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Befuddled By Tinsley-to-Warriors Rumor

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A Daily Babble Production

That the Warriors are seeking a bit of point guard help is understandable.  That's the sort of reality that occurs when a team's plan at point guard is to re-sign and convert its stud two guard and trade for an unproven youngster from a bad New Jersey team, and then the converted off-guard goes down with an injury.  

But the Warriors would be well served to remember that Ellis' injury may have him back by late 2008, and Marcus Williams has the potential to be at least a serviceable NBA point guard.  It isn't worth it for the team to make a desperation move or take any sort of major risk simply for the sake of acquiring another longer tenured point guard.

It seems that this is exactly what the Warriors would be doing if they were to make the rumored trade for Jamaal Tinsley that Matt Steinmetz initially reported and Jeff mentioned on our NBA page on Friday.

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It's very hard to see much value in obtaining Tinsley at this point, much less giving up a player of any worth to get him.  The Pacers have made it clear in just about every way that they are absolutely desperate to sell him off to any suitor they can.  They don't want to buy out his contract because they believe something can be salvaged for him, but that seems to be the extent of it.  They're tired of his attitude and off-court incidents affecting team chemistry and image, and the fact that he isn't exactly an all-world player in the first place has only helped remove just about any temptation to try to give him another chance in Indianapolis.

The off-court reputation precedes Tins at this point.  He's had a lovely run that has included a barfight altercation, a murky shooting incident allegedly featuring him and his posse (possibly as targets though), some drug-related issues and some disciplinary problems that included suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.  The incidents in Indiana have made the message clear to the rest of the league to the point that the Pacers haven't even tried to disguise it in their shopping of the guard: This isn't a guy you want in your locker room.  That's especially true if your locker room happens to include Stephen Jackson, who has done quite well for himself in Oakland and is in no need of the sort of guy who might help him into reverting back to his behaviors of the past.

Beyond the character concerns, Tinsley isn't all that attractive a player in the first place.  While he can run an offense competently, he isn't an elite floor general, and he is a miserably inefficient scorer.  Tinsley shoots less than 40 percent from the field and barely better than 30 percent on three-pointers for his career.  He has put up just two seasons of his seven in the league at true shooting marks of 50 percent or better, and his 47.4 career figure is flatly disgusting.  That this is a guy who has averaged 9.9 field-goal attempts per game for his career and nearly 12 per game in three of his last four seasons only makes his efficacy issues that much more unsettling.

He also hasn't exactly been a master of durability either.  Tinsley's games played totals over the last five seasons read as follows:  52, 40, 42, 72, 39.  Seven seasons in the league.  One season of 80 games.  Two other seasons of 70-plus games. Far too many man games missed.

Worse-than-questionable character, decent point guard skills, terrible shooting, poor durability and to top it off, Tinsley is on the books for three more years and in the neighborhood of $21 million.  Wonderful.

Though Al Harrington has been something of an underachiever and has nearly $20 million left on his deal, Harrington is only on the books for two more years, and he does provide a versatile big man presence who can contribute at both ends of the floor on a team that hasn't had a lot in the way of bigs over the past few seasons.  Harrington has vacillated between starter and reserve, and consistency isn't his strong suit, but he has posted true shooting marks over 54 percent and averaged 14.8 points and 5.8 boards per game over a season and a half in Golden State.  The 6-9 forward runs the floor well and doesn't pose the character concerns that Tinsley and Marquis Daniels (also rumored to be in the deal) do, and it's hard to see the logic in moving him for any package centered on those two as rumored.

If the Warriors are for some reason higher than one would expect on bringing Tinsley to town, they should at least be able to negotiate the Pacers down to a bargain price for him as Indiana is looking to practically giving him away.  An even better approach would be ignoring Tinsley completely and simply looking  at other options.  Shaun Livingston comes to mind as much less expensive and not a character risk (though injuries are an issue there as well), or perhaps it would be worth looking into a trade with one of the league's other 28 teams besides Indiana.  The bottom line is that while the Warriors may need help at the point, this hardly seems to be anywhere close to the best way to go about getting it.