Warriors apparently ready to offer DeAndre Jordan around $10 million

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From the Contra Costa Times’ Marcus Thompson:

The Warriors are preparing an offer sheet for Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, according to a team source. The Warriors must have the space under the cap to cover the first year of the deal in order to make the offer. Don’t yet know how much the offer will be. But …

If the Warriors (and this is me just thinking out loud now) are going to offer Jordan a double-figure salary in the first year of the deal, they will likely have to waive guard Charlie Bell via amnesty.

Considering that the Warriors would be paying more than $9 million a year to a player that averaged 7.1 points per game last season and can’t score in the post, make a jumper, or make more than half of his free throws, this deal might seem a bit crazy.

However, look at the starting centers of the 4 teams that played in the Conference Finals last season:

– Tyson Chandler

– Joel Anthony

– Joakim Noah

– Kendrick Perkins

Those are four very good defensive players who protect the rim, and, with the exception of Anthony, are efficient, low-usage offensive players. Perkins isn’t as good offensively as Chandler or Noah, and Noah’s passing and ball-handling make him a different kind of offensive threat, but none of those players have reliable mid-range jumpers or refined post games. A possible Causation/Correlation error is certainly worth mentioning here, but the point is that a “traditional” post-up center no longer seems to be a requirement for on-court greatness.

Jordan’s free throw struggles are certainly a concern (although he’d somehow be a significant upgrade over Andris Biedrins at the line), but he protects the rim, is a ridiculous athlete who makes himself available for crushing dunks, and converted on nearly 70% of his shots last season. Those are the kind of centers the best teams in the NBA currently employ, and that may well make DeAndre Jordan worth $10 million.

For the Warriors, though, this is a bit strange. The team is only a year removed from taking Ekpe Udoh with the 6th overall pick in the draft, and while Udoh shot 43.7% from the floor in his rookie season instead of a DeAndre-like conversion rate, he’s a great defensive prospect, and it would seem strange for the Warriors to spend so much money on a player whose skills seem to have a lot of overlap with one of their best young prospects’, but centers like Jordan are becoming more and more valuable, and the Warriors’ new owners seem extremely eager to make a splash this off-season.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.