contract. Hopefully they don't know that, in the words of Kim Hughes, "he's totally retarded."
But who would the Clippers ask for in return? Scanning their roster and payroll does not produce any immediately obvious choices. Most of their players are either too good (Curry, Ellis) or too terrible (Biedrins) for the Clippers to have interest.
Monta Ellis: Warriors front office laughs and slam the phone down.
Stephen Curry: Warriors laugh and change their number.
David Lee: Better than Kaman. But mostly, the Dubs aren't ready to admit they overpaid for him.
Charlie Bell: Showed up drunk to his recent DUI hearing. Was amnestied while I was typing this. Seriously.
Andris Biedrins: When asked if Biedrins was going to be the starter on the team, Mark Jackson answered, "He is definitely a center on this basketball team." This is why we're talking about a trade.
Acie Law: Career 9.9 PER and one of the few veteran NBA players I know nothing about. But apparently, even ESPN has no idea who he is either! When I tried to look him up on #NBArank, he appears to have not made it into the top 500 players. So there are at least 50 guys who won't even be on a roster who are better than him. No thanks.
Al Thornton: Pass! Seriously. Pass the ball. Oh, I see. Al, a "pass" is something you can do with the basketball other than jab step and shoot contested long 2-pointers.
I doubt Golden State would want to give up any rookies for Kaman, and they'd have to include some more salary as well - probably at least $5M/yr. So I'm counting these guys as non-starters in a Kaman trade.
Klay Thompson: I think the Warriors are pretty high on him, and he might actually be a good fit with Clippers since he's a shooter with decent length at 6'7". Draftexpress gives him a best case comparison of Mike Miller in prime, which is pretty great, but it sounds like he might be more of a Marco Belinelli.
Jeremy Tyler: 39th pick, purchased from Charlotte. Tyler is a 6'10" 260 PF/C and I don't think the Dubs want to give up any young bigs.
Charles Jenkins: The Warriors' 2011 2nd round pick. Kaman for a 2nd rounder? Meh. Why bother?
Lou Amundson: Veteran role player PF/C. I loved his energy and the way he played in Phoenix 2 years ago. His $2.4M, 1yr deal means another player would have to be included. Also, he replicates a lot of what DJ does: no offense, great leaping ability, horrific free throw shooter.
Ekpe Udoh: Second year PF/C and the #6 overall pick in 2010. $3.3M/yr salary means the Dubs would need to include another couple million in salary. But I have the sense the Warriors would like to keep him to try to develop him - after all, he was a pretty high pick. He's also the Warriors' other young big man, along with rookie Klay Thompson, which also makes them likely to want to keep him if possible. Mark Jackson seems optimistic about his potential. But I think the Clippers would be interested, even if only as a trade asset.
Reggie Williams: [UPDATE: Citizen Thretch pointed out that RWilliams has been waived by GSW, presumably to create cpa space for DJ's offer] 4th-year SG/SF and #283 in ESPN's #NBArank. Career PER of 15.3 is above average, as his is 40.5 3P%. His miniscule (for the NBA!) salary of $762,195 means the Dubs need to throw in a lot more salary. He's got nice length at 6'6". Sign and trade?
Dorell Wright: 6'9" SF who finished 3rd for Most Improved Player last year. He's not a great player, but he can completely fill it up from deep. He led the league with 194 3-pointers last year on 37.6% 3P shooting. I'm not sure if the Warriors would move him for Kaman, but I think it would be intriguing. Having a serious outside threat at SF (something Caron Butler is NOT) is something that probably everyone Clipsnation would like to have. ESPN had him at 152 for #NBArank, while Kaman was at 88, so on paper, the Warriors would be getting the bigger player, as well as trading a small for a big.
Wright is a decent rebounder, with career 6.0 boards per 36 minutes. Morevoer, you'd think he's only a gunner who never passes, but his Assist Ratio for last year isn't terrible at 14.9. That ranks 21st among small forwards, ahead of Trevor Ariza, Mike Dunleavy, and Luol Deng, and just 3 spots behind Grant Hill, Tashaun Prince, and Carlos Delfino, all of whom are tied wih a 15.7 Assist Ratio. Last year, Wright ranked 15th in PER amongst SFs, with a 15.07.
CHRIS KAMAN FOR DORELL WRIGHT?
Wright's $3.8M/yr salary is not quite enough to match straight up, but if the Warriors aren't feeling Lou Amundson, they could include him to make the salaries match. They might want the Clippers to take back Biedrins' contract (3yrs @ $9M/yr), which would be tough to swallow.So it can't be a straight up trade; the salaries don't match. What are the options?
Wright + Amundson might be asking for too much and I don't think the Clippers have a minor asset that would be worth parting with. Perhaps one of the Clipper rookies, like Trey Thompson?
Wright + Biedrins wouldn't work from the Clippers' perspective, but what could the Warriors do to sweeten the deal? Could the Clippers find a taker for Biedrins' albatross of a contract? If they can't, the Clippers are going to have a problem retaining all of their rookies, and Dorell Wright - league 3PM leader or not - isn't worth that. The Warriors would need to include a first round pick or someone like Klay Thompson or Udoh. Not sure either side likes this deal.
Wright + Williams would mean the Clippers would get back 2 great shooters for Kaman. The Warriors are going to want more than Kaman, and I don't think the Clips pay the price for both of these guys. [Williams has been waived. Could be a nice shooter behind EJ/Butler to pick up in free agency for cheap?]
OPINION OF WRIGHT?
I'd love to hear my fellow citizens' thoughts on how the Warriors value Wright and their other players. Of course, much depends on Golden State's level of desperation to fill the hole in the paint, and we know the options are slim. But would they be willing to give up a guy that led the league in 3-pointers and finished third in MIP last year? With Curry, Ellis, David Lee, Reggie Williams, and their rookies, the Warriors have a lot of offensive options on the perimeter, even without Wright. Maybe they'd consider parting with him for a legit center?