The Warriors are in midst of another season where we are headed to another high lottery pick. Nothing new here, but what do we do to fix the problem? Making 1 trade or firing our coach won't make us an elite Western Conference team. We need to establish a long term plan. 2011-2012, that season should be our end game. We are not going to the playoffs this season, and odds are that we won't make it next season either. Let's start formulating a plan to make to the playoffs in the near future and a plan to stay there. Plan of Attack:
-Trade Corey Maggette
Sounds impossible, right? It just depends what we are asking for. A combination of Maggette and expiring contracts for 2011 expiring contracts could be enticing to many teams especially if we agree to take back worthless players. Examples
-Maggette and expiring contracts for Michael Redd.
-Maggette and expiring contracts for Peja Stojakovich
The idea is if we are asking for no talent back, and contracts that don't expire till the end of next season and offering those teams salary relief at the end of this season, it might not be as hard to move him as thought possible.
-Trade CJ Watson
If we offer expiring contracts plus CJ Watson and be willing to take back contracts that don't expire till 2011, getting a late first rounder will be simple, we might be able to score additional first or second round draft picks.
-Seek replacements for Nellie and his entourage
Nellie is a great coach and he is going to be gone after the 2010-2011 season at the latest. If there is a better coach available at the time, pick him up. If not a suitable candidate is available, simple wait till the end of the following season. When Nellie leaves, it's time for Riley and Smart and the rest of the Nellie regime to leave as well. The general manager position would have to be filled to, so start looking for candidates either this offseason or next.
-Draft the best player available
Take the player that has the most overall talent available and worry about fitting our pieces together. It's time to take the risky high potential players.
-Give Anthony Morrow the QO
By giving Anthony Morrow the QO, he would still be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2011 season with a cap hold of fewer than 2 million dollars. If a team signs him to an offer sheet, we will have to match it, but hopefully we can skate by with keeping him on the books for cheap at the moment. In the 2011 summer, we can sign him to a long term lucrative deal after exhausting our cap space.
-Don't use the Mid-Level or Bi-Annual exception to sign a long term deal
Save our cap space for the following summer. Fill out the roster with veterans at the minimum and D-Leaguers. Use the MLE only if a player is willing to sign for only 1 season.
-Try to trade Monta Ellis
In the much hyped 2010 free agent ‘bonanza' there will be many teams that walk away empty handed. If any of those teams want to grab Ellis for expiring contracts and draft picks, it might be the perfect opportunity to sell while Ellis's stock is at its highest.
Trade these guys during the season to any contenders that want some help. Pick up expiring contracts and draft picks. If unsuccessful at trading them, they will come off the books at the end of the season. Radmanovic can have some value as a backup wing player. Turiaf is signed for the following season at a little over 4 million (PO) but that's not an overpay for a quality backup big man. Wright would still only be 22 and any team that picks him would have him as a restricted free agent at the end of that season. There might be a few teams that would give an end of the first round pick for Wright. Azibuike can net us a late first rounder as an expiring contract and as a solid swing man.
2011 Off Season
We would hopefully have a couple of draft picks in this draft; ours would almost definitely be a lottery pick. By the time free agency comes around we would have only the following number on the books: Biedrins, Curry, Randolph, and Morrows QO number, along with 2 or so draft picks form the 2010 draft, and 2 or so draft picks from the 2011 draft. 2011 free agent class will not be as stocked as the 2010 free agency class, but there will be several young good players to add to our young nucleus, especially if we are one of the few teams that have the salary cap space available to make a run at these players.
Will this happen, probably not. Rob Rowell and Chris Cohan don't have the desire to see a loss at the gate for a better future, and they both definitely don't have the clout to ask the Warrior fans to be patient. While Nellie and Riley speak a good game when talking about preparing the team for the future, I find it hard to see Nellie embrace a complete rebuilding project his last 2 seasons as a coach. But since the Warriors are only a successful team in my imagination land, here is my scenario to fix the Warriors in an imaginary scenario where I the Warriors both wanted to be a successful franchise and was consulting me on how to do it.