Warriors Rumors: Jackson, Barnes, O’Neal, Green

Impatience from the ownership suite is at the root of much of the tension surrounding the Warriors, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his NBA AM piece. The front office is under pressure, and that affects coach Mark Jackson and his coaching staff, according to Kyler, who says the owners often push for roster changes when the team isn’t performing well. The principal owners of the Warriors are Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, but Kyler doesn’t specify whether it’s one or both of them or someone else within the ownership group who is putting the squeeze on. Still, Kyler has other specifics about the uneasiness in Golden State, as we detail below amid our look at the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Harrison Barnes was the subject of trade rumors before the deadline, and Kyler hears that Warriors ownership started those talks in hope of flipping Barnes for a veteran big man who could help the team win in the short-term. For what it’s worth, Lacob said in February that he wasn’t anxious to move Barnes.
  • Jackson previously denied that there’s dysfunction within the Warriors, and Wednesday he also tried to shoot down the idea that he sought head coaching jobs with the Clippers and Nets, among other teams. Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com has the details.
  • Jackson is an ordained nondenominational Christian minister, and that’s a draw for many players, including Jermaine O’Neal, who said it was one of the primary reasons he signed with the Warriors, and Draymond Green, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News observes.
  • The Warriors expected to contend for the Western Conference title this year, and if they reach the conference finals, Jackson will “almost certainly” return as coach, but if they lose in the first round, he’s a goner, Deveney believes.
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