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 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