A Reality Check on the Blockbuster Trade between the Warriors and Pacers

You've seen the hype, but now it's time for a reality check on the 8 player deal that the Warriors and Pacers concocted. Let's be clear, this was a blockbuster deal not because of the actual player personnel exchanged, but because of the number of players and enormous salaries exchanged. There are no big game changers and no NBA stars involved in this deal. Aside from Troy Murphy who will now be able to collect double-doubles in the Leastern Conference, none of the players in this trade will probably ever make an All Star team. No balance of power has been shifted in either conference.

The Warriors are definitely better after this trade, but they needed to get a whole lot better just to continue to compete in the West for the last playoff spot. This move does not guarantee the Warriors a trip to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Let's hope they aren't finished dealing because they are still very far from being a legitimate force in the Western Conference.

The Pacers are definitely worse talent-wise and salary cap-wise after this trade. It's a real head-scratcher why they made this deal. It will be absolutely shocking if Jermaine O'Neal is still a Pacer this time next season. The Pacers have unintentionally just started a rebuilding era, which could be very long and painful with Murphy and Dunleavy's contracts on the books for the next 4 seasons. Thank god that's their problem and not ours anymore.

Since, we're all in that golden state of mind, here's a dose of reality on all of the players involved in the deal:

New Warriors

Al Harrington (Age: 26, Height: 6-9, Weight: 245)
warrior-alHarrington.jpg
Thanks for leaving the mohawk in Indy, Al!

Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • 18.6ppg in 2005-06 season with the Hawks.
  • 45.8% 3pt this season with the Pacers.
  • 5.8 rebounds per game over his career.
  • 45.8% FG this season.
  • 1.4 assists : 2.5 turnovers a game this year (ouch!).
  • Less than 1 steal and 0.5 blocks a game this season.

Chris Mullin really likes this guy. No he really, really, really likes this guy. He spent the whole summer chasing after him like he was Kevin Garnett or Yao Ming:

Let's hope Mullin knows something that no one else in the entire hoops universe knows about Al Harrington.

Baby Al came into this league straight out of high school and has blossomed into a pretty solid pro. Nothing more, nothing less. Mullin and Nellie are probably expecting him to take his game to new heights playing Nellieball. Can Harrington take his game to the next level here in the Bay? He seems hungry and has the desire to be an All Star. Al's numbers should improve playing the faster paced offense that Nellie preaches compared to the slow grind of Pacer coach Rick Carlisle's philosophy.

Harrington obviously has nice size, but you really have to wonder why he's such a mediocre rebounder, collecting only 6-7 boards a night playing big minutes. It's not like the Warriors are a strong rebounding team and giving up Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu doesn't help at all. If Al's going to play the 4 spot for Nellie, he's going to need to reach career highs in this facet of his game or else the Warriors are doomed.

 

Stephen Jackson (Age 28, Height: 6-8, Weight: 218)
warrior-jax.jpg
The gap in Jax's front row of teeth is more stylish than Michael Strahan's!

Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • 18.7 ppg just 2 seasons back with the Pacers.
  • 41.9% FG for his career.
  • The past 3 seasons, he's gotten to the free throw line about 4 times a game.

Jax doesn't exactly have a squeaky clean record which we can't condone, but everyone deserves a second chance and he seems eager for a fresh start. Hopefully, good guys like Baron Davis and Jason Richardson have a nice influence on him off the court and most importantly keep him out of court. Here's hoping Jackson can turn things around. If not, this whole trade could be a big disaster for the Warriors.

On the court, Jax is the best defender in this trade and can give scoring 2 guards some trouble with his length. He's given Jason Richardson some serious trouble in the past. Let's hope he pushes JRich in practice that much harder and becomes an impact defender for this ballclub. As long as Jax brings the D and toughness, the Warriors won't need him to be a big time scorer to be a successful cog in Nellieball. He could potentially be the biggest impact player of this trade if he can develop a defensive stopper role.

 

Sarunas Jasikevicius (Age 29, Height: 6-4, Weight: 195)
warrior-sarunas.jpg
Sarunas just looks like an intimidating athlete- DO NOT mess with him!

Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • A career 91.4% shooter from the free throw line.
  • A career 40.2% shooter from 3pt land.
  • 3.0 assists per game in under 20 minutes a game over his career.

If you've watched the Warriors for the past two or three seasons one of the most frustrating things about this squad is that free throws aren't free. Sarunas should be able to help the team greatly in this department especially near the end of games. Don't underestimate how valuable this skill is in closing out close games.

It'll be interesting to see if Sarunas can help lighten BD's minutes for the rest of this season. He's been somewhat of a disappointment in Indiana, but there's no way a guy named Sarunas won't take his career to the next level under Nellie. Another thing to look for is whether Sarunas can provide Nellie with a much-needed shooter to roll off screens. Sarunas could be a steal for the Dubs if he can spot Baron Davis some minutes and knock down some jumpers.

 

Josh Powell (Age 24, Height: 6-9, Weight: 225)
warrior-powell.jpg
Trivia Question: Who was the last Warrior to sport #21?

Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • Averaging more fouls than points, blocks, steals, and assists this season.
  • Played in 7 games this season.

Is Powell just a throw in to make the numbers work out in this trade? Maybe, but who thought Matt Barnes and Kelenna Azubuike would play so many big minutes for Nellie this season? Here's hoping for another great surprise.

* Photos by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

 

New Pacers

Troy Murphy (Age 26, Height: 6-11, Weight: 245)
Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • 3 double-doubles in 6 seasons in the league.
  • A career 43.2% shooter from the field.
  • 15.4 ppg and 10.8 rpg in 2004-2005.
  • Never averaged a block per game or steal per game in any of his NBA seasons.

Make no mistake the best proven rebounder in this trade is TMurph by a wide margin. The Warriors were already weak in this area personnel-wise and this trade does nothing to help improve this glaring hole on the team. He will be missed for his steady work on the glass.

Murph's game can be summed up as a low percentage scorer who gives up a high percentage of points on the defensive end. Not exactly a formula for success. Mostly because of his complete lack of lateral quickness, Murphy is an awful defender. However, Murph should get back to his double digit rebound form with the Pacers. It'll be interesting to see how he plays off O'Neal. His career could reach new heights playing with someone who can make up for his offensive limitations and defensive mistakes.

charmin.jpg
Murphy was a major reason for the Warriors' Charmin Soft interior defense.

 

Mike Dunleavy (Age 26, Height: 6-9, Weight: 230)
Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • Career high in scoring was 13.4 ppg in 2004-2005 which was supposed to be an off-season for him.
  • 40.6% FG and 28.5% 3pt with tons of open looks in Monty's motion offense during the 2005-2006 season.
  • Never averaged 6 boards a game in a season.
  • 0.8 steals per game and 0.3 blocks per game for his career.

Despite the expectations and his own self-promotion, Dunleavy never amounted to much with the Warriors over his 4 year stay. Let's examine the mythological and mostly silly hype:

Mythleavy #1: Dunleavy is so versatile. He can play 4 positions and he's fundamentally sound.
This has to be the biggest mistake in assessing Dunleavy. Playing him at the point for long stretches is a disaster because he brings the ball up very slowly, can't take anyone off the dribble, and gets jammed very easily. Dunleavy at the 2 guard is fine if you don't mind having a shooting guard who can't shoot or is the worst scoring player at the 2 spot in the league. Yup, didn't think so. There were tons of questions about Dunleavy playing the power forward spot at the beginning of the season and Nellie quickly found out the answer to all of the questions was simply no. Dunleavy is a small forward, not some jack of all trades.

For a player who's supposedly fundamentally sound he misses a ton of wide open jumpers, can't hit jumpers from the corners, misses a lot of easy layups, can't layup with his left hand on the left side of the basket, can't beat anyone off the dribble, travels way too much, grabs very few rebounds for the minutes he plays, and has poor instincts when playing man defense. A raw player? Of course not, but calling him fundamentally sound doesn't align with his play in the NBA.

Mythleavy #2: He has such a high hoops IQ.
Smart basketball players do not make as many dumb turnovers, travels, and decisions as Dunleavy makes on any given night. He's not a dumb player, but calling him smart is unwarranted and an undeserved complement that has more to do with his last name than anything he's actually done on the NBA level. On his radio show the other week, Warrior Coach Don Nelson really questioned his hoops IQ as well.

Mythleavy #3: Dunleavy's a great "glue guy" and a "great locker room guy".
I'll pass the mic to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times for this one:

He [Mike Dunleavy] did accept responsibility for his poor play at the end of last year. But he is one of those guys who, at least outwardly, blames everyone else. But I don't think I've heard him called a "glue guy" and a "great locker room guy." Whoever says that, clearly does not know Dunleavy. He's quiet and keeps to himself a lot. He does openly criticize his teammates and he's had problems with at least two coaches and how they use him (Musselman and Montgomery). He's not a cancer, per se, but he's not a "glue guy. -- Marcus Thompson 1/02/07

Mythleavy #4: He's a great shooter.
To Coach Mike Montgomery's credit he got Dunleavy a TON of wide open jumpers with his offensive gameplan for two straight seasons. What happened? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiirrrrr ball! CLANK! It wasn't pretty. Dunleavy's shooting form looks fine, but for some reason he's been a poor shooter. Is it a fear of not coming through in the clutch (not that the Warriors have had playoff type pressure the past 12 years)? Is it a lack of concentration? Who knows. All we know is that for a guy who got so many open shots his shooting percentages were completely unacceptable.

Mythleavy #5: Dunleavy's a great passer.
To say he's a "great" passer is a huge error. Dunleavy's an average passer, partly because he reacts slowly, telegraphs his passes, and for every good pass he makes throws a lazy pass that results in an unforced turnover. Two key things to remember: 1) a "great" passer doesn't have a career 2.5 assist to 1.6 turnover ratio and 2) a "great" passer's career high in assists for a season isn't 3.0. Again, not a horrible passer, just average.

myth-book.jpg
A great book on Mike Dunleavy's game.

 

Ike Diogu (Age 23, Height: 6-8, Weight: 255)
Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • Averages about a point every 2 minutes.
  • About an 80% shooter from the charity stripe.
  • Missed over a month this season with an ankle sprain.

There's a lot to like about Ike. He's a gifted low post scorer who also has some nice range of his jumper. Additionally, Ike's a capable weakside shot blocker and rebounder. Don't be surprised if Ike does some big things in 3 or 4 years, despite being an undersized and not too explosive power forward. The problem is Nellie doesn't have 3 or 4 years. Even if Ike does blow up in the future, it's worth taking this risk to get rid of Murphy and Dunleavy's excessive contracts. You have to give up something to get something in return and the Warriors luckily gave up the least promising of their young talents. There's very few in Warriors Nation who'd rather have Ike over combo guard Monta Ellis or center Andris Biedrins.

PinkCloudsdoghouse.jpg
Ike's out of Nellie's Doghouse!

 

Keith McLeod (Age 27, Height: 6-2, Weight: 190)
Career Stats | Key Stats:

  • 88.7% for the free throw line this season.
  • 14:35 minutes in 26 games this season.

McLeod's stay with the Warriors was very short lived. If you blinked for more than a second, you probably never even saw him on the court in a Warriors jersey. Still, he's a capable backup point guard and a nice piece to bring off the bench. Nothing spectacular, but a fairly steady presence.


What are your reality checks for the trade?

 

Don't sleep on the previous GSoM coverage of this 8 player deal:

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