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

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The Warriors are rumored to be going after Troy Murphy and a 2nd Round pick by dealing the expiring deals of Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright. This would be a mistake, and here's why:

I understand the the primary motivation for doing this trade is not to acquire the services of Murphy, but to land another pick. Unfortunately, a 2nd Round pick in this year's draft is practically worthless.

You have to have the best scouts and get lucky to land a guy that can even stick with the team. Underclassmen will opt out due to lockout concerns and they will be left to choose from D-League fodder and players of high risk, mid-level reward. I highly doubt there will be a Landry Fields or Monta Ellis lurking in the depth of this draft class.

They need to work towards acquiring a 2012 first, or they're just wasting their assets and trading just to trade. 2012 will yield a bumper crop of talent. Even a late first will likely have the same impact as a late lottery pick in this year's draft.

Brandan Wright is worth more than a 2011 2nd rounder. He won't make more than what Amundson's getting in his next contract, so keep his bird rights and deal him in the offseason if need be. I'd like to see him stay and see how the new training/medical staff works with his health and keeping him on the court. He's only 23 (5 months younger than Udoh) and we haven't been able to adequately evaluate him due to all his injuries. For all his shortcoming, he has shown that he can be a defensive asset with his length as well as one of our best interior scores with his developing post game and unblockable shots. Give him consistent minutes from here on out, to both showcase him and determine if he's worth developing further.

I know fans are hoping for a major free agent addition this summer, but unless we deal Charlie Bell and Andris Biedrins, we're stuck with a MLE type of addition. I believe we can make another Dorell Wright kind of signing this summer(Afflalo?), draft intelligently (Nellie the draft consultant?), and have a great shot at making the playoffs next year. Management and ownership need to stick with their plan of building a great team incrementally even though it may be unpopular to much of the fanbase. Unless there is an obvious benefit for a trade, continue to work towards getting better through the draft, internal development, modest free agent signings, and maintaining cap flexibility.

The Warriors are good enough to make the playoffs. Once they shake the losers label and they've increased their popularity, they can afford to do major retooling by dealing Monta Ellis if it's clear that they cannot build a contender because of the undersized, defensively deficient backcourt. I like what I've seen and heard from the new ownership thus far, so I trust they are smart enough to stay clear of trading just to make a trade.

Related Articles

Matt Steinmetz: W's trade with Nets would yield, Murphy, 2nd-rounder
Rusty Simmons: UPDATE: Riley on Warriors- Murphy report
ProBasketballTalk: Warriors working to land Troy Murphy, one way or another
Rusty Simmons: Joe Lacob praises coach, GM for Warriors' gains

Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's been rumored off and on in the media that the Hawks were very willing to move Marvin Williams and his over-priced deal. Since they are in need of a starting center, perhaps they will consider trading for the re-surging Andris Biedrins. I still think Biedrins can get back to form (2006-08), but if management believes he ultimately cannot be in the Warriors' longterm plans, then this is a deal that we could swing to improve our bench and accelerate Udoh's development. 

IN: Marvin Williams / Zaza Pachulia
OUT: Andris Biedrins / Charlie Bell

Atlanta's starting 5 = Bibby / Johnson / Smith / Horford / Biedrins. Upgrade PG in the draft. Biedrins doesn't make significantly more than Williams, but he provides the Hawks with a starting quality Center (currently starting Jason Collins). In essence, they trade a 6th man for a starter while shaving a year off of the contract for the often ineffective Pachulia. If this still is not enough, they can toss in Reggie Williams or Brandan Wright.

For the Warriors, Marvin Williams and Dorell Wright compete for the starting SF spot and the bench gets immediately stronger. Williams is a good rebounder for his position and is athletic enough to fit well in the Warriors up-tempo style.

Admittedly, this trade does not automatically vault us into 8th seed playoff contention, but it does set the table for a potentially explosive offseason. Warriors' estimated cap space for 2011 = $11M if we renounce Brandan Wright's rights. We can use part of it to sign Afflalo and most of it to land a player like Greg Oden (I have a good feeling about our new trainer) or DeAndre Jordan. If they can get Oden at a reasonable price and contract length, I would take that chance. Otherwise, I would opt for a young big with defensive promise like Jordan. Warriors can even pursue a trade for JaVale McGee, who seems to be falling out of favor in Washington.

Warriors 2011-12
PG: Curry / Kemba Walker (draft) / Lin
SG: Ellis / Afflalo / R. Williams
SF: M. Williams / D. Wright
PF: Lee / Udoh / V. Radmonovic (resigned cheap)
C: Oden / Pachulia / Amundson

The additions of Oden and Afflalo make a Curry / Ellis backcourt more feasible. Afflalo is an extremely strong perimeter defender who is expanding his offensive skill and range. Oden has the potential to be a defensive force if our new training staff can keep him healthy. The Warriors will go into the 2012 season a more balanced, defensively-minded team.