It appears the Warriors aren't going to be able to snatch power forward Elton Brand from the Los Angeles Clippers. The buzz among NBA insiders is that Brand — by all accounts a class act — will honor his word and remain with the Clippers.
But the Warriors may not be done attempting to extract talent from Hollywood's second team. A source close to free-agent small forward Corey Maggette said Thursday that the Warriors have expressed interest in Maggette and are looking to start negotiations.
The Warriors don't publicly comment on negotiations.
Like Brand, Maggette exercised the early termination option on his contract before the June 30 deadline, forgoing the $7 million he was due. Maggette's departure is all but official with the Clippers agreeing to terms on a six-year contract with former Warriors point guard Baron Davis and expected to sign Brand, who forfeited the $16.4 million left on his contract.
San Antonio, Boston and Cleveland are among a host of teams reportedly interested in Maggette. But Golden State and Philadelphia — both of which are still waiting on an official decision from Brand — have significant room under the salary cap and can offer Maggette more money than other teams, which are limited to the midlevel exception ($5.36 million last season). According to the source, the Warriors last season tried to trade for Maggette, a nine-year NBA veteran who reportedly is seeking $10 million per year.
Maggette, 28, is Plan C in the post-Baron era of the Warriors, who have reportedly offered huge deals to Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas and Brand. Arenas reportedly told the Washington Post and Washington Times that he agreed to re-sign with Washington for $111 million over six years.
A chiseled 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, Maggette fits the Warriors' style of play because he flourishes in the open court, he rebounds well (5.6 per game last year) and is adept at getting to the basket and drawing fouls (attempted the sixth-most free throws in the NBA last season). Being a swingman, he can play alongside Monta Ellis, expected to be next year's starting point guard, and swingman Stephen Jackson.
The Warriors have begun talks with Ellis, their prize restricted free agent. Talks with center Andris Biedrins, their other key restricted free agent, are expected to begin next week.