Unlike some Sports Guys out there, I know that in my current state of life and/or work experience that I’m not ready for an NBA team to hire me.
Being a GM isn’t just about assessing and sourcing basketball talent and being a maestro at the ESPN Trade Machine, it’s also about being the best poker player in the room. Knowing how to deal with other GM’s, agents, reporters, players, coaches, owners — it’s a social job that, frankly, I’d be over my head in at this point. Maybe by the time I’m 40 I’ll have some of these personality traits honed, although since I never played, coached or scouted in the NBA I doubt my credentials would give me much of a shot to be a general manager — even though I once spent two weeks trying in vain to sell season ticket packages for the Warriors immediately after their biggest off-season moves included acquiring Derek Fisher, Zarko Caparkapa and Nikoloz Tskitishvili and signing Adonal Foyle to a comically large extension.
(And no, I was unable to sell any ticket packages before quitting and getting a real job. And by real I mean more than 25 hrs/wk at more than $9/hr…what a great timeout working for the Warriors was!)
But my recent experience in fantasy basketball hammered home the point I’ve known forever, one that the Warriors should take into consideration when they “plan” their road back to relevancy — trade players when they’re at their peak value, not when everyone knows you’d rather be rid of them.
For example: I have Pau Gasol on my fantasy basketball team. I drafted him late in the first round. After waiting through a hamstring injury to start the season, Gasol contributed what I thought he would, 17/11 with great percentages.
Then Gasol strained his other hammy on Sunday (only much less sever this time, reportedly), and ever since the commissioner of our league has been after Gasol like a great white shark when blood’s in the water. It doesn’t help that my team struggled through a bunch of injury issues and a crappy first month and a half from Derrick Rose, and has a little work to do to climb into playoff contention.
But there’s no way I’m getting rid of Gasol now when I can wait two weeks and get a lot more him than what the commish is offering me this week.
That brings us to the Warriors. I’ve made it known several times my stance that the Warriors should trade Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette in a package deal for expiring contracts. While at the beginning of the season that seemed like a near impossibility due to the length of their respective deals, now the Warriors are wondering how they could ever live without the 50 ppg they’ve been putting up lately.
Cause, you know, the Warriors are on the cusp of greatness and stuff.
It doesn’t take a fake candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks/Minnesota Timberwolves GM job to know that the time to shop these two guys is not next year when Monta starts bitching again and Maggette is out for the season with torn labia. It’s now, when both guys are playing the best basketball they ever have for the Warriors and other GMs might be convinced that adding the two would make their team stronger, even though both players have flaws that will probably keep them out of the playoffs for most of the rest of their careers.
But the Warriors won’t do that. Creativity in Oakland is a quality only prized when putting together weird lineups in late-game situations that ignore Anthony Randolph in favor of Vlad Radmanovic. Instead the Warriors will just sit on their hands and hope Monta keeps averaging 30 ppg and his body doesn’t collapse under the weight of playing every minute of every game, and that Maggette will keep averaging 23 ppg on 60% shooting like he has over the past month.
And hey, the Warriors are winning! Did you see them beat the T-Wolves last night? And all they have to do is finish .500 over the last 48 games and they’ll get Don Nelson that all-time wins record we’re all waiting for (actually we are, just in hopes that finally reaching the milestone will cause him to retire and the Warriors can finally commit to their “we’re going young” plan).
According to Matt Steinmetz’s latest mailbag, the Warriors are open to trading Maggette and Larry Riley isn’t interested in cap room.
Riley has basically stated that heâ€™s not interested in cap room because there is no guarantee you can parlay that into a tangible free agent.
Cap room would be a fantastic idea for the Warriors since not many teams have it and the ones that do will be going for LeBron James, leaving any team willing to spend with the ability to add Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc. However, their plan is to pull off another Stephen Jackson-like trade when Maggette starts sucking, and then get forced into dealing Monta when he makes a public trade request this summer after the Warriors finish 30-52.
On second thought, maybe I should be the Warriors’ GM. Anybody care to make a Facebook page and be my BASG-4-Warriorz-GM campaign manager?