Originally posted on The Daily Rival  |  Last updated 3/16/12

So, the Warriors on Thursday ended the second Stephen Jackson era before it could even start, sending Captain Jack to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson, the presumably retired TJ Ford and a conditional 2012 first-round draft pick.

While I like to think the Warriors have always tried to make themselves better, it’s trades like this that make me wonder which brand of glue the suits in the front office are sniffing.

Jackson was set to be on the books for two years, $19.2 million. A hefty amount, especially for a 33-year-old, but still better when compared to Jefferson’s $30.5 million over three. Not to mention the fact that I’d take Jackson–even with questions about his motivation–over Jefferson (Jackson has much cooler tattoos, too). RJ isn’t bad, but he’s probably worth less than half of what he makes.

Yes, the Warriors do get a first-round pick–a conditional pick that the 28-13 Spurs keep if they pull off an epic slide and miss the playoffs–which is nice because the Warriors’ own pick isn’t guaranteed, and we all know how delightful the upcoming draft class is sure to be.

Hey, guys, we can get a guaranteed, late first-rounder this year, and all we have to do is absorb Richard Jefferson’s roided-up contract. SOUNDS GREAT!

Lump the money Jefferson is due with Andris Biedrins’ bad contract, not to mention Bogut’s and David Lee’s lucrative deals, and the Warriors have essentially taken themselves out of free agency contention for the next few years.

That might be okay with the Warriors, who, after their bust of a free agency period last December, are perhaps starting to believe they can’t be players on the open market. Golden State cleared the cap space and made separate fruitless efforts to snatch up Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan. The Warriors also hoped to make runs at Nene and Marc Gasol, neither of whom indicated they wanted any part of the Dubs. They ended up with with the accomplished Kwame Brown.

GM Larry Riley on Thursday hinted that this might indeed be their mindset moving forward.

“I’m telling you,” Riley said, “I’d rather have players than (cap) space.”

Is this Riley’s way of trying convince himself that he did a good job with the team’s moves this week?

The Warriors and their fans should be happy about the Bogut trade. Monta Ellis was a delight to watch (and hear give local holiday promos), but the dual small-guard experiment had run its course. The Dubs needed to get better up front. Bogut, when healthy, gives the team top five talent for the position.

But this Jefferson trade is just another example of GSW trying to do too much. If getting another first-rounder was the Warriors ultimate goal, was this way worth it?

[Photo by Keith Allison]

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