Warriors anxious to part ways with Jackson
Having tired of the near-daily disruption Stephen Jackson’s unresolved status has had on their young roster, the Golden State Warriors are more committed than ever to trading the veteran swingman and NBA sources said the team is optimistic a deal can be completed within the next few weeks.Even on a night when the Warriors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 146-105 while scoring their most points in 15 years, two Golden State players told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that the team’s play – and overall morale – won’t truly improve until Jackson is gone. Jackson first declared in August he wanted the Warriors to trade him, and his impending departure has become one of a handful of issues hanging over the team.
“The Jax situation is a constant distraction,” one Warrior said.
“Once they trade him,” another player said, “it will clear up a lot of things.”
The Warriors no longer seem to have any desire to repair the damaged relationship with their former captain. Jackson’s agent, Mark Stevens, blasted Warriors coach Don Nelson in an interview with ESPN.com Sunday night, criticizing Nelson’s coaching ability and trustworthiness. Nelson wouldn’t respond to Stevens’ comments, but he did say the Warriors are trying to accommodate Jackson’s trade wish.
“I’m aware the team needs a change,” Golden State general manager Larry Riley said. “I’m working hard toward that.”
Jackson said he has been told 10 teams have expressed interest in him. The seriousness of their level of interest remains questionable. Jackson has three years and $28 million remaining on his contract after this season, significantly tempering his trade value. The Cleveland Cavaliers have had talks with the Warriors, but don’t want to part with center Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes). Golden State, which doesn’t have a single player who weighs more than 250 pounds on its roster, would like a big man. The Warriors would be amenable to trading Jackson for expiring contracts, but most teams would prefer to save their cap space for the heralded 2010 free-agent market.