We hear a lot about the "logjam" at the 1-3 on the Warriors, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that this is the area of the team that needs the most work. The Biedrins/Turiaf and Randolph/Wright situation for our bigs seems to be one that can be very respectable for the coming years. Randolph and Wright still have some work to do (please stay out of foul trouble Randolph! Please!), but the makings are there now for a very good front court. The main issue we seem to have is at our guards and swingmen, something that probably requires a bit of explanation.
Monta Ellis is the only guard we have with a realistic, good shot at an all-star game at some point in his career. It's that simple. I like Morrow, but he doesn't scream future all-star to me; he seems more like a very good complementary piece. Buike is another solid role player. Marco, too. Jack and Maggette have seen their best days at this point. They are not going to radically improve to be the 1st or 2nd option on a winning team. CJ is a backup point guard, nothing more. Jamal Crawford, despite his great game last night, is not a good basketball player. Myself and quite a few other people on these boards have explained why on enough separate occasions that going into detail here seems unnecessary (volume shooter, doesn't rebound/defend, etc.) That's a lot of players, with one very good player. Calling it a "logjam" seems to imply that there are a lot of players who deserve a lot of minutes. If anything, we need ANOTHER swingman/point guard (I'm fine with either, Monta can play the point or slide to the 2, I don't care which he does) who can really play if we are going to make a legitimate playoff push.
How do we start to solve this problem? Step one, in my opinion, is to tell Crawford to opt out or expect the Starbury treatment for the next two years. Tell him straight up "We have enough guards, if you want to play basketball, I'd opt out. You won't be getting playing time here." If it is made clear that he won't be playing, he might realize how hard it will be to get another team to take him on after two years of warming the bench in Oakland. Harsh? Yes. This is nothing against Jamal as a person, just against Jamal as a player. Outside of the occasional game where he catches fire, he is a sizable detriment to the team. We don't need him.
Step Two: The Draft. Depending on position, we should not expect a world beater, but might fall into someone that would work very well for us or that some other team covets. I'd look into trading down or out of the first round if nothing exciting is available or if there's a solid player there, go for it (not rocket science, I know). If we move down, try to shed Jackson or Mags' contract in the process. That probably will require moving one of the solid young guys too, but this is the price we will need to pay. Marco, Mags and our pick for a later draft pick might seem little steep, but we need to make a play for an all-star caliber guard in the next couple years to make a serious contender out of this team. If we luck into a top 2 pick, well, that changes a lot. I've been thinking more and more that Rubio is our franchise's greatest hope if we get one of those picks, but let's not pretend it's likely.
Step Three: Free Agency/Trades. This one is on whoever becomes the next GM. It's a bit early to start seriously considering who will be on the market in either free agency or via trades in the next couple years. Most players listed as "Free Agents" aren't going anywhere. I'd love to see us make a move for Joe Johnson in 2010, but who knows if he'll have an extension by then. It's really going to be a matter of waiting for a possibility and pouncing agressively. All our nice young talent could be possible trade fodder for a borderline all-star type player. If our front court develops nicely, the Warriors would really only need the type of player who gets in the discussion of top tier players, not a surefire all-star guy.
Monta, Biedrins and Randolph could be the core that can win a lot of games. But they will need one more very good player if the team wants to be talked about as a title contender in the next 5 years or so. Standing pat leaves us with a first round playoff series on the road for the foreseeable future. There's a hole to be filled at our guard positions; we need to find that missing piece.