Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, this team is going to make the playoffs. Despite all the expert predictions of a win total hovering around 30 and no post season, I feel this team has the right personnel to beat those expectations.

After the first game, many Warrior fans were already hitting the panic button and getting themselves mentally prepared for another sub-500 season.  They played 3 1/2 quarters of very good basketball against a legit contender in the Clippers, until Chris Paul decided to take over, hitting clutch jumper after clutch jumper in the waning minutes of the game. Although the score looked lopsided at the end, anyone watching the entire game and familiar with the Warriors' historic ineptness had to be a little giddy at the sight of good team defense being played and rebound battles being won. Curry AND Ellis had a bad shooting night - this doesn't happen very often. With a typical performance from either of them, the contest would have been much closer and perhaps the outcome different. The new look Clippers are deadly with Paul, Griffin, Billups, Butler, Williams, and Jordan and the Warriors were able to compete with them most of the game despite only having 10 days of training camp to install an entirely new system under a new coaching staff.

Monday night's impressive victory of the East Coast power, Chicago Bulls, confirmed my suspicions that these Warriors are going to be damn good. The starting lineup my be the same, but that's about it. These guys are not your same old Warriors and here's why....

  1. These Warriors play scrappy defense (16 steals tonight). They remind me of the 'We Believe' team that played a relentless style of D during the playoff run - quick hands, jumping the passing lanes, causing deflections, and wreaking havoc in a frenetic pace.
  2. They can compete with any team on the boards. Warriors were winning the rebound battle at the half and lost most of it in one possession where the Bulls had 3 offensive rebounds sometime in the 3rd Q. The Bulls were the #1 rebounding team in the NBA and the Warriors hung tough with them. The night before, they out-rebounded a very good front line vs. the Clips 48 to 43.
  3. They have more shot blockers/changers. McGuire and Rush are good on the perimeter. Udoh, Biedrins, and Brown are great in the paint. Each give the Warriors a different type of defender to run out there whether it be for speed, hustle, length, agility, or strength.
  4. The bench is deeper than ever. Each position has a capable backup. PG: Smith and Jenkins, SG: Rush and Thompson, SF: Rush and McGuire, PF: Udoh, C: Brown and Udoh. The second unit may be lacking offensively, but they sure can bring it defensively and play well enough to allow the starters to recharge on the bench without any huge swing in point differentials.
  5. The coaching staff, especially Michael Malone, will have this team playing at a consistently high level come February. Over half the roster is new, yet chemistry is looking good. With more court time and player development (rookies and young players), they will be a very dangerous team. 
  6. It's likely that Curry will miss several games due to his weak ankles, so it's important to rely on tough team defense to keep games close down the stretch. Mark Jackson's rotation pattern is solid - a far cry from piling on 43+ minutes per night on their starters. There is a good balance of offense and defense thanks to the smart (and low cost) additions to the team: Rush, McGuire, Smith, Jenkins, Thompson, Tyler, and Brown (not so cheap, but 1-year deal). Jackson is not afraid to use his bench and understands that he needs to develop the young talent so they can be ready sooner, rather than later. When Curry is out for the game, I expect to see more of Jenkins. I'm glad to see Thompson get a lot of run despite his slow acclimation to the speed of the game. I could only imagine that Tyler is benefiting immensely from daily practices vs. the vets. This bodes well for later in the season.
Although this may be one of the best years for the Warriors to tank and draft, at some point, they need to start winning in order to attract better talent - baby steps into the playoffs, build a winning culture, then build a reputation as a choice destination for the stars. When Mark Jackson was introduced as the new head coach, he proclaimed that they WILL make the playoffs. I'm a believer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


List of Intriguing Free Agents that are still officially available as of Dec. 11:

Arron Afflalo (R)
Marco Belinelli (R)
Patrick Mills (R)
Ben Uzoh (R)

Sam Young (R)

Wilson Chandler (R)
Earl Clark
Dante Cunningham (R)
Andrei Kirlienko
Carl Landry
Luc Mbah a Moute
Dominic McGuire
Leon Powe
Josh McRoberts - could be heading to Memphis for O.J. Mayo
Julian Wright (R)
Jianlian Yi (R)

Jason Smith

Alexis Ajinca
Spencer Hawes

Warriors Current Depth Chart
PG: Curry / Jenkins
SG: Ellis / Thompson
SF: D. Wright / Flowers / C. Wright
PF: Lee / Udoh / Amudson
C: Biedrins / Tyler

Monday, July 4, 2011


In an interview shortly after his hire, future Golden State Warriors GM, Bob Myers, talked about adding talent by acquiring 'undervalued' players. These are young players who don't get significant playing time, are under-utilized, in less-than-ideal situations, coming off injuries, or just ready to shed the 'project' label. With only roughly a little over $7M to spend this offseason based on current CBA rules and estimates, the Warriors will have to be wise with their money once again. Perhaps they try to woo a Mid-Level Exception (MLE) type of player, and then fill out the roster with a minimum salary player and a guy making around $2-3M. They are not in a position of power when it comes to the cap numbers, so the Warriors brain trust will have to be creative and target a few undervalued, under-the-radar free agents. After signing all the rookies, they will have only 2 open roster spots. Barring a trade that sends more out than comes in, I would consider buying out Charlie Bell's final year on his contract. This would allow them to sign a 3rd player to add bench depth.

Although this free agent class is not particularly strong, there are some good pieces the Warriors can add without committing too much salary. Here is a list of free agents that fit this criteria and likely can be had for a salary less than that of Dorell Wright - a shrewd free agent addition that exemplifies capitalizing on undervalued talent. None would be able to start, but some could develop into heavy rotation minute players down the line. The Warriors' lack of depth was a big reason why they were not as competitive as some would have hoped. These players would help in that department.

Point Guards
1. Patrick Mills (R) : 6'0", 185, 8/11/88 - extremely quick, true PG skills, good scorer, intense competitor, ideal backup PG for a running team like the Warriors
2. Julyan Stone Undrafted : 6'6", 200, 12/7/88 - extremely versatile, PG skills with ability to defend 3 positions, very good athlete, great size, poor outside shooter, will only develop into a good role player if he can improve consistency on shot, minimum salary gamble

Shooting Guards
1. Sonny Weems (R) : 6'6", 203, 7/8/86 - athletic, good perimeter defender, very good leaper and finisher, good mid-range game, can score in bunches
2. Marco Belinelli (R) : 6'5", 200, 3/25/86 - good all-around guard, very good 3-pt shooter, can play some PG if necessary, crowd favorite, Biedrins confidant, streaky shooter, needs to improve shooting from 2-pt range

Small Forwards
1. Earl Clark : 6'10", 225, 1/17/88 - SF/PF with good ball skills, agile and long enough to become a defensive stopper, coachable with good work ethic, upside Odom
2. Dominic McGuire : 6'9", 220, 10/20/85 - SF/PF defensive specialist, able to guard 3 positions, great shot blocker and rebounder for his position, poor offensive player, minimum salary contract

Power Forwards
1. Jonas Jerebko (R) : 6'10", 231, 3/2/87 - PF/SF, high energy, athletic, very good defender with great size vs. SF, needs to add muscle for low post work, quick with steals, ok shooter, has shown ability to hit 3, missed entire 2010/11 season due to torn Achilles Tendon, mismatch nightmare if he continues to improve perimeter shooting, may have to offer salary higher than Dorell Wright to land him, reports say he's added 20 lbs of muscle during rehab
2. Josh McRoberts : 6'10", 240, 2/28/87 - athletic big who can shoot from outside, good handles and passing, 3-pt shooter, needs to work on conditioning and defense, inconsistent rebounder
3. Dante Cunningham (R) : 6'8", 230, 4/22/87 - energy guy, good mid-range jumper, can play SF/PF and even played spot minutes at C, takes care of ball, active on defense, not a good rebounder
4. Jason Smith : 7'0", 240, 3/2/86 - good size, mobile, can stretch the D with his outside shooting, struggles scoring inside, decent rebounder
5. Brandan Wright : 6'10", 210, 10/5/87 - long, mobile, challenges shots, decent rebounder, can score in post, injury prone, long shot to come back but new coaching staff could get him back on track to repectability
6. DaJuan Summers : 6'8", 240, 1/24/88 - PF size with SF skills, good leaper, can shoot the 3, poor rebounder, needs to improve defense, minimum salary contract

1. Alexis Ajinca : 7'2", 248, 5/6/88 - tremendous size and upside, mobile, can shoot mid-range jumper, has developing 3 point range, good rebounder, needs to add strength, project
2. Spencer Hawes (R) : 7'1", 245, 4/28/88 - perimeter oriented big, rebounds well and can block shots, needs to add toughness and strength, able to hit the 3 pointer, still lots of upside, may cost near MLE money to sign
3. Hamed Haddadi (R) : 7'2", 265, 5/19/85 - exceptional rebounder and shot blocker, huge man, can score in post, very slow, limited to spot minutes only, minimum salary contract
4. Nick Fazekas : 6'11", 225, 6/18/85 - big man who can stretch the D, good rebounder, minimum salary contract

Overall Rankings
1. Jonas Jerebko
2. Earl Clark
3. Alexis Ajinca
4. Patrick Mills
5. Spencer Hawes

If the Warriors go hard after Jerebko, they will likely have only a couple of million left to sign one more quality free agent. Detroit would be unwise to not match any offer around the MLE. In his rookie season, Jerebko started at SF while Tayshawn Prince was out, and because he was playing so well, was moved to PF and held his own. I envision him starting at SF and allowing Wright to be super 6th man scorer off the bench. This will also add more size, defense, and rebounding to counter the small backcourt of Curry and Ellis. Warriors can sign Ajinca with whatever money is left.

2011/12 Roster
PG: Curry / Jenkins / Lin
SG: Ellis / Thompson / Bell
SF: Jerebko / Wright / Williams
PF: Lee / Udoh / Amundson
C: Biedrins / Tyler / Ajinca

With a formidable bench and the addition of defensive minded personnel both on and off the court, this would be a team that would make the playoffs.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I appreciate how ownership has demonstrated that they are willing to spend money to improve the roster. Judging by their actions, I expect them to spend money to field a playoff contending team once the lockout is over. The scenario I present here, however, is a minimalist approach to constructing a more competitive and balanced roster heading into the 2011/12 season. The Warriors won't have the most money to spend, and they will be competing with a lot of teams for the services of the top Free Agents with the idea of getting Bigger and Better defensively, so don't get your hopes up.

Here's how I would approach it:

Ellis for Iguodala is a step in the right direction. It's been reported that the Warriors are the ones holding up the deal. Just pull the trigger (bonus if you can get them to add one of their bigs or at least a future 2nd). 4 more moves and you got a nice defensive team with some good balance.

1. Buy out Bell to make room for a useful reserve.
2. Sign Wilson Chandler
3. Sign Alexis Ajinca
4. Sign Dominic McGuire

These adds aren't going to blow away the average hoop fan, but those in the know can see that the Warriors would add some of the top undervalued, young players in free agency. Think Dorell Wright x 3. Chandler is a more known commodity, so expect to pay 'MLE' money for his services.

What each new addition brings to the table:
Andre Iguodala: 6'-6", 207 lbs, 27 y.o., defense, assists, rebounding, athleticism, explosiveness at rim, toughness, versatility at SF/SG, dirty work
Wilson Chandler: 6'-8", 225 lbs, 24 y.o., defense, slashing, scoring, rebounding, 3 pt shooting (35.0%), shot blocking, a few years away from prime, allows Dorell Wright to come in as the super-sub 6th man
Alexis Ajinca: 7'-2", 248 lbs, 23 y.o., shot blocking, 3 pt shooting (35.3%), rebounding, size, major upside, project big that can pay big dividends if coached and supported correctly
Dominic McGuire: 6'-9", 220 lbs, 25 y.o., shot blocking, rebounding, cheap lock-down defender, can guard 3 positions, lack of offense makes him a defensive specialist who needs to be surrounded by scorers, if he can continue to improve his shooting...we have a major steal

2011/12 Roster
PG: Curry / Jenkins / Lin
SG: Iguodala / Thompson / Williams
SF: Chandler / Wright / McGuire
PF: Lee / Udoh / Amundson
C: Biedrins / Tyler / Ajinca

I'm not counting on signing Nene due to his hefty price tag, nor do I view him as the ideal big to build around since he doesn't defend or rebound particularly well. With this route, they have enough depth to make the playoffs and although they lose Monta's fire power, it would be offset by stronger defense, a diversified scoring attack, increased ball movement, and the offensive contributions of Thompson and Chandler....all without mortgaging the future.

2010/11 averages
Curry = 18.6 pts, 5.8 ast, 1.5 stl
Lee = 16.5 pts, 9.8 reb
Iguodala = 14.1 pts, 5.8 reb, 6.3 ast, 1.5 stl, .6 blk
Wright = 16.4 pts, 5.3 reb, 1.5 stl, .8 blk
Chandler = 16.4 pts, 5.9 reb, 1.4 blk
Mcguire = 10.5 r/40, 1.7 b/40
Ajinca = 9.2 r/40, 2.7 b/40

Ajinca, Udoh, Tyler, Amundson, and Mcguire are all capable rim protectors. Chandler is a very good shot blocker for a SF. If Biedrins could recover, we get even stronger up front.

Mcguire and Iguodala are the lockdown perimeter defenders. Wright and Chandler are strong in this department as well. Lin and Jenkins provide additional defensive help guarding the opposing PG's.

Curry becomes the primary ball handler and play maker with Iguodala playing the secondary role. Thompson is a good distributor. Jenkins has point guard experience. If Lin doesn't show improved PG skills, drop his non-guaranteed contract in favor of a true back PG.

Scoring shouldn't be a problem despite losing Monta. Expect increased scoring averages from Curry, Wright, and Lee. Thompson, Williams, Curry, and Wright do their damage from distance. Lee, Iguodala, Udoh, and Tyler (yes, Tyler) provide scoring down low. Jenkins, an explosive scorer in college, could surprise us with more fire power.

Rebounding is improved with the addition of Tyler, Iguodala, Chandler, Mcguire, and Ajinca.

As you can see, this roster is very balanced, full of players that can man multiple positions, and equipt to make a playoff run under the guidance of head coach Mark Jackson and defensive guru Michael Malone.

Highlight Videos

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This list ranks draft prospects in order of value to the Warriors in terms of immediate need and value within 3 or more years. Point guards projected to go before the 11th pick were omitted because Warriors are not likely to trade up to land any of them. In a weak draft like this year, I'm opting to go for the home run rather than safe pick. This takes into account a combination of skill set, age, productivity, athleticism, measurements,  and work ethic.....in that rough order. 
  1. Enes Kanter : excellent combo of size, skill, and power, all-star potential
  2. Bismack Biyombo : best defensive prospect, big upside, valuable weapon if can develop post moves and close range shots, elite defensive potential, high BBIQ, excellent work ethic and drive
  3. Derrick Williams : well-rounded, NBA-ready, versatile, all-star potential, great work ethic
  4. Jonas Valanciunas: agile big man, plays with energy, solid rebounder and shot-blocker, Biedrins with more skill and better motor
  5. Tobias Harris: well-rounded, good ball handling, good shooter, versatile, 18 years old, high character, high BBIQ, gym rat, potential to be very good scorer in the league, mismatch nightmare
  6. Jan Vesely: exciting high flyer, proven productivity vs. tough competition, limited range, high energy, length to defend perimeter and change shots
  7. Alec Burks : Dwayne Wade lite, needs to work hard on jump shot, prototypical SG size, excellent finisher, rebounds well, good passer, intangibles, needs to add strength
  8. Jeremy Tyler : size, athleticism, former no. 1 ranking for his class, natural shot blocker and strong rebounder, needs to prove professionalism and work ethic issues behind him, gamble
  9. Tristan Thompson: garbage man specialist, offensive boards, long and athletic, blocks shots, currently has troubles on defensive glass, needs to work on post offense, quick and active
  10. Tyler Honeycutt: good defender, long and athletic, high BBIQ, good shooter, decent handles, can play SG/SF, inconsistent, needs to get stronger
  11. Kawhi Leonard : energy and incredible motor, rebounds well, great defensive potential, developing offensive player, good work ethic, can disappear in games
  12. Chris Singleton: defensive stopper, athletic, can guard 4 positions, improving 3 point shot, raw on offense, not a strong rebounder
  13. Klay Thompson: big time scorer, quick release, good size, plays SG/SF, good passer, high BBIQ, plays well without the ball, good pedigree, lacks lateral quickness, could be defensive liability
  14. Donatas Motiejunas: skilled big man, fairly athletic, good passer, needs to add strength and work on defense, high BBIQ, not a good rebounder 
  15. Jimmer Fredette: big-time scorer, very high BBIQ, leader, deep range, aggressive, defense questionable, not a bad athlete, could be considered more SG than PG, strong

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


01. Cavaliers - Kyrie Irving: PG, 6-3, 190 lbs, 19 y.o.
Irving is close to being a consensus number one pick and the Cavs could start the rebuilding off by filling the most important position on the floor - Point Guard. Other possibilities: D. Williams or E. Kanter.
02. Timberwolves - Derrick Williams: SF/PF, 6-9, 250 lbs, 20 y.o.
If they keep their pick, they'll likely go after the most NBA ready of all the prospects so they could finally start exiting out of their rebuilding phase. Williams gives the versatility at the SF/PF position and the flexibility to move the improved Michael Beasley in trade to possibly upgrade their C. Other possibilities: E. Kanter, J. Valanciunas, or J. Vesely.
03. Jazz - Enes Kanter: C, 6-11, 260 lbs, 19 y.o.
After their private workout with Kanter, it's hard to imagine that they'd pass him up after getting an up-close and personal look at his vast potential. Since they have Devin Harris, they might go big and look to land a certain Mormon PG at number 12. Other possibilities: B. Knight, J. Valanciunas, or J. Vesely.
04. Cavaliers - Jonas Valanciunas: C, 6-11, 260 lbs, 19 y.o.
After likely taking the best PG at number one, they probably opt to shore up at C. Valanciunas is a young, raw, energetic, athletic big with lots of upside. If he works out for them, they will have answers to the two most difficult positions to fill on a roster. Other possibilities: J. Vesely,  K. Leonard, or A. Burks.
05. Raptors - Brandon Knight: PG, 6-3, 180 lbs, 19 y.o.
They'll jump all over Kanter if he's available, but I don't see that happening. Calderon has been a disappointment since signing his big contract. Raptors need to reload at PG and Knight has the talent to take over the position sooner, rather than later. He'll boost their scoring in the backcourt and give them a solid building block for the team's future. Other possibilities: K. Leonard, K. Walker, J. Vesely, or B. Biyombo.
06. Wizards - Kawhi Leonard: SF, 6-7, 225 lbs, 19 y.o.
They need to get tough and physical overall and Leonard has a lot of the tools to become a great defender with an all-around game. They might like Singleton here, but his offensive deficiencies may be too great. Other possibilities: C. Singleton, J. Vesely, A. Burks, or B. Biyombo.
07. Kings - Kemba Walker: PG, 6-1, 185 lbs, 21 y.o.
Walker may be too good to pass up if he falls this far. He's not an ideal fit, but with Tyreke Evans playing more like a SG, the Kings would benefit greatly by adding a leader and winner of Walkers ilk to run the Point. He might seem like a score-first point guard, but he's shown improvement in his A/T ratio each year at UConn finishing with a respectable 1.98 A/T his Junior Year. I like his intangibles and think he would fit nicely with the young Kings. Other possibilities: J. Vesely, B. Biyombo, K. Thompson, or T. Harris.
08. Pistons - Jan Vesely: SF/PF, 6-11, 240 lbs, 21 y.o.
They could use a little help in just about every position, so a versatile big with upside like Vesely would be a good get. He'd be a nice compliment to the below the rim PF/C, Greg Monroe, and undersized Jason Maxiell. Vesely is a high motor, aggressive attacker who plays very good help defense and whose size will allow him to challenge many shots. He's improving his range and will contribute immediately because he's a seasoned professional in an extremely competitive division. Other possibilities: B. Biyombo, D. Motiejunas, M. Morris, or T. Thompson.
09. Bobcats - Alec Burks: SG, 6-6, 195 lbs, 19 y.o.
Burks gives them an all-purpose SG with proto size and uncanny scoring ability. Once he improves consistency on his jumper, he'll be a lethal weapon. Other possibilities: K. Thompson, B. Biyombo, or Marcus Morris.
10. Bucks - Klay Thompson: SG/SF, 6-7, 205 lbs, 21 y.o.
They are desperate for outside shooting and are in need of adding talent to their SG/SF positions. Thompson addresses all those needs. Bucks should remain tough on defense up front (Bogut, Sanders, and a re-signed Mbah a Moute), so defensive concerns surrounding Thompson will be less of a factor. Other possibilities: B. Biyombo, J. Fredette, Tobias Harris, or M. Morris
11. Warriors - Bismack Biyombo: C/PF, 6-9, 240 lbs, 18 y.o.
One of the issues they want to address this offseason is to find a low post presence. Biyombo is just what they need on the defensive end, but has a long way to go if he wants to contribute more than put-back dunks on offense. Biyombo's age is in question (which may be the reason he falls this far), but many say he's no older than 20 years old. There's a lot of upside there and with his work ethic and drive, he's more than likely to develop into a very good to great post presence down the road. Other possibilities: T. Harris, D. Motiejunas, T. Honeycutt, or J. Tyler.

The rest of the first round:

12. Jazz - Jimmer Fredette: PG, 6-2, 195 lbs, 22 y.o.
13. Suns - Tobias Harris: SF/PF, 6-8, 225 lbs, 18 y.o.
14. Rockets - Donatas Motiejunas: PF/C, 7-0, 215 lbs, 20 y.o.
15. Pacers - Jordan Hamilton: SF, 6-8, 230 lbs, 20 y.o.
16. 76ers - Tristan Thompson: PF, 6-9, 230 lbs, 20 y.o.
17. Knicks - Chris Singleton: SF, 6-9, 230 lbs, 21 y.o.
18. Wizards - Marcus Morris: PF, 6-9, 230 lbs, 21 y.o.
19. Bobcats - Jeremy Tyler: C, 6-11, 260 lbs, 19 y.o.
20. Timberwolves - Marshon Brooks: SG, 6-5, 195 lbs, 22 y.o.
21. Trailblazers - Josh Selby: SG, 6-3, 195 lbs, 20 y.o.
22. Nuggets - Nikola Vucevic: PF/C, 7-0, 260 lbs, 20 y.o.
23. Rockets - Tyler Honeycutt: SF, 6-8, 186 lbs, 20 y.o.
24. Thunder - Nikola Mirotic: SF/PF, 6-10, 225 lbs, 20 y.o.
25. Celtics - Kenneth Faried: PF, 6-8, 225 lbs, 21 y.o.
26. Mavericks - Markieff Morris: PF, 6-10, 240 lbs, 21 y.o.
27. Nets - Kyle Singler: SF/PF, 6-9, 225 lbs, 23 y.o.
28. Bulls - Lucas Nogueira: C, 7-0, 225 lbs, 18 y.o.
29. Spurs - Jordan Williams: C, 6-9, 250 lbs, 20 y.o.
30. Bulls - Reggie Jackson: PG, 6-3, 208 lbs, 21 y.o.

On the bubble:
Davis Bertans, Justin Harper, Charles Jenkins, Iman Shumpert, Trey Thompkins

Saturday, June 4, 2011


It looks like the Golden State Warriors are just about ready to admit that a backcourt pairing of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis is not conducive to building a true championship contender. In a league were defense is equated to wins, and size is a prerequisite to lock-down defense, breaking up the duo is a necessary evil that should take place for the Warriors to have a better longterm outlook than fringe playoff hopefuls. It seems as if Curry has been tapped as the future of the franchise with his superior play-making abilities, proven offensive prowess, and wholesome, star qualities. Ellis star is just as bright, but as Ellis put it, "It just won't work."

Jerry West is now on board and he agrees that a parting of ways is what needs to happen. Ellis is an elite scorer which many teams will desire, but there are teams with existing pieces that would make better fits than others. Here are some of the criteria and rankings in each.

Teams that are anemic on the offensive end of the game should be among the most interested. To win games, you have to score points, and that is Ellis' specialty. His much improved 3 point shooting has made him nearly unguardable and his reputation of being a one-man fastbreak is much deserved. He finished the 2010/11 season as the 8th leading scorer at 24.1 ppg. For teams that need that kind of production from a player who can create and take his own shot, Ellis would be a fantastic addition.

1. Milwaukee Bucks : 91.9 ppg
2. Charlotte Bobcats : 93.3 ppg
3. New Jersey Nets : 94.2 ppg
4. New Orleans Hornets : 94.9 ppg
5. Atlanta Hawks : 95.0 ppg
6. Cleveland Cavaliers : 95.5 ppg

With Miami Heat bullying there way into the finals with their Big 3, teams with eyes on the championship will be looking to get significantly better in order to contend. The East is top heavy with a few elite teams while the West is a little more wide open. Teams who's window of opportunity are closing might want to trade for a player of Ellis' abilities to push them over the top for a chance to play in the Finals. In addition, teams who have been rebuilding for some time and are looking to add a veteran star to jump-start their winning ways would be very good trade partners.

1. Orlando Magic : Dwight Howard needs to find his 'Robin' because Jameer Nelson is not enough; pressure for franchise to build an attractive enough roster to convince Howard to sign an extension
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: David Kahn is running out of time as the GM, so he's publicly stated that he's ready to make a move that would bring a star veteran to take his very young team to the next level.
3. Atlanta Hawks : 86.3 ppg in the playoffs; they need that young player that can shoulder the scoring load while the others focus on filling the other important roles required for winning
4. New York Knicks : answer to Miami's Big 3; Anthony, Stoudemire, and Ellis would be the best offensive trio in the league - find dominate defenders at PG/SG and C/PF to make it a championship contending roster
5. Chicago Bulls : 92.5 ppg in the playoffs; need to take pressure off of Rose to score and create shots
6. Oklahoma City Thunder : need a 3rd scorer to take it to the next level; defenses can key on Durant and Westbrook, but adding Ellis would make their opposition's heads spin

The reason why the Warriors are considering trading a young talent like Ellis is primarily because the backcourt pairing with Curry is not ideal. Finding a backcourt mate that has complimentary size and skills is important to the success of any team going after Ellis. Ideally, he should be paired with a bigger and/or stronger PG who can defend SG's if necessary or a SG who can distribute, handle, and be a game changer even without dominating the ball.

1. Atlanta Hawks : Joe Johnson
2. Philadelphia 76ers : Jrue Holiday / Andre Iguodala
3. New Jersey Nets : Deron Williams
4. Los Angeles Lakers : Kobe Bryant
5. Dallas Mavericks : Jason Kidd / Rodrigue Beaubois
6. Minnesota Timberwolves : Ricky Rubio / Wesley Johnson
7. Portland Trailblazers : Brandon Roy
8. Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose / Ronnie Brewer
8. Memphis Grizzlies : Tony Allen (Ellis as upgrade over Mayo)

Monta Ellis was big in the southern region as a phenomenal prep prospect. His ties to that area are strong and would be a fan draw that could put fans in empty seats because of his exciting and high octane play.

1. Memphis Grizzlies
2. New Orleans Hornets
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Charlotte Bobcats

One way I see a Curry/Ellis backcourt having a chance to work is if the front court is manned with Bigs who excel at help defense. Udoh is a good start, but David Lee is just about the worst type of PF you would want to have when trying to win with an undersized backcourt. Unfortunately, Larry Riley just signed him to a huge deal and Lee is not going anywhere soon.

1. Orlando Magic : Dwight Howard
2. Milwaukee Bucks : Andrew Bogut / Larry Sanders
3. Oklahoma City Thunder : Kendrick Perkins / Serge Ibaka / Nick Collison
4. Chicago Bulls : Joakim Noah / Taj Gibson
5. Washington Wizards : JaVale McGee
6. Atlanta Hawks : Josh Smith
7. Minnesota Timberwolves : Darko Milicic / Anthony Randolph
8. Portland Trailblazers : Greg Oden / Marcus Camby

Taking into consideration all the above factors in which teams would value and benefit most with having Monta Ellis on their roster, here are the candidates that I think would make for the best trade partners. Teams that best fit Monta Ellis won't fit perfectly, but they are much closer to making it work and becoming a better team with a few secondary and minor moves. In addition to trading for Ellis, here are the follow-up moves I see them needing to make.
1. Atlanta Hawks : add another shot blocking presence at C
2. Orlando Magic : upgrade at PF and add a lock-down perimeter defender
3. Minnesota Timberwolves : look to upgrade at C
4. Milwaukee Bucks : add more depth at C/PF
5. Chicago Bulls : add another play-maker as backup to both Rose and Monta
6. Charlotte Bobcats : upgrade PG size

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The coaching candidates have been narrowed down to a short list and some important names have been left off the initial poll. Shaw has been ruled out after the first round of interviews. McHale has agreed to coach the Houston Rockets. Adelman doesn't have his heart set on coaching again and is eyeing a front office position with the Portland Trailblazers. Looks like the top vote getter was one of the first to get eliminated. That's why I've cut the poll short and put up a new one. Here are the results of the 1st poll:

Who should be the Warriors' next coach?

Brian Shaw: 34% (48 votes)
Rick Adelman: 24 % (34 votes)
Dwane Casey: 13% (19 votes)
Lawrence Frank: 11% (16 votes)
Other: 10% (14 votes)
Mark Jackson: 3% (5 votes)
Kevin McHale: 2% (3 votes)
139 total votes

Monday, May 30, 2011


Since the last Big Board, the lottery positions have been determined and the NBA Combine has taken place. After watching much of the Combine coverage online, checking out interviews and measurements, and doing additional research on players that intrigued me, here is the latest list of players I'd like the Warriors to bring in to workouts and do further scouting. I've omitted some of the top point guards (Irving, Knight, Walker) because I feel they either will go prior to the Warriors selection or due to current make-up of the Warriors, they there would be better fits available.

  1. Enes Kanter : excellent combo of size, skill, and power, all-star potential
  2. Derrick Williams : well-rounded, NBA-ready, versatile, all-star potential
  3. Bismack Biyombo : best defensive prospect, big upside, valuable weapon if develops consistent mid-range, elite defensive potential
  4. Jan Vesely: exciting high flyer, proven productivity vs. tough competition, developing 3 point threat
  5. Jonas Valanciunas: agile big man, plays with energy, solid rebounder and shot-blocker, Biedrins with more skill
  6. Alec Burks : Dwayne Wade lite, needs to work hard on jump shot, prototypical SG size, excellent finisher, rebounds well, good passer, intangibles, needs to add strength
  7. Kawhi Leonard : energy and incredible motor, rebounds well, great defensive potential, developing offensive player, good work ethic, can disappear in games
  8. Tobias Harris: well-rounded, good ball handling, good shooter, versatile, 18 years old, high character, high BBIQ, gym rat, projected to be solid but not a star
  9. Jeremy Tyler : size, athleticism, former no. 1 ranking for his class, natural shot blocker and strong rebounder, needs to prove professionalism and work ethic issues behind him, gamble
  10. Chris Singleton: defensive stopper, athletic, can guard 4 positions, improving 3 point shot, raw on offense, not a strong rebounder
  11. Donatas Motiejunas: skilled big man, fairly athletic, good passer, needs to add strength and work on defense, high BBIQ, not a good rebounder
  12. Tyler Honeycutt: good defender, long and athletic, high BBIQ, good shooter, decent handles, can play SG/SF, inconsistent, needs to get stronger
  13. Tristan Thompson: garbage man specialist, offensive boards, long and athletic, blocks shots, currently has troubles on defensive glass, needs to work on post offense
  14. Klay Thompson: big time scorer, quick release, good size, plays SG/SF, good passer, high BBIQ, good pedigree, lacks lateral quickness, could be defensive liability
  15. Marshon Brooks: uncanny similarities to Kobe Bryant's game, big-time scorer, good finisher, threat to score from anywhere on court, good rebounder, good athlete, dominates the ball
  16. Marcus Morris: versatile SF/PF, good mid-range shooter, can score in the post, short wing-span
  17. Jimmer Fredette: big-time scorer, very high BBIQ, leader, deep range, aggressive, defense questionable, not a great athlete, could be considered more SG than PG
  18. Lucas Nogueira: athletic big, great shot blocker and rebounder, very thin, raw on offense

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Jeremy Tyler is the biggest mystery in this year's draft. First impressions of this 19 year old are that he's immature, unprofessional, undisciplined, and lacks the heart and work ethic to succeed at the NBA level. After forgoing his senior year of high school, he had a disastrous year playing professionally for Maccabi Haifa of Israel. He quit the team early and the following season signed to play with the Tokyo Apache because he was still too young to enter his name into the draft, not to mention he had destroyed his reputation as well.

There, he supposedly learned from his mistakes and has grown as a player and person under the guidance of ex-NBA head coach, Bob Hill. In a NY Times article that reflects on his 2nd chance to play professionally, Hill gives us an idea of just how much Tyler has evolved from his time in Israel.

Hill, who mentored David Robinson while winning 62 games with the San Antonio Spurs in 1994-95, also coached the Knicks, the Pacers and the SuperSonics. He joined the Apache this season in Japan’s basketball league, where teams often play three United States players at a time. He said Tyler was simply too young to jump from his junior year at San Diego High School to a different culture.

“How can you send an 18-year-old to Israel by himself?” Hill said. “First of all, the Israel league is good. There’s no way he was ready, especially if he didn’t have an American coach who could bring him along. I mean, they took him out of high school in his junior year. It was a disaster. He didn’t do well. He’s doing much better here than he did in Israel.”

Hill said he has tried to wean Tyler off a permissive American grass-roots basketball culture that, he said, is “at an all-time low” in terms of grooming prodigies for the adult rigors of basketball life.

Too often, young players are told how great they are, Hill said.

“Young 17-, 18-year-olds believe it,” he said. “Jeremy is a product of that to some degree. I’ve had to break him. I’ve had to get to a point where he says, ‘That was my fault,’ to take accountability for his actions. He’s finally there. It’s taken eight or nine months, and I’m proud of him. He’s going in the right direction.”

It sounds as if Tyler is starting to 'get it,' but many are still skeptical, and rightfully so. He could be a big steal for a team willing to take a chance on him late in the draft, or a big bust to a team willing to risk a lottery pick on a promising player who few have scouted personally since falling off the radar after he quit Maccabi.

The talent and physical tools are there, as evident in this video when he was the #1 Ranked Player in the Class of 2010. The question is, does Tyler have the mentality and drive to reach his full potential? In a weak draft year such as this, there might be a team desperate for a Big Man that will take that gamble. Will it be the Warriors?

Thanks to 'hoopasia2011', we can see some of the games Jeremy Tyler played on Tokyo Apache. I've organized them in chronological order, so you can see the development (or lack there of) as the season progressed.


16 min, 4-6 fg, 3-4 ft, 5 reb, 1 ast, 1 pf, 1 stl, 2 blk, 5 to, 11 pts


10 min, 1-3 fg, 0-2 ft, 5 reb, 1 ast, 4 pf, 0 stl, 1 blk, 1 to, 2 pts


5 min, 2-3 fg, 0-1 ft, 2 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 to, 4 pts


13 min, 2-6 fg, 0-0 ft, 4 reb, 0 ast, 2 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 to, 4 pts


17 min, 5-7 fg, 2-6 ft, 10 reb, 0 ast, 2 pf, 2 stl, 4 blk, 2 to, 12 pts


11 min, 4-8 fg, 0-0 ft, 4 reb, 0 ast, 4 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 to, 8 pts


25 min, 6-17 fg, 2-6 ft, 11 reb, 0 ast, 5 pf, 1 stl, 1 blk, 4 to, 14 pts


19 min, 5-11 fg, 2-6 ft, 7 reb, 2 ast, 2 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 to, 12 pts


23 min, 11-18 fg, 2-7 ft, 11 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 0 stl, 1 blk, 1 to, 24 pts

Games with 20+ minutes
10/31/10: 20 min, 8 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 4 pf, 1 blk, 1 stl, 2 to
11/07/10: 26 min, 27 pts, 11 reb, 1 ast, 4 pf, 0 blk, 0 stl, 3 to
11/20/10: 24 min, 18 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast, 2 pf, 1 blk, 0 stl, 5 to
01/09/11: 20 min, 10 pts, 8 reb, 0 ast, 2 pf, 1 blk, 1 stl, 5 to
01/27/11: 20 min, 6 pts, 13 reb, 1 ast, 3 pf, 2 blk, 2 stl, 3 to
02/16/11: 21 min, 16 pts, 12 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 1 blk, 0 stl, 4 to
03/06/11: 25 min, 14 pts, 11 reb, 0 ast, 5 pf, 1 blk, 1 stl, 4 to
03/10/11: 23 min, 23 pts, 11 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 1 blk, 0 stl, 1 to

Season Highs
26 min
27 pts
9-13 fg
5-6 ft
8 oreb
10 dreb
13 reb
2 ast (4 times)
4 blk
2 stl (2 times)
7 to

Obviously, Jeremy Tyler is a project that needs a lot of refining. 2009 was almost a lost year in terms of his on-court development, but he's finally getting on track with good support and coaching. Areas of concern are his footwork, shot selection, and black-hole mentality. Tyler needs to develop a few go-to moves and not rush it too much in the paint. He'd also be best served to stop thinking himself as solely a scorer and not force the issue all the time. If he can learn to pass out of the double team and focus more on the defensive end (less fouling), Tyler has a chance at being a future starter in the NBA.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


01. Cavaliers - Kyrie Irving: PG, 6-3, 190 lbs, 19 y.o.
02. Timberwolves - Derrick Williams: SF/PF, 6-9, 250 lbs, 20 y.o.
03. Jazz - Enes Kanter: C, 6-11, 260 lbs, 19 y.o.
04. Cavaliers - Jonas Valanciunas: C, 6-11, 260 lbs, 19 y.o.
05. Raptors - Brandon Knight: PG, 6-3, 180 lbs, 19 y.o.
06. Wizards - Kawhi Leonard: SF, 6-7, 225 lbs, 19 y.o.
07. Kings - Kemba Walker: PG, 6-1, 185 lbs, 21 y.o.
08. Pistons - Bismack Biyombo: C/PF, 6-9, 240 lbs, 18 y.o.
09. Bobcats - Alec Burks: SG, 6-6, 195 lbs, 19 y.o.
10. Bucks - Klay Thompson: SG/SF, 6-7, 205 lbs, 21 y.o.
11. Warriors - Jan Vesely: SF/PF, 6-11, 240 lbs, 21 y.o.
12. Jazz - Jimmer Fredette: PG, 6-2, 195 lbs, 22 y.o.
13. Suns - Tobias Harris: SF/PF, 6-8, 225 lbs, 18 y.o.
14. Rockets - Chris Singleton: SF, 6-9, 230 lbs, 21 y.o.
15. Pacers - Donatas Motiejunas: PF/C, 7-0, 215 lbs, 20 y.o.
16. 76ers - Marcus Morris: PF, 6-9, 230 lbs, 21 y.o.
17. Knicks - Jeremy Tyler: C, 6-11, 260 lbs, 19 y.o.
18. Wizards - Marshon Brooks: SG, 6-5, 195 lbs, 22 y.o.
19. Bobcats - Tristan Thompson: PF, 6-9, 230 lbs, 20 y.o.
20. Timberwolves - Jordan Hamilton: SF, 6-8, 230 lbs, 20 y.o.
21. Trailblazers - Josh Selby: SG, 6-3, 195 lbs, 20 y.o.
22. Nuggets - Kenneth Faried: PF, 6-8, 225 lbs, 21 y.o.
23. Rockets - Tyler Honeycutt: SF, 6-4, 190 lbs, 20 y.o.
24. Thunder - Nikola Mirotic: SF/PF, 6-10, 225 lbs, 20 y.o.
25. Celtics - Nikola Vucevic: PF/C, 7-0, 260 lbs, 20 y.o.
26. Mavericks - Markieff Morris: PF, 6-10, 240 lbs, 21 y.o.
27. Nets - Kyle Singler: SF/PF, 6-9, 225 lbs, 23 y.o.
28. Bulls - Lucas Nogueira: C, 7-0, 225 lbs, 18 y.o.
29. Spurs - Jordan Williams: C, 6-9, 250 lbs, 20 y.o.
30. Bulls - Travis Leslie: SG/SF, 6-4, 205 lbs, 21 y.o.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Today, the legendary Jerry West, was formally introduced by the Golden State Warriors. He is regarded as one of the most respected basketball minds in the world and among the greatest players to ever play the game. In the press conference, he was sharp as ever and was not shy in offering his opinion on how to best improve the team.

He emphasized taking RISKS!
He stated that they needed to get bigger overall.
He specified the need to get bigger at two positions. Obviously he's referring to SG and C.
Then he drop this bombshell during an interview after the press conference:
Monta, fierce competitor. He competes his fanny off every night. Love to watch him play. But to me, size helps. A lot of times...the two trades that we made that were pretty controversial, we traded Norm Nixon, he was part of a World Championship team. And even to this day, I don't think Norm is very happy with me, but I've always said that, with the ball in his hands, Ervin Johnson was Magic Johnson, without it, he was Ervin Johnson. And they had a difficult time sharing the ball and being successful. Trading Nick Van Excel was one of the most difficult...he was one of my favorite players. But it got to the point where you would rather it be about the team than the individual. And to this day, I know he despises me, but I don't think you have to look it that way, you have to look at what's best for the bigger picture here. And that's exactly what these guys want to do.
The writing is on the wall and it is a matter of time before they trade Monta. Maybe not this season, but if they miss the playoffs yet again in 2012, definitely the next.

I love Monta, but for the good of the team and in the bigger scheme of things, it is best that the ball be in the hands of a true PG that could facilitate plays and make teammates around him better. If Monta remains as SG, the Warriors won't have problems scoring most nights, but they will usually have problems defending because of the lack of size. It may seem acceptable in the regular season, but when Playoff Basketball rolls around and defenses ratchet it up, size WILL matter, and the great teams will game-plan and exploit the mismatches.

I'm sure Lacob was aware of this situation even before West gave his input. Don Nelson also affirms this viewpoint in an interview with KNBR in which lauds Monta's offensive prowess, but ultimately says that a pairing of Curry and Ellis is too small and would not succeed at a high level.

With the respected Jerry West on board, it will be easier for the organization to break the news to the Monta Ellis fans. His days as a Warrior are numbered, so enjoy him in the Blue and Gold while you can. The 'Big Risk' West speaks of is in the works.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


1. Cavaliers - Enes Kanter
2. Timberwolves - Kyrie Irving
3. Jazz - Derrick Williams
4. Cavaliers - Brandon Knight
5. Raptors - Kemba Walker
6. Wizards - Jan Veseley
7. Kings - Bismack Biyombo
8. Pistons - Jonas Valanciunas
9. Bobcats - Kawhi Leonard
10. Bucks - Alec Burks
11. Warriors - Tobias Harris
12. Jazz - Jimmer Fredette
13. Suns - Tristan Thompson
14. Rockets - Marcus Morris
15. Pacers - Klay Thompson
16. 76ers - Donatas Motiejunas
17. Knicks - Jeremy Tyler
18. Wizards -  Marshon Brooks
19. Bobcats - Jordan Hamilton
20. Timberwolves - Chris Singleton
21. Trailblazers - Tyler Honeycutt
22. Nuggets - Lucas Nogueira
23. Rockets - Markieff Morris
24. Thunder - Nikola Mirotic
25. Celtics - Kenneth Faried
26. Mavericks - Davis Bertans
27. Nets - Nikola Vucevic
28. Bulls - Josh Selby
29. Spurs - Reggie Jackson
30. Bulls - Justin Harper

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Two guys that impressed me coming out of the NBA Draft Combine were Tobias Harris and Jeremy Tyler. Harris is projected as high as #14, but Tyler is regarded by most as a 2nd round pick. He has a reputation for immaturity and under-achievement, but after listening to his interview, it seems like he may have shed that label and has learned to be more professional - either that or he's a good actor. Looks like he has the size we desperately need in the paint and has as much upside as anyone else in this draft.

Tyler looked pretty athletic in all the combine drills but needs to shed some fat (13.5%) and add muscle. He measured out to 6'10.5" with a freakish 7'5" wingspan, standing reach of 9'2.5".

If he's evolved into a coachable player, he could be worth a late lottery gamble in a weak draft like this.

As the #1 ranked sophomore back in 2008, Tyler averaged 18 points, 14.5 rebounds and 7.7 blocks while shooting 51 percent from the field. His failed experiment with playing overseas at such a young age stunted his development, but with the right coaching (Warrior Big Man coach, Robert Werdann was running the Combine drills) and support system he can become a force in the middle. He's got a long way to go, but it could pay dividends in a couple of years.

Related Articles
Marc Spears: Tyler says he’s grown from journey
Draft Express: Player Profile
ESPN: Draft Profile (Insider)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Draft lottery is tomorrow, so I've compiled a list of this year's draftees ranked using a combination of best available prospect and Warriors' team need. This might be very different from what you'll see from many other draft websites because this list omits players that are sure to be drafted in the lottery, but the Warriors really are better off targeting someone else due to duplication. The biggest factor in a draft that is widely regarded as weak, is to find that diamond in the rough if picking outside of the top 3. That player might not be able to help immediately, but down the road, they have the best shot at developing into a starter or even better.

  1. Enes Kanter
  2. Derrick Williams
  3. Kyrie Irving
  4. Jan Vesely
  5. Alec Burks
  6. Kawhi Leonard
  7. Jonas Valanciunas
  8. Donatas Motiejunas
  9. Tyler Honeycutt
  10. Tristan Thompson
  11. Bismack Biyombo
  12. Klay Thompson
  13. Marcus Morris
  14. Davis Bertans

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I like that Robert Rowell is barely visible, but the bad taste in the average fan's mouth won't go away until Cohan's right-hand man completely out of the picture. He serves as a constant reminder of the decades of losing and mismanagement most of us have endured. Sure, he didn't have a direct hand in most of the transactions the GM's struck, but he was responsible hiring the wrong people in the first place. I'm not sure if he was the main person responsible for negotiating contracts as Team President, but if so, that supports the case of his removal as well. Regardless, those offenses happened under his watch. As reported by Warriors beat writers, Rowell was directly involved in the unwise and unnecessary contract extension of Stephen Jackson which later backfired when, predictably, Jackson went rouge and demanded a trade after getting his money. His increased involvement in the basketball side of the business was an utter and complete failure. Fans couldn't help but feel that the main objective for the Warriors franchise was to sell tickets and not strive to assemble the Championship caliber team it's fans were dying for.

I hope Lacob understands that and is searching for a replacement. Rowell could claim as much credit as he wants for the continued financial success of a 1-year-in-20 playoff franchise, but the fact is that the Bay Area LOVES it's basketball, and the fan base will support the Warriors despite Rowell's perceived 'marketing magic.' Keep what's working marketing-wise and hire a fresh, new star ready to break into the realm of sports marketing. A person from the outside would be preferable, but promoting a deserving, hard-working executive from within could be acceptable IF they understand that WINNING should dictate basketball moves, not ticket sales. Separation of Business and Basketball are important (though sometimes intertwined). Building a contender comes first. Enhancing the fan experience comes second and should not get in the way of derailing a vision (i.e. pushing to keep a popular player even though doing so won't allow you to make significant strides towards legitimacy; winning meaningless games towards the end of the season, causing the team miss out on better draft prospects, getting pressured into making a bad deal just to bring in a big name).

Sometimes a team needs to be bad in the short term, to be good in the long run. A hit in marketing during a strong draft could put the Warriors on the fast-track to success. But when business success takes precedence over the team's success, mediocrity is inevitable. That being said, I wouldn't expect the Warriors to 'tank' until ownership has established a winning culture and has gained the trust of the most loyal fan base in all of the NBA. They should try to win with what they have while not making deals that would handcuff them when it comes to financial flexibility. I believe Lacob is on the right track: improve incrementally, gain financial flexibility, and pounce on a deal when it presents itself. It will take time and patience, and it may lead to fan discontent, but making foolish moves just to quiet the critics will only serve to sustain the mediocrity and failure we have suffered through from decades.

Part of gaining the trust of the fans is winning, but in addition, ridding themselves of as many hold-overs from the Cohan Era as possible would also go a long way. That also includes ditching Rowell's marketing mouth piece, Bob Fitzgerald. As a long-time season ticket holder and as 'real' a fan there is, I can assure you that the Warriors will not fall apart with the exit of Rowell. We will continue to support the team, and if ownership assembles the right people at the top and on the court, we will BELIEVE like never before. This thing would get bigger than anything anyone could have imagined.

Bottom line: Although Rowell has been relegated to only the Business side of things, a new face at the top is necessary to prove that the new ownership is not just a repackaged version of the past.

Related Articles:
Tim Kawakami - Robert Rowell’s 25 fire-able offenses as Warriors colossus
Adam Lauridsen - In Defense of Robert Rowell (Sort Of)
Matt Steinmetz - It's clear team president Robert Rowell is making some of Warriors' basketball decisions

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Larry Riley took over the reigns of the Warriors' General Manager position with the official exit of Chris Mullin on May 11, 2009. He's taking on a lot of flack for his inability to get a major deal done this past trade deadline, but prior to the All-Star break, new owner, Joe Lacob has been happy with the way the team has progressed under Riley's watch. Let's go through a list of his transactions.


2009 Draft : Selected Stephen Curry with the 7th pick
2010 Draft : Selected Ekpe Udoh with the 6th pick


07/30/09 : Marco Belinelli to Raptors for Devean George and Cash
11/16/09 : Acie Law, Stephen Jackson for Raja Bell, Vladimir Radmanovic
06/21/10 : 2010 34th Pick to Trail Blazers for 2010 44th Pick, Cash
06/22/10 : Corey Maggette, 2010 44th Pick to Bucks for Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric
07/09/10 : Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, 2010 2nd Rd Pick, 2011 2nd Rd Pick to Knicks for David Lee
07/13/10 : Anthony Morrow to Nets for 2011 2nd Rd Pick (top 55 protected)
07/22/10 : C.J. Watson to Bulls for 2011 2nd Rd Pick
02/23/11 : Brandan Wright, Dan Gadzuric to Nets for Troy Murphy, 2012 2nd Rd Pick


09/09/09 : Mikki Moore
09/09/09 : C.J. Watson (resigned)
09/30/09 : Shaun Pruitt, Diamon Simpson
11/20/09 : Chris Hunter
01/10/10 : Cartier Martin
01/17/10 : Anthony Tolliver
01/31/10 : Coby Karl
03/02/10 : Reggie Williams : $1.8M/2Y (team option)
01/21/10 : Jeremy Lin
09/08/10 : Rodney Carney
09/13/10 : Louis Amundson : $4.6M/2Y (player option)
09/24/10 : Cheyne Gadson, Aaron Miles, Jeff Adrien, Vernon Goodridge, James Mays
07/09/10 : David Lee : $79.5M/6Y
07/13/10 : Dorell Wright : $11.4M/3Y
12/09/10 : Acie Law
02/25/11 : Jeff Adrien

Friday, February 25, 2011


Of the handful of players expected to receive a buyout after the trade deadline, I would strongly consider signing T. J. Ford. He's a good veteran, backup PG. We could use a scoring, true PG coming off the bench and it's likely that the Warriors won't find a better PG than Ford in the D-League - at least in terms of a scorer and passer.

Ford as a rep of being selfish, but there have been times when you look out onto the court and see only 1 or 2 scoring options for a stretch. We're left to wonder, how will they be able to add to the lead? Ford could keep the tempo fast and take some of the scoring responsibility when Curry gets into foul trouble, needs rest, or gets injured. I could see him working well leading a 5-man bench unit consisting of Udoh and Amundson or Adrien at C and PF. They could have solid defense in the paint, a good perimeter defender, and 2 designated scorers with Ford as the facilitator.

PG: Ford
SG: Lin or Bell
SF: Williams or Radmanovic
PF: Amundson or Adrien
C: Udoh

Bring him in to see what he could do.

Born: Mar 24, 1983
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165 lbs.
College: Texas
Years Pro: 6

NBA Playerfile

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Troy Murphy comes to Golden State for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright. After Murphy gets bought out as reported, the financials looks something like this:

(click image to enlarge)

Assuming Charlie Bell and Louis Amundson exercise their player options for 2011/12, we end up picking around 12th, and the SalaryCap remains at $58M, the Warriors will have $6.1M in cap space. Reggie Williams looks like a keeper, but if push came to shove, they can decline his team option and have $7.2M in cap space. I'm not certain how much of Jeremey Lin's 2011/12 deal is guaranteed for, but they could get close to $8M under the cap if they shed his salary and let him walk as well.

Although the Warriors will likely be able to offer more money than all teams armed with only the MLE, it doesn't seem like enough to get them a proven star. Their best bet would probably be to go for a player that is young with upside (D. Jordan, A. Afflalo, S. Hawes, E. Clark, M. Chalmers, J. Smith) or a player who is coming off injury (G. Oden, J. Jerebko). Get them to sign short deals that don't extend past 2014 unless they could get an absolute steal for a very good player.

If they cannot get anyone worth keeping long term, they should do 1-year deals or 2-year deals with team options and look towards the offseason of 2012 to make a big free agent acquisition. Amundson and Bell are off the books and it will be easier to trade away  Ellis and/or Biedrins' contracts which will only have two years remaining. Unfortunately, many fans cannot wait that long.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The initial reports said the Warriors were going to trade Gadzuric and B. Wright for Troy Murphy and a 2nd Round Pick. The year was not specified, so I incorrectly assumed it would be a 2011 pick to replace the one that had been traded to New York in the David Lee Deal. As the Carmelo Drama concluded with a trade to New York, it was made public for the first time, that the Warriors also included a 2012 2nd Round Pick in the Lee Deal in order to get the Knicks to waive Kelenna Azubuike's physical.

Now, I understand the rational behind this Murphy transaction (if it goes down).

Getting Back into the 2012 Draft

It's widely believed that the 2011 draft will be among the weakest in history for two reasons: talent level and draft holdouts due to the looming lockout. Weak drafts are generally followed by strong ones, and the 2012 draft class should be among the deepest ever.

It was important for the Warriors to get back into the 2nd Round of the 2012 draft where the likelihood of landing a quality talent is very high, especially in the 1st half of the 2nd round. There's a chance that this player could end up being more valuable than Brandan Wright would be AND they would be paying a fraction of the price.

Ideally, you would like to have a 1st round pick (shipped to Nets with Top 7 protection), but at least the Warriors are back in the game.

Free Up Cap to Pursue 2011 Free Agent

The Warriors had Brandan Wright's bird rights. This is useful in the sense that they could have cashed it in during the offseason just like they did when they agreed not to match deals for Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson and brought back 2nd round picks. But a bird in a hand is worth two in the bush, so making a deal now relieves the cap pressure and takes a little uncertainty out of the 2011 offseason.

The Warriors could have showcased Wright's talents for the remainder of the season in order to pump up his value, but with his injury history, there was a chance that could backfire. They sacrifice depth for this season in order to gain more options in the future. Trading him now removes the $10M caphold (300% of pervious salary) and allows them to quickly get into the bidding for the services of more coveted Free Agents.

Possibility of Saving Money

By making this trade, they will be able to buy out Murphy's contract at less than full price (owed $11,968,253 pro-rated) and save money that would have been guaranteed to Gadzuric and Wright (combined salary $10,646,397 prorated). Murphy's contract is greater than the two going out, so a the Warriors need to try and get him to agree to at least an 80% buyout in exchange for his release and freedom to play for playoff team. Murphy has yet to experience a playoff game in his 10 year career.

3 Open Roster Spots

With the Murphy buyout and the loss of Gadzuric and Wright, the Warriors will now have a total of 3 open roster spots. Riley and the Warriors seem to have luck plucking gems out of the D-League. This trade will allow them to call up the best the league has to offer.

Top names could include:

Jeff Adrien: PF, 25, 6'6" 225 lbs
Marqus Blakely: SF/PF, 22, 6'5" 220 lbs
Kyle Weaver: SG, 25, 6'6" 201 lbs
Sean Williams: PF/C, 24, 6'10" 230 lbs
Garrett Temple: PG/SG, 24, 6'5" 176 lbs
Blake Ahearn: PG, 27, 6'2" 190 lbs

Warriors are free to use the call-ups to address deficiencies in defense and rebounding. They can also look to improve their backcourt depth.

Monday, February 21, 2011


No one really knows what the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will look like, but many GM's are willing to bet that some kind of hard-cap may be in the works to bring down costs and promote league parity, similar to what we see in the very successful NFL model. With that in mind, expiring deals (numerous around the league) are not as valuable during this season of uncertainty. Teams that want to trim salary may wait for the offseason to do so in hopes that they can cash in on another playoff appearance before a potential lockout. Warriors are on the outside, looking in as usual, and hope to pounce on any deal that could net them a young star. But it is more likely that Riley will not find a suitable deal to strike and will opt to let the huge Radmanovic and Gadzuric deals expire so that they can try to acquire a solid piece and role players in the 2011 offseason.

The Warriors will be around $6 million below the salary cap, but around $9 million if they renounce the rights of Brandan Wright and cut ties with Jeremy Lin. Depending on how the new CBA is constructed, the Warriors can be among the more financially flexible teams in the league. If they can somehow ditch Charlie Bell's $4 million dollar deal, they will be able to be major players vying for the services of the top free agents. Realistically, a major free agent signing won't happen and they are better off making modest additions similar to what they did last offseason when they acquired value players with cheap, short contracts such as Dorell Wright and Louis Amundson. Warriors should then look to make a splash in the 2012 offseason when Biedrins is likely easier to trade and Bell's deal expires.

Here are some cheap, but good free agents on my wish list.

Point Guards

Warriors need a backup PG who realistically, will accept less minutes and be able to run the team without causing the Warriors to lose too much when he's on the floor. He needs to play up-tempo and be a true PG. Stephen Curry is developing into one, but a ready-made true PG would be a welcomed addition to the roster. A young PG with upside would be ideal, but a veteran who can help teach Curry the subtle nuances of the position would also work.
    (name, team – 2010-11 salary – status)
  1. Mario Chalmers, Miami HEAT - $0.9 million – Unrestricted* : solid defender, more of a natural PG, 3 pt range
  2. Patrick Mills, Portland Trail Blazers - $0.9 million – Unrestricted* : lightning fast, able to control tempo, improving offensive game, good PG skills
  3. Sebastian Telfair, Minnesota Timberwolves - $2.7 million – Unrestricted : true PG, experienced
  4. T.J. Ford, Indiana Pacers - $8.5 million – Unrestricted : true PG, experienced, no upside, injury-prone, could be a good mentor and decent backup PG if he can be had for cheap
  5. Chris Quinn, San Antonio Spurs - $0.9 million - Unrestricted : true PG with experience

Shooting Guards

One of the bigger needs for the Warriors is a lock-down perimeter defender who can compliment the small backcourt and step in when match-ups dictate. He needs to be able to compensate for the lack of size in the starting unit, be a 3 point threat, and accept a backup role for the time being. If Ellis is traded, he may be asked to step up into the starting lineup, so a player with upside would be ideal.
    (name, team – 2010-11 salary – status)
  1. Arron Afflalo, Denver Nuggets - $2.0 million – Restricted ($2.9 million Qualifying Offer) : one of the better defending SG's in the league, improved offensive game, 3pt range, better compliment to Curry's game
  2. Sonny Weems, Toronto Raptors - $0.9 million – Unrestricted* - athletic, can score, will be a defensive improvement over our current backcourt

Small Forwards

The missing lock-down, perimeter defender can also come in the form of an athletic, long, small forward. Dorell Wright is a steal at $11.4/3 YRS, but an upgrade at this position would dramatically improve the bench by allowing one of their biggest offensive threats to move to a 6th man role. Any SF addition may be asked to slide into the PF slot on occasion, so it would be a bonus if they were able to do so.
    (name, team – 2010-11 salary – status)
  1. Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia 76ers - $2.9 million – Restricted ($4.0 million Qualifying Offer) : rising star, versatile tweener, athletic, solid rebounder
  2. Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons – $11.1 million – Unrestricted : excellent perimeter defender, good range, injury prone, great in transition, good passer
  3. Earl Clark, Orlando Magic - $1.9 million – Unrestricted : point forward skills, good defensive potential due to his size and athleticism, still a work-in-progress
  4. Wilson Chandler, New York Knicks - $2.1 million – Restricted ($3.1 million Qualifying Offer) : very good all-around game, can play 3 positions, defensive stopper potential
  5. Dominic McGuire, Charlotte Bobcats - $0.9 million – Unrestricted : defensive specialist, improved slightly on the offensive end, able to guard 3 positions, excellent rebounder, could be had for very cheap contract
  6. Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves - $3.7 million – Restricted ($5.0 million Qualifying Offer) : defensive specialist, energy off the bench, improved range but still an offensive liability, could be had for cheap
  7. Julian Wright, Toronto Raptors - $2.9 million – Restricted ($4.0 million Qualifying Offer) : defensive specialist, athletic, good rebounder, limited range, cheap
  8. DaJuan Summers, Detroit Pistons - $0.8 million – Unrestricted* : tweener with 3 pt range, not good at much else but has shown glimpses of potential, cheap

Power Forwards

Warriors are committed to David Lee as the starting PF for the next few seasons, but there are a few holes in his game that need to be addressed through acquiring complimentary talent. Ekpe Udoh is a start due to his physicality and defensive potential. His offensive game is developing, but the likelihood of Udoh becoming a star PF/C is low. The Lee/Udoh combo at PF is a decent complimentary pairing, but from what I've seen so far, Udoh's future impact may be better suited for the Center position with some spot minutes at PF until he develops a reliable perimeter game (if ever).

In the meantime, the Warriors should look to add depth and skills that they don't have in their front court players: shot blockers, 3 point range, perimeter threat, strong rebounders, athletes, upside.
    (name, team – 2010-11 salary – status)
  1. Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons - $0.8 million – Unrestricted* : athletic PF who can also guard SF's, energy off the bench, 3pt range, pesky defender, needs to add strength, current injury could allow for good contract value
  2. Jason Smith, New Orleans Hornets - $2.2 million – Restricted ($3.1 million Qualifying Offer) : 7-footer with 3 pt range, mobile, active on defense but foul prone, struggles to score inside
  3. Josh McRoberts - $0.9 million – Unrestricted* : starting to realize his potential, 3 pt range, can pass and dribble, below average rebounder for his position
  4. Brandan Wright, Golden State Warriors - $3.4 million – Restricted ($4.6 million Qualifying Offer) : shot changer, can score in post, inconsistent and injury prone
  5. Yi Jianlian, Washington Wizards - $4.1 million – Restricted ($5.4 million Qualifying Offer) : mobile 7-footer, mid-range game, has trouble finishing at the rim, decent shot blocker
  6. Luc Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee Bucks - $0.9 million – Unrestricted* : defensive specialist, can guard multiple positions, poor shooter/scorer, good rebounder
  7. Dante Cunningham, Portland Trail Blazers - $0.8 million – Unrestricted* : good all-around player, energy off the bench, mid-range game, versatile defender


The best use of the offseason's resources would be used to upgrade the Center position. A confident Biedrins is worth every penny of his contract, but unfortunately, he lost his way and is struggling to make it back to his 'prime' production years. The Warriors can't afford to rely on a comeback, so going after a stud center should be a high priority. He must be the prototype center that blocks shots, rebounds, and plays good man-to-man defense. He needs to be a physical presence in the paint in order to compensate for the smallish backcourt and defensive deficiency's at the starting PF position.
    (name, team – 2010-11 salary – status)
  1. Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers - $6.8 million – Restricted ($8.8 million Qualifying Offer) : big injury concerns, huge gamble could lead to high reward, if he reaches anywhere close to his potential he will be THE missing piece to the contender puzzle, may need to win bidding war with teams willing to take a chance on Oden (particularly Trailblazers)
  2. DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers - $0.9 million – Unrestricted* : major upside, strong interior scoring potential, no perimeter game, defensive presence the Warriors are sorely lacking in the paint, bigs of his caliber may come at a steep price
  3. Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers - $3.0 million – Restricted ($4.1 million Qualifying Offer) : upside with solid offensive game, good rebounder and shot blocker, shies away from contact and working hard in the paint, perimeter oriented big with good post moves, good compliment to Udoh
  4. Kwame Brown, Charlotte Bobcats - $1.3 million – Unrestricted : defensive big, rebounds well, cheap
  5. Alexis Ajinca, Dallas Mavericks - $1.5 million – Unrestricted : project big, 7'-2" shot blocker with tremendous wingspan, very raw, has a mid-range jumper, worth a gamble if can be had for cheap
  6. Kyrylo Fesenko, Utah Jazz - $1.1 million - Unrestricted : defensive big, raw offensive game, project with small upside, cheap
  7. Hamed Haddadi, Memphis Grizzlies - $1.8 million – Unrestricted* : 7'-2" shot blocker, rebounds well, has scoring touch in the paint, plodder, cheap

Free Agent Target Rankings:
  1. Greg Oden
  2. DeAndre Jordan
  3. Thaddeus Young
  4. Arron Afflalo
  5. Spencer Hawes
  6. Jonas Jerebko
  7. Tayshawn Prince
  8. Earl Clark
  9. Wilson Chandler
  10. Mario Chalmers
  11. Patrick Mills
  12. Jason Smith
  13. Josh McRoberts
  14. Brandan Wright
  15. Dominic McGuire