GSoM Q&A with Marcus Thompson II - 01/30/07 (Part 1 of 2)

We grabbed Marcus Thompson II again for some good 'ol Q&A. He's now got his own hoops blog called Hoops Junkie and he still answers questions in his online forum. So if you ever have a Warriors question, drop Marcus a line. Here's a quick description of Marcus from the Hoops Junkie website:

Marcus Thompson II is in his first season as the Times' NBA writer. He covered the Golden State Warriors the previous two seasons. He started at the Times in 1999 as a high school sports reporter. Since then, he's covered St. Mary's College football and men's and women's basketball, and served as a general assignment writer. He is an Oakland native, graduating from Oakland Technical High School before studying journalism at Clark Atlanta University.

Let's get this party started.

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Golden State of Mind: Many Warrior fans and people in the Bay Area sports media think the team came out as big winners in the 8 player deal with the Pacers. However, many in the national hoops media (Charles Barkley, John Hollinger, and Charley Rosen to name a few) seem to think that the Pacers are the ones that won big in the trade. What explains this big difference in opinion about the trade? Also, which team do you think got the better end of the trade and why?  

Marcus Thompson II: For one, no one in the national media gets to see any of these guys on a regular basis, league pass or no. Many national media derive their opinions from what they've read, heard or have seen on a limited basis.

But, looking at the trade from a talent prospect, I can see how the people might say the Pacers made out. Stephen Jackson has legal problems. Josh Powell is regarded as a nobody and no one can pronounce Sarunas Jasikevicius. On the other hand Troy Murphy is known as a double-double guy, and Ike Diogu is a reputed prospect with star potential, and Keith McLeod is an expiring contract. Plus, the Warriors players are viewed more favorable because Golden State is being regarded as having one of their better seasons while Indiana is viewed as in turmoil, struggling. On the surface, if you haven't seen what ails the Warriors, it looks as if the Pacers got the upper hand.

But I say the Warriors did because they have proven players and the Pacers got potential. The Warriors got production they can take to the bank, and Indiana got hope. Most important, the Warriors were able to dump two burdensome salaries. That can't be overlooked.


Golden State of Mind: Of the 4 players the Warriors got in the trade with Indianna (Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Josh Powell), who do you think will benefit most from the trade and playing under Coach Don Nelson? Who do you think will benefit the least?

Marcus Thompson II: Al Harrington, no doubt. His strength is his versatility and Nelson is a mismatch master. He will know how to exploit Harrington's array of skills as well as anyone. The least? Sarunas. After watching him a few games, he's too slow to make too much of a difference for Nellie.


Golden State of Mind: Do you think the Warriors now have enough talent with the trade to make the 2007 NBA playoffs in the mighty Western Conference?

Marcus Thompson II: Yes. They're as good as, if not better than, Minnesota and even the Clippers. They can certainly run with Denver now. They can make the playoffs. Will they? That depends on how fast they jell and how well Jason Richardson plays when he returns.


Golden State of Mind: If the season ended today the Warriors would miss the playoffs for the 13th straight season. If the team does miss the playoffs, do you see any changes in store for this team? Will there be a front office shakeup? Another roster shakeup?

Marcus Thompson II: No. I don't think Mullin's job was in jeopardy. Nor should it be. This is only his third year in such a capacity. He'd never done this before. People should have expected mistakes and struggles. Any organization worth its weight would have factored in Mullin's growing process. If he was in jeapordy, he saved himself with the trade and the hiring of Nelson. Those moves bought him more time because of the hope and excitement they sparked.


Golden State of Mind: There are some big names around the league that are rumored to be on the trading block. Any predictions for who will or will not be moved by the February 22nd trade deadline? Do you see the Warriors making another trade before the deadline?

Marcus Thompson II: I do see the Warriors making another trade, but I don't see it being for Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves are in the playoff hunt. They've hired the coach many say they wanted all along. They've been looking to acquire talent to help Garnett to this point. I don't think he'll  be moved (until this offseason).

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We'd just like to thank Marcus for taking the time out to answer some of our questions. Make sure to drop by Marcus' online forum to get any of your Warriors questions answered and make the Hoops Junkie blog a daily visit.

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