The move comes after months of deliberation for Amundson, the undrafted big man who was a key reserve for Phoenix the last two seasons and has carved a niche in the league despite his limited skill-set. He was reportedly pursued by Indiana, New Orleans, Toronto and Charlotte, but opted to bring his hustling, glue-guy ways to the Warriors. He will join the likes of Andris Biedrins and newly-acquired David Lee on the frontline.
"It was a long process -- unbelievably long," Amundson's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told FanHouse. "To the Warriors' credit, they really, really pursued him doggedly. They stayed after it and stayed after it. ... It was a tough decision for Louis. We felt like he made such great strides in his game in the last two years and he wanted to continue the progression. This was an important decision to make the right step."
Amundson, who has a player option in the second year of his deal, makes that step despite so much uncertainty with the Warriors. With Joe Lacob and Peter Guber heading a new ownership group that is expected to officially take over in mid-October, the futures of both general manager Larry Riley and coach Don Nelson are in doubt. Bartelstein said that was certainly taken into consideration.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a factor," he said. "But I think that Larry and (director of player personnel) Travis (Schlenk) and Joe (Lacob) gave us a really good feel for their vision of how they want this team to be built and the kind of players they want to have on their team. Obviously there's still some uncertainty but we felt good about their vision."
Amundson never played in more than 16 games during his first two seasons, floundering on benches in Philadelphia and Utah after his college days at UNLV. Last year, in his second season with the Suns, he posted careers highs in games (79), minutes per game (14.8), scoring (4.7 points per game), rebounding (4.4) and field-goal percentage (54.5).
The Warriors were in need of frontcourt depth in light of the injury to draft pick Ekpe Udoh, the Baylor big man who was taken sixth overall in June. He suffered a torn ligament in his left wrist in early July and had surgery that will keep him out at least until January.
Update: Amundson meets the press in Oakland as a member of the Warriors -- and compares the experience of being one of the last free agents signed to being "the fat kid in P.E. class when you're picking for dodgeball teams and you're the only one left" -- for the first time in the video below:
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