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.

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