By Marc Stein
The Golden State Warriors face another roster decision this weekend involving one of the two injury exemptions they've received from the league office.
Which will force the Warriors to make their fourth dip into the D-League this season.
With Cartier Martin’s second 10-day contract coming to an end Saturday, Golden State has to sign Martin for the rest of the season if it wants to keep him. Yet that would require waiving someone on the Warriors’ roster with a guaranteed contract, since league rules prevent players with fully guaranteed contracts from occupying temporary roster spots created by injury hardship.
The Warriors are thus letting Martin go and plan to bring in a new player on a 10-day contract, according to sources close to the situation.
That player, sources said, is expected to be guard Coby Karl, who sat out Friday night's game with the Idaho Stampede in anticipation of joining the Warriors.
Karl -- son of Denver Nuggets coach George Karl -- was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month when the Cavs chose to release him before Karl’s $736,420 salary became guaranteed for the rest of the season. The former Boise State star then joined the Stampede in Boise and has averaged 27.2 points in five games with the Stampede.
Karl, who broke in with the Lakers in 2007-08, played in only three games with the Cavaliers before his release. But the Warriors have so many injuries that playing time should be available like never before. Example: Martin was averaging 9.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and a healthy 29.6 minutes in nine games with Golden State entering Friday's play.
Anthony Tolliver and Chris Hunter are the other recent D-Leaguers on the Warriors’ roster. Golden State signed Hunter in November and released injured veteran Mikki Moore in early January in a similar scenario, with Hunter’s contract due to become guaranteed for the rest of the season and Golden State unable to keep him unless Martin was filling one of its 15 primary roster spots.
The Warriors entered Friday’s home loss to Charlotte carrying 17 players. Under NBA hardship rules, teams are granted the ability to sign an additional player with a non-guaranteed contract if they’re carrying the league-maximum 15 players and have four or more players unable to play because of injury or illness for an extended period. The Warriors have been granted two such injury exemptions.
Anthony Randolph (ankle), Anthony Morrow (knee) and Raja Bell (wrist) are all out for Golden State along with three players felled by season-ending injuries: Brandan Wright (shoulder), Kelenna Azubuike (knee) and Speedy Claxton (knee).