More Warriors News
Forward Rashard Lewis, one of the prominent players on the free-agent market, has gone to Orlando.

Magic forward Darko Milicic, another of the free-agent notables, signed with Memphis. Charlotte swingman Gerald Wallace, seemingly a perfect fit for the Warriors system, re-upped with the Bobcats. New Jersey's lanky forward Mikki Moore, not a terrible option for the Warriors, signed with Sacramento.

The activity around the league, and the Warriors' lack of involvement, might have fans a little nervous. What are the Warriors doing? Why is executive vice president Chris Mullin sitting on his hands?

Calm down. It's OK. Never mind that the Warriors are losing a fall-back plan each day. The Warriors are waiting until this whole Kevin Garnett thing plays out, and they have as good a shot as any team of landing him. It is the right move, too.

More than anything else, the Warriors need a power forward who can rebound, defend, score in the post, run the floor, finish around the basket, protect the basket, stick a midrange jumper and bring some energy. There is no player more perfectly suited to that role than Garnett.

The chance at nabbing him is worth the risk of going into next season with the current roster, worth the risk of later having to settle for some run-of-the-mill big man another team is all too willing to dump. Patience is in order here.


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Worst-case scenario: Garnett winds up with the Lakers and the Warriors have to pull off some much-less-appealing trade to fill their holes. If they don't get Garnett, they could easily trade for some other frontcourt player, such as Seattle's Chris Wilcox, Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia or Miami's James Posey.

Obviously, these types won't lift Golden State to elite status, but they are feasible options while the Warriors transition. They'll produce a little something and won't eat up the payroll, leaving the Warriors in position to be players around the February trade deadline, when players such as New Jersey forward Richard Jefferson, or even Garnett, may become available.

Best-case scenario: The Warriors wait it out, then wait some more, while other teams panic and turn to other options.

Eventually, the Lakers may pull the trigger and grab Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal, using the pieces they offered the Timberwolves. Eventually, Chicago may give Luol Deng a contract extension too expensive for Minnesota to take on in a Garnett trade. Eventually, Phoenix, eager to dump salary, may move forward Shawn Marion elsewhere and end its chances at getting Garnett. And the last team standing would be the Warriors, holding bargaining chips and leverage.

Fortunately for the Warriors, patience is one of Mullin's strengths. He waited for Baron Davis to become available and wound up copping a star point guard from the New Orleans Hornets for two reserves. He likewise waited for forward Al Harrington, wound up getting him for less than expected and dumped some unwanted contracts in the process.

Now, he's waiting for KG. And he should.

Unlike the Lakers, Suns and Bulls, the Warriors don't have the pressure of satisfying fans familiar with competing for championships. Assuredly, there's more pressure after last season's success. But that got the Warriors off the hook, it didn't put them on it.

The Lakers have to win now, with coach Phil Jackson due for an extension and Kobe Bryant making trade demands. Phoenix has to win now, because it has been knocking on the door for a few years and MVP point guard Steve Nash won't be in his prime forever.

Chicago, with its core of youngsters, is desperate to shed the team-on-the-rise label and has to make some kind of move to leapfrog the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers in the East.

The Warriors, on the other hand, are still the Warriors, at least for the time being. Even with last season's success, no one is expecting a championship. Not even a playoff berth is a sure thing.

Mullin can make a move for the sake of making a move and wind up with a playoff team that has no title shot. Or he can be patient and keep alive an opportunity to possibly join Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio among the Western Conference elite. Garnett is that good.

As long as he's a possibility, the Warriors have to wait.

Contact Marcus Thompson II at mthompson2@cctimes.com.