Veteran forward Carl Landry remembers the year he made the playoffs with Houston. How every game was intense. How the city rallied around the team.
He said he wants that back. That's why he said he signed with the Warriors.
"At this point in my career, I want to play for a team that's not playing for a draft pick," he said. " ... This team definitely has the talent to be a playoff team -- and not just an eighth seed or a seventh seed."
The Warriors introduced Landry, and reintroduced swingman Brandon Rush, on Wednesday. Both free agents signed two-year, $8 million contracts with the Warriors (each having a player option on the second year).
With the signings, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said the heavy lifting with the roster is done. Now that the dust has settled, and presuming good health, is this roster good enough to make the playoffs?
"I'd be disappointed (if we don't)," Myers said via conference call. "I don't want that to turn into me saying we're a playoff team. But I would say that we're going in that direction. ... We expect to compete. We expect that we have a group that has the ability to be in the playoffs."
Myers' cautiousness aside, the Warriors must think so, considering they were willing to go into luxury tax territory -- formerly a no-no.
Myers said signing Landry and Rush was worth going just over the $70.3 million luxury tax limit (about $400,000). Every dollar the Warriors are over the limit, they have to pay a dollar penalty. Golden State, though, will have to pay the penalty only if it's over the threshold on the last day of the season. That gives Myers until the February trade deadline to cut salary and avoid the penalty.
"We're into the tax, but we have flexibility," Myers said. "We can go deeper into the tax if we want to. We can find ways to get out. We'll keep our eye on that. It will probably depend on how we're doing (on the court)."
Translation: If the Warriors are struggling come February, expect the cost-cutting moves.
But everything at this point is set up for an immediate run to the postseason. Trading guard Monta Ellis for center Andrew Bogut in March significantly revamped the Warriors' starting lineup. That left the Warriors on the hunt for depth this offseason.
Landry and point guard Jarrett Jack, acquired from New Orleans last month, give the Warriors proven commodities off the bench. The three rookies -- forwards Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, and center Festus Ezeli -- appear to be among the most NBA-ready players in the draft.
But Rush, who had a breakout season with Golden State last year, said he isn't planning for a return to his role as sixth man.
With forward Dorell Wright traded to Philadelphia last month, the Warriors have a vacancy Rush hopes to fill.
"I'm coming in trying to get that starting job at (small forward)," Rush said. "I've been working hard the entire summer to build up on that."
If Rush succeeds, that means the Warriors will have veteran Richard Jefferson and Barnes as backup small forwards. Golden State has similar depth at every position.
Signing Landry was the cherry on top. It was such an exclamation point that Myers called coach Mark Jackson.
"I said I think you've got something to work with," Myers said. "There is only one mandate for us: win."