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One Golden Question Down? Not So Fast

Mar 11, 2008 – 11:33 PM
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Tom Ziller

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Today, the Golden State Warriors picked up the $5 million option on Don Nelson's contract for next season. If you'll remember, Nellie and the franchise fought over this year's contract until damn near training camp. In Nelson's original contract, signed in 2006, the coach was owed $3.1 million guaranteed next season. But in negotiating a better salary for this year, that 2008-09 season turned into a $5.1 million option.

Surely for the team, getting this question out of the way now could have a calming effect. Remember: Baron Davis can become a free agent. Monta Ellis is a free agent. Andris Biedrins will be a restricted free agent.

But wait! Nellie has a quandary of his own. From the San Francisco Chronicle's Janny Hu:
Nelson said he's flattered but he wants to discuss things with his wife, players and friends in the offseason before making a decision. "It's always nice to be wanted, especially when you're 67," Nelson said.

"We'll have to reflect on it. It's never a good time to make a decision at this time of year. It's a very nice gesture on their part."
Because of this play by the Warriors, Nellie can't lose. Golden State slips into #9 and finishes in the lottery? Nelson's got a $5 million contract. The Warriors surge and get to the conference finals (or, gulp, further)? "We might have to reconsider." If Nellie's checking account gets restless this summer and the season plays out well, Golden State will under pressure to succumb to Nelson's demands once again.
Filed under: Sports