Steinmetz: Look who else wants more money

Just when the Warriors extricated themselves from a sticky situation involving coach Don Nelson, here comes another potential issue. This one involves point guard Baron Davis and his desire to secure a contract extension before the start of the season.

Nelson got his new deal. Is Davis next?

Davis, who spearheaded the Warriors’ playoff run a year ago, can opt out of his contract after 2007-08 and become a free agent. He said recently that if he doesn’t get an extension from the Warriors, he’ll test the waters in the offseason.

It’s quite a predicament.

If the Warriors give Davis a contract extension, it will likely start around $15 million. That’s pretty much the going rate for a superstar who was good enough last season to lead the Warriors to their first postseason appearance in 13 years.

Not only that, Davis pushed the Warriors into the second round of the playoffs, a destination that stars such as Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol have yet to reach.

Then again, investing upwards of $50 million in Davis (assuming the extension is for at least three years) is a risky proposition considering he has missed significant portions of each of the past five seasons. Since 2002, Davis has missed a total of 130 games because of injury, not the kind of durability you covet from your star.

There is a very real concern that Davis’ days of playing more than 60 regular-season games are over. Simply put, there doesn’t seem to be any way Davis can hold up for an entire season, then have the wherewithal to deliver like he did in the playoffs.

On the one hand, you can live with Davis missing games during the regular season if he is going to play at the level he did in the playoffs against Dallas and Utah. The problem is that the Warriors might not even make the playoffs if Davis misses too many games in January and February.

In other words, what good is a rested Davis in April if the Warriors aren’t going to be playing in May?

But not extending Davis comes with consequences, too.

It’s certainly a risky proposition for the Warriors to put off a contract extension for Davis and then expect him to forget about it, not take it personally and go ahead and have a monster season. If there’s one thing Davis has shown over the course of his career, it’s that he’s a better player when he’s in sync with the franchise he’s playing for.

So, do the Warriors gamble and extend Davis, a player in the prime of his career but with a history of injury? Or do they gamble and not extend him?

That’s a tough one for the Warriors.

Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unarmed BART ambassadors program formalized with a focus on community service

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

On Oct. 13, people lined up to vote early for the presidential election in Southlake, Texas. <ins>(Shutterstock)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Five things to watch for in the run-up to Nov. 3

Down-ballot races, as much as the presidency, will determine the future course of this nation

WeChat (Shutterstock)
U.S. District Court denies Trump request to shutdown WeChat app

A federal judge in San Francisco denied a request by the U.S.… Continue reading

School board members Gabriela Lopez (left) and Alison Collins (right) say they have been the subject of frequent hateful, racist and sexist attacks during their time on the school board. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F Examiner)
Angered by Lowell decision, SFUSD grad targets school board members with violent imagery

Facebook page depicts two women of color on board with swastikas and x-marks on their faces

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a former school board member, said it was ‘ridiculous’ that the school district did not yet have a plan to reopen. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supervisors demand SFUSD set a timeline for reopening

Pressure grows on district to resume in-person learning as The City’s COVID-19 case count goes down

Most Read