The Warriors Hate Their Fans

By: 07.30.09  •  45 Comments

I can’t take credit for that headline. That would go to reader “brett” in today’s Smack, who, in reference to the Golden State Warriors trading Marco Belinelli to Toronto for Devean George, wrote: “pretty sure the warriors traded belinelli cuz they hate their fans.”

It would most definitely seem to be the case wouldn’t it? Golden State has a looong list of head-scratching personnel moves over the last 10 years, the latest being dealing a fan favorite in Belinelli – a guy who still has potential to be a serious, if one-dimensional, offensive weapon in the League – for a guy, if we’re being honest here, who has little to no ability to help an NBA team. George may be the greatest guy in the world, and he may still be able to play a little bit of defense, but the reality is that he hasn’t done a meaningful thing on a basketball court in many years.

So then why would Golden State do this? Great Bay sportswriter Tim Kawakami sheds a little light this morning:

But even I didn’t imagine Nelson/Riley would give away Belinelli to Toronto for something as meager as George, who I know fairly well since I covered him his rookie year with the Lakers and have watched him fairly closely in the many years since.

This is just a dump. A we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this-talented-player dump. A terrible, misguided, noxious dump by a team now run by an erratic, tired coach and a GM who does his bidding.

(If they can’t do any better than this for the Wright dumping, whew!)

George is 8 years older than Belinelli, by the way. He has a $1.6M expiring contract this year, but Belinelli’s would’ve expired next summer if the Warriors didn’t pick up his option, plus Belinelli is MUCH MUCH BETTER than George.

Warriors fans might remember George from the 2007 playoffs, when he was a key Mavericks’ role player, and I think he even got a defensive turn or two against Baron Davis. George shot 20% in that series, so yes, he’s fantastic. (No, he never played for Nelson in Dallas.)

The only possible logic for this, I got from Marcus T: The Warriors were not planning on picking up Belinelli’s fourth-year option, which would’ve left him as a lame-duck all this season, potentially in a poisonous mood.

That’s what happens to bad teams. Bad, crumbling, weird (add: financially troubled) teams.

This is precisely how you wreck somebody’s value, as Nelson and Rowell have now done over and over again: Al Harrington, Marcus Williams, Patrick O’Bryant, Jamal Crawford, now Belinelli and definitely Wright, whenever they get around to giving him away, too.

I mean, what other team does this with recent No. 1 picks? The Warriors are doing it all the time now, in various methods, with most of these guys being decent players, except in the mind of Mr. Nellie.

-2001 No. 1 pick: Jason Richardson, traded by Nelson/Mullin to Charlotte during the 2007 draft for Wright and a $9.9M trade exception that the Warriors let expire.

Also Troy Murphy, traded by Nelson/Mullin in Indiana mega-deal.

-2002 No. 1 pick: Mike Dunleavy, traded by Nelson/Mullin in Indiana mega-deal.

-2003 No. 1 pick: Mickael Pietrus, let go as a free agent in summer 2008, signed with Orlando.

-2004 No. 1 pick: Andris Biedrins, almost dealt to Phoenix this summer, potentially included in any major trade talks the Warriors have.

-2005 No. 1 pick: Ike Diogu, traded in mega-Indiana deal.

-2006 No. 1 pick: Patrick O’Bryant, third-year team option not picked up, left as free agent after second season.

-2007 No. 1 pick: Belinelli, traded to Toronto today.

Also: Wright, acquired in trade draft night, now in Warriors limbo.

-Possibly 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 No. 1 pick: Traded to New Jersey for Marcus Williams, (pick is protected in various ways in each draft) who was released near the end of last season, his only with the Warriors.

That’s quite a list. When you wonder why the Warriors get ripped–and if you get mad at the rippers–just go over that list, and the losses, and the wasted resources. And tell yourself there’s wisdom involved in these decisions.

Not total mindlessness.

See what happens to Belinelli in Toronto. And what happens to Wright.

But hey, at least the Warriors have Devean George to show for it.

So, so sad. And just the latest move in destroying one of the League’s most entertaining franchises by a front office that is totally inept and out of control.

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