Geoff Lepper (formerly of the Contra Costa Times) reports on 48minutes.net that the deal Don Nelson is close to signing will keep the coach at the head of Golden State through 2010-11. Lepper pegs the price at $12 million total, which is a touch more than Nellie's current $5.1 million annual salary.
As we intimated Saturday, Golden State's in a really weird position with regards to the decision-making team. Nelson has long been considered the sort of coach who makes personnel demands; most consider Nellie to be the driving force which led to the big swap with Indiana which netted Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. Also, Nelson has been close to current GM Chris Mullin ... who is almost assuredly on his way out of the franchise. But Nelson is staying, one year after he made a big fuss with a near hold-out? It makes no sense.
Who knows, maybe the market has sunk Nellie's Maui real estate holdings? Maybe he and one-time arch-nemesis Chris Cohan (the team's owner) went nuts on some
scotch and had a tremendous poker night? Maybe Mullin and Nelson aren't as close as they once seemed, and Nelson realizes he can have full control without the responsibilities if Mullin is deposed?