Saturday, July 19, 2008


Turiaf appears set for Warriors
Steve Springer / Los Angeles Times

Ronny Turiaf has expended his last burst of energy as a Laker. As expected, General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced Friday that the Los Angeles team will not match the four-year, $17 million offer sheet Turiaf signed a week ago with the Warriors.

... Still, Turiaf is about more than numbers. The native of Martinique exuded a contagious passion for the game that could be felt even from the bench. A crowd favorite at Staples Center, he could turn that passion into a high-energy performance on the floor that often provided a much-needed lift when the Lakers' fortunes were sagging.

"We will miss Ronny's contributions," Kupchak conceded, "the emotion he brought whether he was playing or not."

... Watson will not be with the Warriors at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Revue summer league in Salt Lake City. Instead, he will be attending Tim Grgurich camp's in Las Vegas, which is attended by many NBA players. Watson said his absence was approved by Coach Don Nelson.

... Louis Amundson, the power forward out of UNLV, is close to signing with the Warriors, according to a source close to the third-year player. The deal is for a minimum contract; Amundson is seeking a guaranteed deal.

... Another new player expected to join the Warriors soon is Jamont Gordon, a 6-4 guard out of Grand Valley State who played on Philadelphia's summer league team.

The Sleeper? DeMarcus Nelson
Marcus Thomposon II / Contra Costa TImes

... Nelson will stick with the Warriors’ summer league squad in Utah. He said he felt good about his chances of being invited to training camp in October.
One thing that really stands out about him is his hunger. He plays with an aggressive urgency, like he knows he has something to prove.

..."I don’t think anybody else in the country had a better senior season than me. I don’t think anybody had the pressures of leading their team every night, defending the best offensive player (point guard through power forward), scoring, being the leading scorer, being the leading defensive player, and then still setting up your teammates on the offensive side. I had to do that every night for me team. There was not one player who had that type of responsibility. And then going into predraft, I played well at Orlando, second-leading scorer at camp. And then workouts, I went against some of the top guys and had great workouts. Everywhere I went, I had a good showing. So the draft was tough for me because it didn’t feel like I was fully appreciated for what I do. It never shook my confidence in who I am. But it just more so ignited a passion, a deeper passion, a fire."

Turiaf brings energy to town
Rusty Simmons / San Francisco Chronicle

...What the Lakers lose is a winner, who infuses his team and the fans with energy. With the Warriors, Turiaf is expected to be center Andris Biedrins' main backup. He provides hustle (1.4 blocks in 18.7 minutes) and has already proven he can produce when given the chance (averages of 11 points and 6 rebounds in nine starts when Gasol was hurt).

...Since then, Turiaf has become a fan favorite for his in-your-face style of play and sideline action. He may have become a Warriors favorite Nov. 1, 2006, when he made of 8 of 10 shots for a career-high 23 points in Oakland.

A Warriors official said Turiaf could be in Oakland as early as Tuesday for a physical and could be introduced to the media at practice Wednesday.

The Warriors "don't have anyone like him in the front court," Bartelstein said. "He'll be their most-skilled big guy, and with big minutes in the Don Nelson system, he'll have what is conducive to what he does.

Warriors' Marco Belinelli a hotshot in summer league play
Marcus Thompson II / Contra Costa Times

..."I can't understand why he didn't play," said New York Knicks rookie forward Danilo Gallinari, who played with Belinelli on the Italian national team.

The answer is fairly simple: One-trick ponies don't get playing time, not on good teams - even when your trick is as good as Belinelli's.

...He's been working on his defense and playing one-on-one with Warriors guard C.J. Watson and forward Brandan Wright. He has worked on his dribbling and improvising and spent a lot of time in summer league handling the ball and creating his own shot.

Belinelli acknowledged he has trouble when teams pressure him, but he's good enough with the rock that he can push the ball in transition.

Warriors want Williams, Miles wants in, Smith wants out

Marc Stein / ESPN

...NBA front-office sources say that the Warriors -- hoping they can find someone else of quality to spare young Monta Ellis from inheriting all of Davis' old ballhandling duties -- are intrigued by the idea of signing Sixers guard Louis Williams to an offer sheet.

It's not yet clear whether Golden State would have enough leftover salary-cap space to extend an offer to Williams sufficiently prohibitive for Philly to match after the Warriors' expected re-signings of their restricted free agents, Ellis (coming soon) and center Andris Biedrins. There would also be questions about how much Williams and Ellis could play together in a less-than-physically imposing backcourt and with Maggette and Stephen Jackson sure to command lots of minutes.

It's also possible that the Warriors could identify another prime target to chase, since I'm told they're evaluating numerous scenarios these days.

Yet there's little doubt that Williams' scoring knack would make him an intriguing fit in Don Nelson's system. Which must be why one plugged-in source believes that the Warriors, in spite of the obstacles, are planning to make a "big run" at him.

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