NBA free agency: The only thing worth watching these days

Jarrett JackMajor League Baseball’s all-star break marks one of the most boring weeks in the sports world. The NBA playoffs have ended and the hundreds of mock drafts have already come and gone with the subsequent draft. Football season is still a couple months away, and although soccer is probably being played somewhere, I don’t really care.

Meanwhile the Home-run Derby, unless you have a substantial amount of money riding on it, is about as fun to watch as a horse race (which perhaps not so coincidentally is also only fun to watch if you have a substantial amount of money riding it.) Those of us that did gamble on the Derby in an attempt to make it a little more palatable inevitably put our money on incumbent derby king Robinson Cano, who inexplicably crushed a whopping zero home runs and immediately and shamefully was disqualified in all of about eight minutes. (On the plus side it was one of those few moments in professional sports where all of us watching an athlete from home could say “Ha, I could do that!” and legitimately be correct.) At least the Giants have home field advantage if they make the World Series after an 8 – 0 National league win in the All-Star game.

Yet there remains a light that shines through the proverbial curtain of fog, offering us a shred of hope: NBA free agency. This is always an exciting time for basketball fans, as we watch with anticipation, wondering where big stars will end up next, and which GM will shell out the next Joe Johnson-like albatross contract. On the other hang generally it’s a somewhat lackluster couple of months for Golden State fans, who’s team rarely seems to make a big splash during the summer (although they have handed out some pretty bad contracts).

But management is new and the future looks bright. With Jerry West helping to orchestrate things behind the scenes, and Bob Myers appearing to be a legitimate General Manager, there is a new sense of comfort that I haven’t often felt about the decision making that goes on behind the scenes in Oakland. After a solid draft (I’m not a big fan of Harrison Barnes but he was the best pick on the board at number seven and I’m glad they didn’t take Drummond) I went into the free agency period sharing the hopes of most Warrior fans: that we’d pick up a solid back up point guard – preferably with a veteran presence – and another big body to come off the bench behind David Lee.

Despite the limited cap room the team had, I actually felt confident the Warriors would accomplish these goals. We sat back calmly; biding our time and as people ate up the Dwight Howard trade rumors with almost as much gusto as the public has for erotic novels (my friend just read best selling 50 Shades of Grey to see what all the hype was about and related this insight: “it sucked.”)

Deron Williams chose Jay Z and the Nets over Mark Cuban and his home town Mavs and Ray Allen joined the dark side (Allen is going to have a field day hitting open threes next year). The Celtics resigned 36 year old Kevin Garnett and added 35 year old Jason Terry, working to assemble a roster with more aging stars than the cast of The Expendables II (Boston will be much better next year than that movie though, I’m sure).

My heart was broken when Steve Nash, one of my favorite players, signed with the Lakers, my least favorite team. Andre Miller, Jason Kidd and Kirk Hinrich, all of whom I somewhat coveted for that veteran back up guard spot, each agreed to very reasonable, affordable contracts, none of which were with the Warriors.

And when we finally pulled the trigger, Meyers and Co didn’t disappoint. Originally the news was that Golden State had traded away Dorell Wright, who was in the middle of succumbing to gravity and descending back towards earth (representative in this case of his realistic basketball talent), after having banged his head rather hard in 2010 on the unforgiving ceiling that is representative of his potential. In return from the Sixers the Warriors were to receive the draft rights to a three toed sloth from Bosnia who looked a bit like Mr. Bean – or perhaps it was a 28 year old power forward named Edin Bavcic – The resemblance between the two anyhow is uncanny.

Either way neither will ever play in the NBA, and the move was a way to open up more cap space. Of course I could hardly contain my excitement when I heard that we weren’t getting a sloth, or Mr. Bean or whatever, but were in fact receiving guard Jarrett Jack from the Hornets in a three team deal. Jack put up very good numbers with New Orleans last year as a starter (he averaged 15, 6 and 4), so he can certainly step into the starting line-up if Curry comes up lame again this season. Fans may also remember the triple-double Jack posted against the Warriors back on March 21. The man can play.

So, the question you may be asking is whether I wrote this simply to state my excitement about Jack’s arrival in Golden State to play back-up point-guard. And to that I answer, yes. Yes I did. Welcome to Oakland Jarrett, I’m looking forward to watching you next year. Maybe you can help the Warriors live up to their #6 NBA franchise ranking (although that’s a pretty tall order) on, a very cool website by the way, check it out (don’t worry I got you Paul). I have confidence that you will be able to at least help bring back some of the magic we found in Oracle Arena the last time the Warriors traded for a point guard from the Hornets in 2005.