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News » Captain Jack hits the road

Captain Jack hits the road

Captain Jack hits the roadThe Warriors flew into Cleveland on Monday night, having lost their most cumbersome baggage.

Golden State shipped disgruntled swingman Stephen Jackson and reserve point guard Acie Law to Charlotte earlier in the day for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. The move might free the Warriors from a negative climate, definitely opens salary-cap flexibility and could pave the way for Monta Ellis to become the leader the hierarchy wants.

"It's important for our team that the drama is out of the way," Warriors general manager Larry Riley said. "Now, we can move forward."

Jackson requested a trade in late August, and he's taken every chance since to take shots at the Golden State organization, its management and its coach. His attitude seemed to become contagious for some others on the roster.

"There was a history of things that took us to a point in which we had to make a trade, but we had to get a player who could help us, give us immediate cap savings or give us meaningful cap help down the road," Riley said. "We ended up with a combination of all three."

Charlotte hopes Jackson will perform for them as he did for the Warriors before this season's unrest.

"People's past are indeed that," Bobcats GM Rod Higgins told the Associated Press. "Our relationship with him is going to start today."

"I wanted to be out pretty bad," Jackson said in a phone interview Monday. "Things were going bad. I was getting blamed for everything. I wasn't seeing eye to eye with the team. I got fined in preseason, which was bulls-. It was just a lot of things that I didn't agree with that was going on."

Per NBA rules, the salaries traded must come close to matching for the current season. After this season, however, Charlotte will still owe Jackson nearly $28 million over the next three seasons, while Bell's contract is expiring and Radmanovic is owed $6.88 million for the 2010-11 season.

Bell, a 33-year-old, 6-foot-5 swingman, played some of his best defense under Warriors coach Don Nelson in Dallas and had 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 45 games for Charlotte last season. Radmanovic, a 28-year-old, is a Nelson fit as a 6-10 forward who can shoot the three-pointer.

One league executive said the Warriors , despite conversations with every NBA franchise, had only two teams in play. According to the executive, Cleveland "tried to milk too much out of the situation, so Charlotte was the obvious choice."

Riley said he only recently felt an immediate need to move Jackson. The general manager tried to "hold the line" despite offers that another league executive described as "disrespectful."

Riley, as he did in the offseason talks with C.J. Watson, has proven in his early tenure that he doesn't cave. Many league observers felt the Warriors got Watson for a fraction of what he's worth.

"Frankly, I had two teams with true interest, and everyone else was interested in theft," Riley said.

"We knew it had to happen, and, under the circumstances, I think we made the best possible deal," Nelson said. "I like Jack. I'm sorry it had to end this way, but we had to move on."

"It's sad," Anthony Morrow said. "He's one of the dudes that really showed me a lot of the ropes of the NBA."

SFGate poll Fast and fairly painless. 25%Beginning of big turnaround. 6%Should've waited for better offer. 9%Will have little impact on diseased franchise. 61%Votes: 399.To answer this poll and others, go to .SFGate poll Today's game Who: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

Where: Cleveland

When: 4 p.m.

TV/Radio: CSNBA/1050

SFGate poll Short-staffed Only six players practiced Monday for the Warriors , and it isn't clear whether newcomers Raja Bell or Vladimir Radmanovic will be available today.

Devean George knee, who has yet to practice with the team, has been flown to Cleveland. Kelenna Azubuike knee, Andris Biedrins back/groin, Speedy Claxton multiple injuries, Ronny Turiaf knee and Brandan Wright shoulder are out. C.J. Watson, who has the H1N1 virus, was left in Milwaukee.

"Right now, we're kind of in chaos mode, but that can draw a team together," Stephen Curry said. "I wasn't counting the days until Stephen Jackson was gone, because he was a great teammate. But I think he kind of overshadowed how much we've lost in terms of injuries."

The trade takes a bit of shine off today's matchup. Many thought Cleveland was the likely destination for Jackson - maybe even the general NBA public. The Warriors -Cavaliers game won the NBA TV "Fan Night" vote as the game to be aired on the station today. It beat five other games, including Knicks-Lakers in Los Angeles.

- Rusty Simmons

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Added: November 17, 2009


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