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Warriors to make Anthony Tolliver a free agent (Chris Hunter, too)

Jun 28, 2010, 3:55 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for New Warriors Logo.jpgWith the drafting of Ekpe Udoh last week, there became a frontcourt logjam in Golden State. Which seems weird for a team that needed more on an interior presence last season, but welcome to the Warriors. Don Nelson does that to you.

General Manager Larry Riley cleared that up a little with a series of moves made public Monday by Comcast Sports Bay Area.

Anthony Tolliver and Chris Hunter did not get qualifying offers from the team. They are now unrestricted free agents. They will not be back.

Guards Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson did get offers, making them restricted free agents. While Morrow would draw a lot of interest on the open market, the Warriors can — and will — match any offer.

Not signing Tolliver — a guy Don Nelson played 32 minutes a game last year — and Hunter shows where Riley wants this team to go. More Anthony Randolph. More Brandan Wright. Give Udoh some burn. Ronny Turiaf will be back as well and can give the team quality minutes. It was a message to Nelson, and likely would be welcomed by any coach who could come in after the ownership change.

Tolliver and Hunter should draw some interest. Tolliver (a D-League call up) should be playing the four — Nelson started him at center — and can help there. He gave the Warriors solid minutes, with a couple of big scoring and rebounding games. He started 29 games at the end of the season and gave Golden State 13.6 points per game but shot just 43 percent on the season. Still, he can give solid backup minutes every night for the right team.

Tolliver even made some big highlights, though not always for the right reason.

And the end of the season, it was Hunter who was spelling Tolliver off the bench and was the real center. He shot 50 percent and more importantly gave the Warriors a real defensive presence in the paint. He is another guy called up from the D-League, another guy who can give someone some solid minutes off the bench.

Tolliver and Hunter were not bad, but it’s a numbers game (even with them gone Warriors have 14 on the roster, 15 is the max, and you want flexibility for trades). Maybe now they land in a system better suited to their talents.

  1. bayareacrabtrees - Jun 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    tolliver was cool, hunter was alright, watson and morrow are solid roles off the bench.

  2. Swopa - Jun 29, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    Casual readers might be misinformed by this post that Tolliver “played 32 minutes a game last year” at the expense of Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright, due to the crazed whims of Don Nelson.
    If the post author cared enough to do 30 seconds’ worth of research (or, heaven forbid, knew what was going on during the season), he’d have mentioned that Tolliver’s first game for the Warrors came 10 days after Randolph suffered a season-ending ankle injury… Wright, meanwhile, missed the whole season after shoulder surgery during training camp.
    But the truth is so boring — it’s more hip and snarky to blame that whacked-out Nellie!
    It’s hard to tell if this is just ignorance, or Kurt Helin simply doesn’t think it matters if he knows what’s he talking about.
    Either way, you’d think NBC Sports would have higher employment standards.

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