Nate Robinson is close to signing with the Golden State Warriors and could join the team as soon as Wednesday, sources close to the situation confirmed to SI.com.
If the seven-year veteran passes a physical as expected, the sources say he has agreed to a one-year deal worth approximately $1 million. Robinson, the 5-foot-9 guard who's best known as the only player to win the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest three times, recently completed a buyout of the final season of his deal with Oklahoma City before becoming a free agent. According to a source close to the situation, Robinson only gave back approximately $250,000 of the $4.5 million owed to him by the Thunder and will be paid approximately $3.4 million this season based on the proration of the lockout-shortened season.
For Robinson, it's less about the money than it is about rebuilding his name in Golden State. He was a productive and popular player during most of his four-plus seasons in New York, even averaging 17.2 points per game during the 2008-09 campaign in which the Knicks went 32-50. But he developed a reputation as an immature, me-first talent during his later years with the Knicks and while with Boston.
"I'm a fun and loving type of guy and always a positive person who'll be trying to make people smile and laugh, and people take that as being a little kid and being silly," Robinson told SI.com recently. "This whole situation has definitely humbled me as a person and as a player. I just feel like, at times, I really don't get that fair shot, like some other guys in the league, but I guess that's my path. ... I'll continue to work hard."
Robinson spent most of his Celtics days near the end of Doc River's bench, although he had some memorable moments in the seven-game, 2010 NBA Finals loss to the Lakers when he dubbed Glen "Big Baby" Davis and himself the "Shrek and Donkey" of Boston's bunch. He was traded to the Thunder last February and played in just four regular-season games and logged only 12 combined minutes in Oklahoma City's three playoff series.
The Warriors (2-3) could use depth and scoring in their backcourt, as Stephen Curry is once again dealing with the sort of nagging ankle injury that forced him to have offseason surgery. Veteran guard Monta Ellis is leading the team in scoring at 20.8 points per game, but rookie guard Klay Thompson (11th pick overall out of Washington State) has struggled in the early going. Robinson has never been known as a good defender, though, and first-year coach Mark Jackson has been preaching defense since he was hired in June.
The story was first reported by the Bay Area News Group.