By JARED COWLEY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Warriors struck out on Chris Paul.
They whiffed on Tyson Chandler.
They tried to pay (overpay?) DeAndre Jordan, but the Clippers wouldn’t let them.
Let’s not forget that to do this, they amnestied Charlie Bell (not a big deal), postponed the ability of their rookies to participate in training camp by not signing them to contracts right away (because of a shortened training camp, that’s a bigger deal than it appears on the surface) and let Reggie Williams go (this a big deal, in my opinion because it negatively impacts the Warriors’ depth).
Suffice it to say, it was a frustrating time for Warriors fans. When the Warriors finally got around to making a move, it’s my guess that the acquisition of Kwame Brown didn’t generate a groundswell of excitement.
That doesn’t mean it was a horrible move, for a number of reasons:
1. The Warriors need post defense
Brown isn’t an all-NBA defender, but he’s already a better defender than any player on the Warriors roster right now. Though he’s not much of a shot blocker (less than a block per game last season), he is a good defender in the pick and roll thanks to his lateral mobility and makes good use of his size and strength in the post on defense. Brown won’t be a game-changer on defense but he should help the team in that area.
2. Brown’s contract isn’t as outrageous as you might think
Is $7 million too much for Brown, who averaged 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds last season? Yes. A fair price tag for Brown would be in the $5 million range. But, what makes a bad contract isn’t usually the annual salary but its length. For this reason, signing Brown for $7 million isn’t a bad deal because it’s just for one season. The Warriors, once they lost out on Jordan when the Clippers matched, had about $10 million to spend. Were there better free-agent options out there for that cap space? Not really. On a one-year contract, Brown is a low-risk option that should provide the Warriors some depth in the post at the very least.
3. Brown is coming off his best season as a pro
If you separate Brown the player and Brown the punchline, it helps. He wasn’t that bad last season. He played good defense, rebounded the ball and cut down on his turnovers (a major weakness in past seasons). I have a theory. Brown faced his demons last season when he signed with the Bobcats under owner Michael Jordan. Brown was victimized by Jordan his first couple seasons in the league and it affected his development for years. Last season, coming to Charlotte and proving that he could be an effective player for the Jordan-owned Bobcats, may have allowed him to finally gain the confidence he’s lacked his entire career. It’s possible that Brown can build on this and become a serviceable center in the latter stages of his career.