Tag Archives: contracts

The Cardinal List

In the wake of Anthony Tolliver and “The Decision: Part Deux,” Chappy, By, and I got to thinking about former Warriors who put up meaningless numbers on terrible teams, but somehow fooled other teams into offering them ridiculous contracts. Tolliver is the perfect example. A D-League call-up who received significant minutes because no one else wanted to play. I know, I know, they were injured, but after the recent interview with Andris Biedrins, I’m starting to question the entire team’s dedication. But back to the subject, here’s a list of players who’ve benefited from a little time spent in the East Bay. I call it the “Cardinal List,” named after former Warrior Brian Cardinal, who had a stellar season in Oakland, and then signed a fairly large contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, which might even still be going. I’ll check it out when I get to him, but I’m willing to bet he produced more in his one season in Golden State than he did during his entire contract in Memphis.

Gilbert Arenas – Washington: Okay, this one’s a little different because Arenas turned into a legitimate star. But, he played two seasons in Oakland for a TOTAL of $844,ooo, and then proceeded to make about $82 million over 6 years in DC. He’s a little different since he’s a bonafide star, but a prime example of a player getting some shine on the Orena floor en route to a substantial payday. While the Wizards would probably argue that contract was a decent investment, the one they gave him after that may be one they regret.

Earl Boykins – Denver: Boykins didn’t exactly get his start in Oakland, but he certainly made his name there. While his numbers weren’t overwhelming – he did have 7 games of 20+ points though – he proved he belonged in the league. He went from making $528,000 with the Warriors to $2.5 million in Denver the next year.

Brian Cardinal – Memphis: Ah, the man the list was named after. Cardinal spent his first three seasons in Detroit and Washington, where he totaled 52 points. The Warriors, however, let him into 76 games, only to watch him average 9.6 ppg. He quickly became a fan favorite, but even the fans knew he wasn’t worth 4 yrs, $20+ million. Fortunately, Warriors management knew this too, and they let Cardinal go to Memphis. I was really hoping to see that he’d scored less in his 4 seasons in Memphis than that one in Golden State, but after tallying the numbers, he managed to rack up 897 points in Memphis vs. 733 in one season with the W’s. Pretty close.

Anthony Morrow – New Jersey: Where were you when undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow scored 37 points against the Clippers? Chappy and I were courtside at Staples Center, with zero idea that was going to happen. We were busy wondering if these free tickets were even going to be at will call, let alone be on the floor five rows in front of Mitch Richmond. But 37 points and 11 rebounds later, we were obviously on the Morrow bandwagon. I’m still a big fan, but Morrow is still just an average player. The Nets didn’t think so though, as they offered him four times his current salary, going from $736,000 to $4,000,000 this season.

CJ Watson – Chicago: I guess when you have Derrick Rose, you don’t really need the world’s greatest backup point guard. But, to pay CJ Watson well over three times what he was making last year, it seems like you could find a better value. After all, the Warriors found Watson, like many other players, in the D-League, so surely the Bulls could’ve found a similar player for a fraction of the price.

Anthony Tolliver – Minnesota: The guy who inspired this list. Yes, he did have a 34 point game last season, not coincidentally in Minnesota. But for a D-league call up who basically got minutes by default, I have no problem watching him walk up to the Twin Cities to the tune of $2.4 million per. The Warriors will probably find four guys next year for that price. And you know what? Those four guys will probably go on to sign inflated contracts elsewhere when their time is up.

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The Dubs D-League All-Stars

If you aren’t in a fantasy basketball league, and don’t follow the Warriors, you might look at their boxscores and not recognize many of the players. The Warriors have been infamous for bringing D-Leaguers up over the past few seasons, and unfortunately for them, it’s mainly due to the ridiculous amount of injuries they’ve sustained during the seasons. This year we found a couple of solid guys to jump into the lineup, although it’s not the picture perfect lineup, these guys are showing that they are worthy of the NBA. After getting to see some of the guys live last night, I thought I’d make a list of the top five guys that the Warriors called up from the D-League.

#1 Kelenna Azubuike – Buke is the best player we’ve pulled up from the D-League ranks. He flourished in the utility man role. Not many plays are called for him, but he still puts up productive numbers. He fills the boxscore by knocking down open jumpers, sneaking in for rebounds/putbacks, dishing the ball to an open man, and playing solid defense. He’s gone from a nobody out of Kentucky on the verge of going to the European League to a starter for the Warriors. Granted he’s been out for all but a handful of games this year, but when he’s on the court he effortlessly fills up the stat sheet. There’s just a lot to like about his game. He has one of those high basketball IQ’s that every fan likes to see in their players.

#2 Reggie Williams – I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen this guy play all that much, but that didn’t stop me from picking him up on my fantasy team last week. Last night I went to the Clippers-Warriors game, and he was much better than I expected. Since being called up to the NBA, five of his twenty games have been 20+ point performances, including 20+ in three of the last four games. I think he’s finally feeling comfortable in the league that he probably should’ve been in all along, and last night I was impressed seeing him in person. This guy has a great all around game, and he’s twice as good a defender as Anthony Morrow. Reggie is going to last in the league; even if it’s not with the Warriors he showed that he’s a complete player. I was surprised how he ran the offense so well, he must have one of those high basketball IQ’s. Taking it to the hole and dishing or putting up the shot, shockingly every time he made the right choice. He has been the floor general for chunks of games over the past week and a half.

#3 Anthony Tolliver – I wasn’t sold on Tolliver the first couple times I saw him play, but he’s grown on me a lot over the past month. He’s a very active guy on the defensive end which is something the W’s have lacked for a loooong time! I guess he hasn’t had his only NBA stint with the Warriors as he also had brief stints with the Spurs and Blazers, but the W’s gave him his first extended shot on the court, and is currently the starting power forward. I hope we keep him on when Randolph and Wright come back, he’s shown far more abilities than someone knew he had in him. He’s perfect for Nellie, because he plays hard and can drain his jumpers from deep, which is what Nellie loves in a big man.

#4 CJ Watson – I’m not sure how I feel about this third year former D-Leaguer. I’m just really hot and cold with him everytime I watch him play. He always plays hard, and never complains, so those are big check marks in the positive column. He’s been a nice fill in for the often injured Ellis. He’s outplayed all the guys that have come in to take that backup role such as Marcus Williams, Marco Bellinelli, Acie Law, and Demarcus Nelson. I don’t really see him as much more than a career backup, and has less upside than the top three on the list, who I feel could start for some teams, but he’s going to be on the team and in the rotation, unless we land the Wall sweepstakes. Would that make Ellis be the first guard off the bench?

#5 Anthony Morrow – Yeah, I know he wasn’t ever in the D-League, but since he was an undrafted signing I couldn’t resist putting him on the list. Besides, did you really think I was going to put Chris Hunter or Jamero Moon on here?!? In Morrow’s first start last season, Mceezy and I got to sit as close to the court as either of us had at Staples Center. Hell, we were a few rows in front of Mitch Richmond! Anyways, he scored 37 that day, and won both of us over. Nellie has even proclaimed him the best pure shooter he’s ever coached. I’m not sure exactly what that means since Nellie is crazy, and has coached some of the best shooters in the game, but there’s got to be something to it. He led the league in 3PT% last year. I probably would’ve had him higher on the list, but the guy doesn’t play ANY defense. He looks lost on that side of the court, and gets burnt more often than not, which is why Reggie is getting so much more playing time over him the past few weeks.


Strasberg’s Contract Shows a Great Need to Re-do the MLB Draft

Steven Strasberg

Matt explored the contract negotiating holdout of Michael Crabtree, and Monday is the deadline for Steven Strasburg, the Washington Nationals number one overall pick in the MLB draft to sign. Strasberg has yet to reach an agreement with the Washington Nationals. It doesn’t sound like a deal will get done by Monday’s deadline as the Boras and the Nationals have put different values on Strasburg. I’m not a Nationals fan by any means, so I kind of hope they don’t sign him. It could be the first time ever that a team has failed to sign their first round pick two years in a row!moneybaby I’m not a supporter of making a team pay $50 million for a player that hasn’t thrown one pitch at the major league level. I feel that their $30 million offer was more than fair, and probably too much. Regardless of what happens it shows that baseball needs to fix the way the outdated drafting and signing system is working.

Just like the NFL there are a lot of holdouts in baseball. I understand that players are just trying to get paid what their agents and others surrounding them feel they are worth, but what happened to proving your worth!?! Baseball needs to restructure signings, and put caps on contracts for the players that haven’t played one inning in the minors or majors. Putting parameters on guaranteed money and bonuses that the top choices can receive would make them like all of the other major sports, what a concept! They also need to make other ways for teams to avoid having to pay huge dollars for those top picks, like say, let a team trade picks!?! Wow, how hard is that. Baseball is the only sport that doesn’t allow the trading of draft picks. In this case, the Nationals could have traded their pick away to a team with money and willingness to sign Strasberg. I’m sure he would already be signed, and the Nationals could have had a couple of picks and could’ve signed a four or five players with money Strasberg is demanding.

Do you wonder why I’m so against Strasberg’s contract? Take a guy like Ryan Howard of the Phillies, who has already been rookie of the year, MVP, an All-Star, and a two time home run champ.Ryan Howard He won his bid for the highest arbitration awarded in the history of baseball for $10 million just last year. With the conclusion of this season Howard will have made a total of about $26 million in his three year career since being drafted, which sounds reasonable for one of the best young hitters in the game. Since Howard was a 5th round pick he probably was paid the right amount, but Strasberg would be making twice as much as him at the same point in his career if the contract that he’s asking for goes through. Is any player that hasn’t played worth $50 million? Can he really be as dominant as the money he’s due to recieve?  Can any team justify really give any rookie that much money!?! Definitely not! Over the past 40 years there has been 14 pitcher taken #1 overall, and they have a combined zero Cy Youngs, zero 20 win season, and zero 200 career wins.

So how would being able to trade draft picks help? Well it’s been well documented that if this were the case the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets would end up with all the talent since they have all the money. I disagree if a small market team can turn that first pick into three picks, then they will likely find a good player out of the bunch with much less risk to their financial situation. Especially small market teams like the A’s, Rays, and Marlins would definitely benefit from taking numerous picks instead of that first rounder. People assume that teams are going to make a bad pick with the extra ones they have received, but nobody that’s drafted is garuanteed to have success. The players chosen might likely have more “tools”, but there is no guarantee that tying up their payroll in a prospect will help the team down the road. Don’t you think a team could get a better deal paying $6 to $10 million a year for a proven player? I think being able to swap picks will just give teams more options, and not give teams like the Nationals, a sign this guy or you’re out of luck scenario! Hell, Strasberg could even end up on my list of bad contracts before he throws a major league pitch.