I'M GOING TO be very disappointed if the Warriors don't swing a major deal this off-season. But the NBA playoffs bring to light three reasons why standing pat might not be such a bad thing ...

DATELINE: Amid the big boys. The Warriors played this year's NBA semifinalists — the Mavericks, Suns, Heat and Pistons — a total of 12 times this past season and came away with a respectable 5-7 record, winning three times on the road.

Other than a 101-86 blowout in Phoenix early in the year on the night after they had exhausted themselves to beat the Knicks, the Warriors stood toe-to-toe with the heavyweights on each and every occasion. You beat Dallas three times — no other team did that — and you're obviously a pretty talented crew.

The problem was: Four teams the Warriors hoped to outrun in the playoff race — Clippers, Lakers, Grizzlies and Jazz — combined to beat Golden State 13 times in 15 tries.

Bottom line: It makes no sense. Welcome to Warriors basketball.

DATELINE: In the presence of a ghost. I look at emerging Suns star Boris Diaw, and I can't help but think of Mike Dunleavy and Mickael Pietrus.

Offensively, Diaw and Dunleavy are the same guy — a point guard in a small forward's body. They're a mismatch waiting to happen ... or a potential liability if you don't play to their strengths.

Diaw's first two seasons in Atlanta were even more disappointing than Dunleavy's first three for the Warriors.


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Nonetheless, the Suns insisted upon receiving him as part of the Joe Johnson sign-and-trade, and now we see why. He gives them a second point guard on the floor, which is critical to their running game.

Put Dunleavy on the Suns and you'd see the same results.

Pietrus, meanwhile, was Diaw's teammate in France immediately prior to each getting selected in the first round of the 2003 NBA draft. Pietrus was considered the better prospect because he had advantages over his mate in several areas — athleticism, long-range shooting, ability to get to the hoop and defense.

For two years, Pietrus justified the Warriors' decision to take him 10 spots before the Hawks tabbed Diaw. But this season was a complete reversal, with Diaw bursting forward while Pietrus was in a free fall.

Don't look now but it's decision time on Pietrus. He's in the same situation contractually that resulted in Jason Richardson, Troy Murphy and Dunleavy getting huge extensions the past two off-seasons.

The Warriors, who almost assuredly can't afford to tie up Pietrus long-term without selling off a big contract, probably will allow their fourth-year player to become a free agent next April. It's scary imagining him running up and down the court with the Suns.

Bottom line: Chris Mullin better fully understand what he's got before dealing either guy this summer.

DATELINE: A Warriors reunion. No franchise has had more ex-employees prominently displayed this postseason than the Warriors. Even Mavericks star Jason Terry was thrown away when Warriors management thought Mookie Blaylock offered more upside.

Imagine Adonal Foyle as someone the Suns could bring off the bench to give them a fighting chance against Shaquille O'Neal ... Murphy as a 3-point-shooting complement to Shaq that drew potential double-teamers away from the hoop ... Derek Fisher providing the clutch, final-seconds shooter the Pistons lack ... Dunleavy and Pietrus ...

Yes, Warriors fans, the nightmare could get worse before it gets better.

Bottom line: Maybe it's time the Warriors stop being a Developmental League farm club for NBA title contenders. You can only do that by nurturing your own and keeping what you've got.

DATELINE: The real bottom line. The heck with it, I'd still make a trade. A big one.

Will you be disappointed if the Warriors stand pat this off-season? E-mail your thoughts (with full name and city) to dave@angnewspapers.com.