Warriors dwelling on future, not past
The past 10 years have been forgettable for the Golden State Warriors, and Chris Mullin wasn't willing to spend a bulk of his day reflecting upon them.
"I'll be here until dinnertime," said Mullin on Wednesday morning. "C'mon now. I am not going to talk about the past. That won't do you or me any good."
But now with a solid, young nucleus and some potential salary cap room, Mullin hopes he can finally turn things around in his new role as the Warriors' executive vice president.
While he has only been in the executive seat for a few months, Mullin has had a very busy offseason.
While there has been strong talk about Laettner getting bought out of the final year of his deal, Mullin seemed open to having him on the roster next season. Despite rumors that Mullin didn't want to do a sign-and-trade with Dampier, who averaged 12.3 points and 12 rebounds last season, he said he considered several deals before choosing the one from Dallas.
"All along, I had certain criteria that I felt was going to help the team," Mullin said. "I was always open to doing a deal that met our criteria, really. Probably the only thing I didn't have was a timeframe. I was kind of hoping to do anything as long as it met my criteria. When it came down the pipe, I was more than willing to do it.
"There were a lot of talks. A lot of different scenarios. But I felt like this met my criteria, and it helps our team now and in the future.''
Now that the summer dust has settled, the Warriors are left with a solid, young nucleus of players:
The Warriors will likely have around $14 million in cap space next summer. However, they would have to use most of that money if they re-sign Murphy and Richardson, and they've given every indication that they want both players back.
"The process has been started to take the next step,'' Mullin said. "The young talent we have needs to step up and have breakout years. We all feel confident about the veteran players, what they're going to do and what they're going to bring each night. When you combine that, it's now about getting on the court and making it happen.''
The Western Conference is way too deep and strong for the Warriors to make a playoff push this season and possibly the next one. Expect the Warriors to be competitive, especially at home where they are 51-31 over the past two seasons, and to beat teams that take them granted. And if they get some luck in the draft and land a difference-making free agent, the 10-year curse may be cured quicker than expected.
"What we're doing now is putting together a deep talented team that complements each other and is going to come together and win,'' Mullin said. "And we've also set our self up to retain players that can be part of our future and entertain free agents and do whatever we can to make this team better as we go along.''
The Warriors do have promise to get better. But promise isn't a certainty. And until that long-awaited Warriors playoff day comes, their fans and followers can talk about their problems over the past 10 years all day until dinnertime.
Marc J. Spears, who covers the NBA for The Denver Post, is a contributor to ESPN.com.
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