2002 - 2003 Season
6th in the Pacific Division
11th in the Western Conference
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me." -- Aretha Franklin
No offense to the Warriors mascot, Thunder, but Aretha "Lady
Soul" Franklin should have been the teams sideline sidekick in
2002-2003. The team hasn't won the respect of the league just yet,
but they did find out what it's going to take to get there.
The Warriors showed the league a little something this past season.
The players showed heart and there was more than a little pride on
the line during the 4th quarters of games. It led to genuine
excitement at the Oakland Arena and there's now a whispered belief
that the Warriors may be contending for the playoffs next year.
Lots of things went right in 2002 - 2003. Probably the most
significant was Gilbert Arenas emerging as THE #1 PG of the Golden
State Warriors. The Warriors have been looking for a PG to
initiate and steady the offense, and Arenas showed the team
that he's the man for the job. Antawn Jamison provided consistent
scoring. Troy Murphy had a breakthrough year after working hard
in the off-season. Erick Dampier started the season strongly, and
Adonal Foyle ended the season on a high note. High profile
rookie Mike Dunleavy even provided a glimpse of his deadly outside
shooting toward the end of the year.
Eric Musselman, the new coach of the Warriors, has the team
playing hard. The locker room was relatively quiet, with minimal
complaints about playing time.
Next year might be a breakthrough season for the young Warriors.
If the Warriors can survive Arenas's free agency, and the young
players keep growing, good times are ahead. But it's going to be
a dogfight to keep the team on the right track.
II. Personnel Changes
- Drafted Mike Dunleavy with the #3 pick (1st Round) in the 2002 draft.
- Traded for the rights of Jiri Welsch, the #16 pick (1st Round) in the 2002 draft.
- Drafted Steve Logan with the #30 pick (2nd Round) in the 2002 draft.
- Allowed SG Larry Hughes to leave as a restricted free agent.
During the Season
- Signed Earl Boykins as a free agent.
Potential Free Agents
- PG Gilbert Arenas
- PG Earl Boykins
III. Season Recap
Opening night the Warriors beat the Spurs. But it was the lone
win in a 1-6 start.
A mid-November win against the Grizzlies helped the team turn the
corner. They played near .500 ball (11-12) to close out 2002.
In December, the Warriors beat the Lakers, Hornets, and Sixers;
and the win against the slumping Lakers gave the team a boost
of confidence. This time it was the defending champions that
fell back into the cellar of the Pacific.
January saw a winning record for the month at 8 - 7. The Warriors
beat the Lakers a 2nd time in LA as well as collecting wins
against New Jersey and Minnesota. Backup point guard Earl Boykins,
signed as a free agent at the end of November, poured in a
career-high 28 points to seal the game against the Timberwolves.
The 5' 5" Boykins energized the team with his play off the bench,
and provided much needed help in the backcourt.
By the start of February (2/3) the team had equaled it's win
total from the previous season. And February was probably the high
point of the Warriors season. During the All-Star game weekend,
a couple of young Warriors sent notice to the league that there are
some players in Oakland. Jason Richardson won the Slam Dunk competition
for the 2nd consecutive year by scoring a perfect 50 on an eye-popping,
lob-and-catch, between-the-legs, left-handed reverse. And Gilbert
Arenas dropped 30 points in the Rookie Challenge to earn the MVP
honors. The Warriors kept rolling with a 8 - 5 record for the month.
March opened with wins against Detroit and Indiana. A loss to
Chicago ended a 6 game winning streak, the longest in 9 years
for the team. The team had gone 9 - 4 since the All-Star break.
As the playoff picture tightened, the Warriors kept pace in the
race at 8 - 8 for the month.
April saw a 2 - 6 record, and the season ended with mixed feelings.
The team missed the playoffs by 6 games, a 17-game improvement from
last year. But any sense of accomplishment was overshadowed by
questions about whether the team can keep Gilbert Arenas in the blue
and orange (he's a free agent). Since the team is over the cap, the
Warriors can only offer the mid-level exception to Arenas, and he will
surely get offers for more money elsewhere. And on the same day that Arenas
was named the NBA's Most Improved player, Jason Richardson was arraigned
in Michigan for assault.
Quick Highlights from the season:
- Antawn Jamison finished 13th in the league in scoring at 22.4 PPG.
- The Warriors were the 2nd highest scoring team in the league
at 102.4 PPG.
- The Warriors were the best rebounding team in the NBA. They've
been the top rebounding team the last 3 years.
- FG% improved to .441 (up from .429 last year).
- Earl Boykins was signed a free agent, and he provided steady play
in the backcourt.
- 3rd consecutive year the Warriors gave up the most points in the league.
(103.6 points a game in 02-03)
- Turnovers decreased from the previous year, but were still high at
15.2 a game.
# name pos ht wt from dob exp
0 Gilbert Arenas PG 6' 3" 191 Arizona 01-06-1982 2
11 Earl Boykins PG 5' 5" 133 Eastern Michigan 06-02-1976 5
23 Jason Richardson SG 6' 6" 220 Michigan State 01-20-1981 2
3 Bob Sura SG 6' 5" 200 Florida State 03-25-1973 8
4 Jiri Welsch SG 6' 7" 208 Olimpija Ljubljana 03-01-1982 1
33 Antawn Jamison SF 6' 9" 223 North Carolina 06-12-1975 5
10 Mike Dunleavy SF 6' 9" 221 Duke 03-09-1981 1
34 Chris Mills SF 6' 7" 220 Arizona 01-25-1970 10
1 Troy Murphy PF 6'11" 245 Notre Dame 05-02-1980 2
21 Danny Fortson PF 6' 8" 260 Cincinnati 03-27-1976 6
31 Adonal Foyle C 6'10" 265 Colgate 03-29-1975 6
25 Erick Dampier C 6'11" 265 Mississippi State 07-14-1974 7
player min pts reb ast blk to fga fta fgp ftp
Antawn Jamison 39.5 22.4 6.9 1.8 0.5 2.2 17.9 6.1 .469 .794
Gilbert Arenas 35.0 18.6 4.7 6.1 0.2 3.5 14.5 5.7 .439 .790
Jason Richardson 32.6 15.2 4.5 3.1 0.2 2.2 13.8 3.4 .405 .771
Troy Murphy 31.9 11.5 10.2 1.3 0.3 1.4 9.4 3.7 .446 .837
Erick Dampier 24.2 8.2 6.7 0.7 1.9 1.4 6.4 2.7 .488 .700
Adonal Foyle 21.6 5.3 6.0 0.4 2.4 0.9 4.1 1.3 .543 .663
Earl Boykins 20.0 9.3 1.3 3.3 0.1 1.1 7.0 3.2 .434 .869
Mike Dunleavy 15.5 5.3 2.4 1.2 0.2 1.0 4.8 1.1 .399 .753
Bob Sura 20.5 6.8 3.0 3.2 0.0 1.5 5.8 2.4 .398 .712
Chris Mills 12.5 4.8 2.4 1.0 0.1 0.5 5.0 0.9 .368 .889
Danny Fortson 13.1 3.5 4.3 0.7 0.0 0.9 3.2 1.7 .370 .655
Jiri Welsch 6.9 1.8 0.7 0.7 0.1 0.6 2.2 0.9 .269 .741
Oscar Torres 6.4 3.1 0.7 0.2 0.1 0.5 2.1 1.2 .444 .700
Dean Oliver 6.2 1.5 1.1 1.5 0.0 0.7 1.9 0.5 .241 .875
A.J. Guyton 4.5 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 0.0 .000 .000
Guy Rucker 1.3 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 .000 .000
player g min pts oreb dreb tot ast stl blk to
Antawn Jamison 74 2925 1655 174 338 512 133 71 38 166
Gilbert Arenas 74 2589 1375 88 263 351 455 113 15 262
Jason Richardson 74 2416 1126 97 235 332 226 79 17 160
Troy Murphy 72 2297 828 205 529 734 97 59 25 98
Erick Dampier 74 1790 606 229 268 497 50 25 141 102
Adonal Foyle 74 1595 391 162 282 444 31 36 178 68
Earl Boykins 60 1202 560 32 46 78 199 35 3 66
Mike Dunleavy 74 1145 394 52 124 176 92 48 17 73
Bob Sura 47 962 320 44 95 139 149 41 2 71
Chris Mills 21 262 101 19 31 50 22 7 3 10
Danny Fortson 17 223 59 28 45 73 12 9 0 15
Jiri Welsch 31 214 57 8 14 22 23 8 2 19
Oscar Torres 17 109 53 3 9 12 3 4 2 8
Dean Oliver 15 93 22 8 8 16 23 7 0 10
A.J. Guyton 2 9 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1
Guy Rucker 3 4 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0
Golden State Warriors Total:
Antawn Jamison ............. $10,067,750
Erick Dampier .............. $6,858,500
Chris Mills ................ $6,000,000
Bob Sura ................... $5,639,999
Danny Fortson .............. $5,039,068
Adonal Foyle ............... $4,400,000
Mike Dunleavy .............. $3,100,080
Jason Richardson ........... $2,607,360
Troy Murphy ................ $1,408,680
Jiri Welsch ................ $1,234,080
Earl Boykins ............... $528,605 [signed 11/27/02]
Gilbert Arenas ............. $512,435 [minimum]
Oscar Torres ............... $168,729 [released 12/26/02]
Dean Oliver ................ $118,735 [released 12/5/02]
Guy Rucker ................. $34,946 [released 11/16/02]
A.J. Guyton ................ $18,748 [signed 11/18, released 11/26/02]
Credit goes to Patricia Bender and her excellent NBA
resource site at http://www.dfw.net/~patricia
PG Gilbert Arenas, #0
The NBA's Most Improved player and MVP of the All-Star Rookie
Challenge, Gilbert Arenas established himself as one of the
league's most exciting young point guards this past season.
His breakthrough season saw career highs in points (41 vs. Wizards),
rebounds (12 vs. Spurs), and assists (15 vs. Grizzlies). Most
importantly, Arenas's play was the biggest factor in the Warriors
improved offense. He's a scoring PG, but he's able to drive and
dish as well. Because of his play-making, several of the Warriors
other players (Jamison, Richardson, Murphy) benefited. And now
the Warriors may very well lose him to free-agency. The team's
#1 priority should be finding a way to keep him.
SG Jason Richardson, #23
Exciting, athletic player who still has room to improve his game.
Jason Richardson won the All-Star Slam Dunk competition for the
2nd year. Richardson also improved on his 3pt shooting and his
FT%. However, he still is not getting to the basket as often as
his athletic ability might suggest. His 3.4 free throws attempted
per game ranked only 4th on the team. Richardson wasn't thought of
as a sharp shooter coming from Michigan State. However, he
attempted more 3pt's than anyone else on the team (334; 19th in
the NBA), and he hit a respectable .368 from 3pt land. But he
still seems to be figuring out how to be effective on the court.
A possible concern with Richardson is that he standing trial
for assaulting his former girlfriend in Michigan. Richardson and
the woman have a 3-year-old daughter. Richardson may have a
bright future, but he's yet to show the maturity and responsibility
the team expects from him.
SF Antawn Jamison, #33
Antawn Jamison had a great year. He finished 13th in the league
in points per game, and he improved his FT%. He's becoming a very
dangerous offensive player, and he's making opponents prepare to
stop him. He starts at SF, but he's comfortable playing around the
basket. He has a very quick release, so he's able to get his shot
off in the paint. This year was the first of his max contract,
and Jamison is working hard to earn his money. He's showed signs
of maturity and leadership as complaints about his playing time and
position appear to be in the past. Jamison still has a lot of
work ahead as the franchise player. Is he really worth a max
contract? Can he make people forget that the Warriors traded
Vince Carter for him? It's a lot of pressure on one player, and
my guess is that Jamison's career is going to be very closely
tied to that of the cast around him. If the Warriors can keep
Arenas and develop the rest of the roster, Jamison might be a
key part of winning seasons in the near future.
PF Troy Murphy, #1
Troy Murphy worked very hard on his game before the season and
it definitely showed. Murphy finished 3rd in Most Improved
Player voting, and he ranked #5 in league in rebounds per game.
Murphy averaged a double-double this past year, and his versatility
is a match-up nightmare. At 6'11" Murphy has the ability to
play on the blocks, but he's also able to step out and use his
sweet jumper in the midrange game. His ability to step out and
shoot, complements Jamison's inside game very well. Murphy
showed a lot of toughness and determination in his game. He
was able to play C at times depending on match-ups. Possibly
overlooked because of Arenas's play and Richardson's dunks,
Murphy looks like a keeper that should be with the team for
a long time.
C Erick Dampier, #25
Erick Dampier is healthy and 6' 11". Dampier started the season
fast, and he showed that he was completely recovered from past
injuries. His mobility was good in the paint, and he played with
energy in the early season. But there seems to be a pattern
with Dampier. Fast starts often wane, his intensity declines,
and interestingly his play always seems to go south by the time
the trade deadline is past. The team has shopped him in the past,
but he has 3 more years at 6+ million left on his contract.
He is a big body in the paint and he blocks some shots, but he's
pretty average offensively. He still gives the Warriors options
when Shaq, Yao, or any other big man comes to the arena.
PG Earl Boykins, #11
Earl Boykins gave the Warriors an energetic and capable PG off
the bench. The Warriors needed someone to pickup minutes in relief
of Arenas, and Boykins got the job done. He was especially good at
getting the ball up the court, and getting the team into it's offense.
Arenas and Boykins were also used together as Arenas can function
as a combo-guard or SG. Boykins is a free-agent, but he may be
retained by the club for depth at PG. Currently, Bob Sura is the
only player under contract with any experience playing the point.
SG Bob Sura, #3
Sura was named the starting PG at the beginning of the season.
However, an injury led to Arenas being inserted into the lineup
and that was the end of any debates. Sura is a veteran combo
guard, who is a good reserve. He was very aggressive this year,
and was often called upon to keep the teams offense moving. Sura
showed a good ability to get into the lane and get to the basket.
He makes decent money and is a free agent after next season, so
he might have good trade value this upcoming season (IF he's not
the only PG on the roster).
SG Jiri Welsch, #4
We didn't see much of Jiri Welsch this past season, but he should
be a player for the team in the near future. Welsch is a combo
guard with good size and a shooter's touch. He is supposed to
be able to play the point, but he didn't show much effectiveness
there in his rookie season. There are some concerns about his
quickness, and he will have to earn his minutes this year.
SF Mike Dunleavy, #10
Highly regarded rookie Mike Dunleavy found out what life is like
in the NBA this year. He struggled early in the season, as his play
seemed forced and uneasy. Then he grumbled about playing time as
he was left on the bench for long stretches. However, you could
see him make adjustments and his game steadily improved. By the
end of the year, Dunleavy had found a measure of confidence. His
dead-eye shot returned, and he earned some playing time in 4th
quarters. nbadraft.net called him a "wait and see" pick, as he
is underdeveloped and will have to work on bulking up. But he
has a very bright future and he gives the Warriors interesting
options on the court and in trade talks.
SF Chris Mills, #34
Veteran small forward was injured for a good part of the season.
He never saw significant playing time. His greatest value to
the team is probably in trade talks as he's a free-agent after
this next season and the expiring contract can be used to clear
salary cap money.
PF Danny Fortson, #21
Disgruntled PF Danny Fortson is a rebounding machine. However,
he is limited offensively and defensively. The team has him
under contract for the next 4 years, but he has no defined
role on the team. His minutes have gone to Jamison and Murphy,
and he's been vocal about his unhappiness. There doesn't seem
to be much a interest in him around the league, so he might
have to wait until the Warriors make other moves to see if he
regain playing time.
C Adonal Foyle, #31
Adonal Foyle has been a Warrior his whole career. He's a shot
blocking machine, and he gives a consistent effort on the court.
Those two qualities have made him a popular player with coaches
and fans. Foyle and Dampier split time at C, and the combination
of the two provide 12 fouls, blocked shots, and big bodies to slow
down opposing centers. Foyle has a limited offensive game, but
he is a good defensive center. He will be a free agent after
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (San Diego'87)
Assistants: Phil Hubbard (Michigan'79)
Mark Osowski (Massachusetts'85)
Tom Sterner (Millersville State'78)
Hank Egan (Navy'60)
Trainer: Tom Abdenour (Wayne State'76)
GM: Gary St. Jean
The Warriors hired Eric Musselman as coach after last years draft.
Musselman had previously been an assistant coach with the Atlanta
Hawks and Orlando Magic, and he had enjoyed a very successful
coaching career in the CBA (.688 winning percentage). He was also
the youngest coach in the NBA at the time of his hiring, at a
Musselman replaced Dave Cowens, who had a very short stay with
the Warriors (105 games). Several players had voiced complaints
with Cowens, and his assistant Brian Winters finished coaching
the 2001 - 02 season.
Musselman will surely have his dragons to slay, but his first year
proved to be a good step for the team. The Warriors have several
young players to develop, and a couple of veterans who won't
hesitate to voice their opinions on how they should be used.
Musselman quickly established an order to the starting lineup
and rotations. And by mid-January the Warriors were the only
team in the NBA that had used the same starting lineup in every
game (PG Gilbert Arenas, SG Jason Richardson, SF Antawn
Jamison, PF Troy Murphy and C Erick Dampier). The next hurdle
for coach and team will be improving upon the NBA's worst team
defense. Musselman reportedly shied away from using traps and
double-teams this past season because he wants his young team to
first learn the basics of man-to-man defense.
GM Gary St. Jean has taken his fair share of criticism in the
recent past. But the 2001 draft (SG Jason Richardson, PF Troy
Murphy, PG Gilbert Arenas) has given the Saint a bit of a reprieve.
The funny thing is, it might bring him a public relations nightmare
this off-season if starting PG Gilbert Arenas leaves as a free agent.
What really stings is that the Warriors might have had Arenas
locked up for the long term if they had initially negotiated a
3 year deal with the 2nd Round draft pick. (The 3rd year could
have even been a team option). If Arenas had played with the
Warriors for 3 years, the Warriors would be able to exceed the
salary cap to resign him. As it stands now, they can only offer
him the average player salary ($4.5 million). Other teams will
certainly be able to offer more than that.
St. Jean has an uphill battle this off-season. If he can find
a way to keep Arenas, things look good for the Warriors. But
if Arenas walks and leaves a hole at PG again, the team might
well slide back from the improvement they showed this year.
That will definitely bring the boo-birds back to St. Jean's
August 13, 2002 may well be remembered as one of the most
important dates in the Warriors future.
Chris Mullin was named as a Special Assistant to the Front Office
of the organization. The five time NBA All-Star will "provide
assistance to the entire Basketball Operations staff, including
General Manager Garry St. Jean and Head Coach Eric Musselman.
Additionally, his expertise will be utilized in player development
and evaluation, while he will also take an active role in
day-to-day business endeavors with the team."
Warrior's fans pray that adding Mullin is more than a public
relations move. The former Dream Teamer should provide excellent
insight to basketball related matters. And he is a great
presence to have around a young team that is trying to establish
Team President Robert Rowell has been the rising star of the
organization. The former Chief Operating Officer was promoted
this past year, and he's been a member of the front office staff
for the past eight years. He comes from a Finance background, and
he's responsible for a number of the teams marketing campaigns.
Golden State Warriors Owner Christopher Cohan is a former cable
mogul. The team has been in a funk during his ownership, but
hopefully the darkest days are behind the Warriors.
VI. Previous Drafts
The 2001 draft gave the team a good nucleus of talent around
Antawn Jamison. The 2002 draft was applauded by all the
writers that grade drafts as soon as the last prospects name
Before that the Warriors had a rather bleak history in recent
drafts. Draft day trades had not worked in the Warriors favor,
and many of their prospects never fulfilled their potential.
Recent Draft History
2001 #5 Jason Richardson, Michigan State
#14 Troy Murphy, Notre Dame
#31 Gilbert Arenas, Arizona
2000 #55 Chris Porter, Auburn
1999 #21 Jeff Foster, Southwest Texas State
Golden State traded draft rights to Jeff Foster
to Indiana in exchange for draft rights to Vonteego
Cummings (26th overall) and a future first-round pick.
1998 #5 Vince Carter, North Carolina
Golden State traded the rights to Vince Carter and
cash to Toronto for the rights to Antawn Jamison.
1997 #8 Adonal Foyle, Colgate
1996 #11 Todd Fuller, North Carolina State
1995 #1 Joe Smith, Maryland
1994 #16 Cliff Rozier, Louisville
1993 #3 Anfernee Hardaway, Memphis State
Orlando traded the rights to Chris Webber to Golden State
for the rights to Anfernee Hardaway and 3 future
first-round draft choices.
1992 #24 Latrell Sprewell, Alabama
VII. Team Needs
SAVE GILBERT! The teams #1 priority has to be keeping Gilbert Arenas.
The team lusted after Jay Williams in last years draft only to watch
him struggle in Chicago and Arenas flourish in Oakland. Seriously,
does anyone except Kiki Vandeweghe want to see Arenas passing to the
under-20-year-olds the Nuggets call a team?!?!?
Improved Defense. The Warriors are going to have to keep working
on this one. They did a better job this year, but it's been their
weak spot for a while now. The young players need to commit to
stopping the other team. The Warriors have some long bodies on the
roster, but the team could use some nitty gritty workhorses on the
Continued development from young players. The Warriors have young
talent in Arenas, Richardson, Murphy, Dunleavy, Welsch, and even
Jamison. It's debatable whether another young player (this year's
#11 draft pick) will really add much to the team. If the current
players can keep improving, playing hard, and earning the respect
of the officials, this could be a competitive team in the future.
Athletic big man. The Warriors would love to have an athletic
post player (what team wouldn't?). Foyle will be a free agent
after the season, and that will leave Dampier/Murphy/Jamison/
Fortson to man the PF/C slots. Another big, athletic body is on
the wish list.
Outside Shooting. The Warriors don't have too many reliable
3pt shooters. Dunleavy is probably one the best shooters on
the team. It wouldn't hurt to add another guy capable of
stepping behind the line.
VIII. Warriors Selection
Hinrich, PG, 6'3", Kansas
This is a great scenario for the Warriors. Hinrich is the runaway
favorite as the 2nd best PG in the draft.
The pick fits both value and need. Hinrich would be a great fit to
replace Arenas if he leaves. He's deceptively quick, has a true
PG mentality, he comes from a quality program at Kansas, and he
finished in the top 20 scores in the athletic tests at the pre-draft
Chicago camp. Hinrich is great in transition, and the Warriors can
play that game with Richardson, Jamison, Dunleavy, and Murphy.
Hinrich's outside shot would also help open up the middle for the
Even if Arenas stays with the team, the Warriors need help in the
backcourt. Hinrich would have a great situation playing behind
Arenas his rookie season. And Hinrich would add more interesting
options to the teams roster for future trades.
If Hinrich actually drops this far, the Warriors will happily
IX. Players Considered
The other players that Warriors might pick would probably be
PG Leandrinho Barbosa, PG Reece
Gaines, SG Jarvis Hayes, or
PF Michael Sweetney. I still think Hinrich is a clear choice,
but Barbosa and Gaines are both quality PG's and could be
taken this high.
X. Additional Moves the Warriors Might Make
The Warriors roster could use an adjustment.
The #11 pick could actually have great value to the team as
trade bait. Adding another young player may not help this
team as much as adding a veteran.
A veteran presence in the locker room could be a great stabilizer,
but it all depends on what veteran is added.
The team has a lot of young talent, and it will be interesting
to see what moves they make. It would be very disappointing to
see the Warriors become the Clippers North.
St. Jean has done a good job with the last two drafts, but he
seems to be gun-shy about trades. The team hasn't tipped it's
hand on any of it's options, but it has 3 expiring contracts
to work with this season. With over 15 million in expiring
contracts and a stable of young players, the team would appear
to be in a position of strength in trade talks. But then again,
they failed to do anything at the trade deadline, and that's
led to the current Arenas crisis.
RE-SIGN Gilbert Arenas. Have I said it enough yet? This should
be a priority.
There are a couple of rumored trade scenarios, and I'll run
down a couple and add a couple of my own:
- Trade Mike Dunleavy for Jay Williams.
- Trade Mike Dunleavy for Jamal Crawford.
- Sign Gary Payton (he's from Oakland).
- Sign Sam Cassell (unlikely, but he'd be cheaper than Payton).
- Trade Chris Mills ($6,000,000 in expiring salary)
- Trade Bob Sura ($5,639,999 in expiring salary)
- Trade Adonal Foyle ($4,400,000 in expiring salary)
- Trade Danny Fortson (he's not a happy camper)
- Trade for almost-retired PG Terrel Brandon (this move might potentially
clear salary cap room = resign Arenas!)