If I Were the King of the Warriors
The 2009-2010 NBA season is over the Warriors have had an injury plagued season. The team has many assets and liabilities and is on the verge of being sold. I buy the team I make myself the GM.
I. Players That May or May Not be Warriors Next Year
Offense: Obviously Curry is a future star in the league capable of putting up 20 PPG and 7-8 APG efficiently. Curry's shooting is unbelievable for a rookie and his passing has potential to improve the efficiency of his teammates.
Defense: Curry is not the best but he will most likely improve. Curry is not as bad as some people claim he is on defense. What he lacks in lateral quickness he makes up for in forcing turnovers, remember a steal not only takes away an attempt from your opponents, it also is likely to give your team an attempt. Curry's main problem defensively from what I see is being out muscled by stronger opponents, he does his best but there is not much he can really do. All of his other skills make up for this weakness.
Offense: Despite scoring relentlessly and making some spectacular plays Ellis's efficiency has dropped in the last two seasons. Having a player shoot so many times at such bad efficiency is like having a poison pill on your team. With that being said no one should fault Ellis for taking so many shots on a team with 8 active players most of which were not drafted, from the D-league or unproven. On a positive note Ellis seems to be developing a better 3 point shot.
Defense: Ellis has absolutely proven that he is a good defender I have no clue why people criticize him on defense. Ellis guards larger opponents effectively, forces turnovers and does as good a job as you could ask for someone of his build and height.
Offense: Maggette is a awesomely efficient player and that is great, but he is also a catch 22. Maggette seems to know that he is efficient and when he gets the ball he rarely passes, when he is at his best he is driving to the rim drawing fouls and hitting jump shots. When he is at his worst he is missing jump shots and killing the ball movement on the team. I don't think Maggette is used to playing with a point guard like Curry, he is best in one on one situations.
Defense: Maggette seems to have somewhere between bad and average defense. He is definitely not a lock down defender, but he isn't a slouch either. Corey doesn't force a ton of turnovers either.
Offense: Randolph takes too many shots for his current level of offensive efficiency. Randolph should at this point take a limited number of jump shots and refrain from driving into the lane with the ball aside from maybe one or two attempts until he is more effective. Randolph could be a powerful offensive weapon if he played off the ball and around the rim receiving passes for dunks and tipping in offensive rebounds. Right now Randolph tries to do too much for his current skill level, he isn't letting the game come to him. Really it is either that the coaching staff has done a bad job instructing him what to do, or he is too immature to follow directions.
Defense: Randolph grabs rebounds well and blocks shots well, but he is too skinny to be a good post defender he is easily out muscled by many opposing centers and forwards. If the Warriors are going to keep Randolph as their power forward of the future Randolph needs to gain weight, or they need to have another better defensive presence down low to off set Randolph's weakness. Like his offensive game Randolph's defense seems unfocused and erratic. All of this is to be expected for someone of his age.
Offense: Everyone knows that Biedrins is good at cleaning up on the offensive glass and tipping the ball in. He also has soft hands and a very small inkling of a post game. Biedrins has great field goal percentage numbers which are unfortunately negated somewhat by his atrocious free throw shooting. Biedrins can be counted on for some fairly efficient scoring that happens only when the ball just happens to be in his hands at exactly the right time.
Defense: Biedrins is a great defensive rebounder and he can block shots too. Biedrins is a little better than Randolph at post defense, but he is still very bad. Biedrins will have to double the intense focus he has had in the past to play alongside Randolph on the defensive end if the duo will ever be effective defensively.
Offense: Watson sometimes has outbursts of scoring and he does so somewhat effectively. He can out muscle smaller point guards but his outside shot is not as effective as others on the team and he is undersized for being a two guard.
Defense: Watson is undersized and doesn't do a fantastic job guarding 2 guards. Watson's saving grace is that he forces a ton of turnovers and seems to annoy the hell out of opponents on the defensive end. Watson is basically an average defender when it comes down to it.
Offense: Morrow's offensive game has been greatly expanded as he now drives to the basket in slow motion occasionally and has developed a knack for hitting quick contested jumpers from close range. Morrow is efficient as one can be offensively thanks to his patented, revolutionary and never before seen 3 point shot.
Defense: Morrow makes himself a pest and he tries really hard but he has bad lateral quickness and can be beaten badly by opponents driving past him. Morrow creates a lot of jump balls and he hustles like crazy on the defensive end, but his athleticism holds him back.
Offense: Williams randomly and suddenly developed a deadly jump shot somewhere between college and present day. In the past he wasn't even that good of a FT shooter, now he past half way decent. Reggie Williams finds ways to score and he does so remarkably efficiently. Williams is also the total package offensively, he is more than willing to pass. If he were a few years younger and we had drafted him in the first round he would be talked about throughout the NBA and be even more revered by Warriors fans. The addition of Williams may have given the Warriors enough wins to effectively knock us out of the top 3 in lotto balls. Out consolation prize however is pretty good its Reggie Williams.
Defense: Williams is less impressive on the defensive end. Williams is another Warrior in a long line of Warriors who tries hard despite not having the natural tools to be a great defender in the NBA. Williams seems to be disciplined enough to sometimes rise above his averageness and become effective in tight spots.
Offense: Wright is less versatile but more effective than Randolph on the offensive end he even has what seems to be a post game. Wright isn't the most spectacular player and won't be able to turn the franchise around but he is better than people have given him credit for.
Defense: Reports surfaced that Wright had gained some weight and everyone was happy because Wright cannot defend larger opponents down low due to his extremely skinny frame. To make matters worse Wright also seems to do the wrong things on the defensive end. His rebounding is average and his shot blocking seems to be good but that only masks Wrights fairly large defensive issues. On the bright side Wright like Randolph is a very young player and still has room to improve.
Offense: Nothing much to Turiaf's game, he can hit short jumpers sometimes but his major offensive ability is getting the ball down low at just the right time and dunking it. Turiaf takes few shots but he is an efficient scorer in his limited attempts.
Defense: Turiaf blocks shots incredibly well but his rebounding is not fantastic for someone his size. Turiaf's post defense seems to be better than Biedrins although still not elite by any stretch. Also Turiaf seems to show some stamina issues.
Offense: At this point Radmanovic seems to be a shooting forward that misses a lot of shots and is not very effective offensively. In the past Radmanovic has been near deadly from beyond the arc but his days of shooting over 40% from beyond the arc seem to be gone or in remission. Radmanovic is known to be a streaky shooter, with the Warriors he has not been streaky and I will leave it at that.
Defense: Radmanovic showed good effort and hustle in his short stint before getting injured. Radmanovic could be called a decent defender. He forces jump balls saves balls from flying out of bounds, he also gets his hands in opponents faces and makes them perturbed.
Offense: Tolliver started out pretty slow, but got better at the twilight of the season. Tolliver isn't particularly efficient but he can shoot a three just well enough to make his shots worth wild and he can scrap for points down low as well. This is a good reason the Warriors might want to bring Tolliver back next year.
Defense: A better defender at power forward than Wright or Randolph and a decent rebounder. Tolliver puts in tremendous effort on the defensive end and it seem to pay off fairly well. He isn't great but he is solid.
Offense: Hunter benefits from point guards who pass him the ball at the right time. Hunter's jump shot is not great but it seems to at least exist in some fashion. He doesn't seem to be as adapt at running the floor with the rest of the team.
Defense: Hunter seems to be an effective low post defender part of the time, probably more effective at guarding the low post than the other centers. This is a strong case for keeping Hunter on next year.
Offense: Azubuike has always been an effective member of the Warriors until the injury. Azubuike is a versatile player who can get to the rim and shoot threes and do it all fairly efficiently, lets hope the Warriors get the same Azubuike back offensively after the year long hiatus.
Defense: Azubuike can grab boards for being 6'5” this is a needed skill for the Warriors if they want to compete in that category. Azubuike seems to play average one on one defense but doesn't force as many turnovers as some of his compatriots.
II. Trading Block: Creating a More Cohesive Core
I think that the biggest weakness of the team is the low post defense and the lack of size down low. Wright and Randolph are two raw power forwards on the same team this is unnecessary. I agree that both have potential hut one of them has to go we cannot afford to give significant minutes to players who are that Raw. Of the two I would trade Randolph only because he seems to be deemed more of a future star and therefore could yield more of a return.
Randolph or Wright
Between Ellis and Curry it is clear that Ellis is more expendable. I think that Ellis can play with Curry effectively but for the right price I would personally be willing to let Ellis go.
With Azubuike coming back and Williams slated to be on the team next season Maggette seems to be the odd man out, with a large contract. Clearly trading Maggette would not bring us equal talent but Azubuike and Williams seem to be good candidates for Maggette's job. I would trade mid season to see is Azubuike is back to full health.
We need a low post defender and we also need rebounds. Although his rebounds would be sorely missed the team cannot afford to be out muscled down low every night like we did in 2009-2010. Only trade Biedrins if you can get a player who can run the floor and defend down low, which is not an easy task. This makes Turiaf only expendable if Biedrins is not traded.
Biedrins or Turiaf
Radmanovic will be a valuable expiring contact and will make for a good piece to a package.
If we do resign C.J. Watson we might be able to package him with someone else and get something from him mid season.
New Core without taking into account what was received through trades.
Curry/(need back up PG that can create shots for others)
Randolph or Wright/Tolliver
Biedrins or Turiaf/Hunter
Target Players(Players that can help that maybe we could get in a trade)
Priorities Based on Talent
Wall: Future Super Star?
Cousins: Future dominant center?
Turner: Solid versatile SG/SF?
Favors: The Next Stoudemire?
Priorities Based on Need
Turner: Most polished player
Favors: Only because he is still a raw talent
Cousins: Can he run the floor, does he have stamina?
Wall: We have Curry, Wall won't be great for a few years
It is my belief that if we get a pick past No. 4 it is expendable in a trade package for something more valuable at the moment for the Warriors.
If we get the No. 1 pick we should package Wall with Maggette's contact for a block buster trade. There is no sense in getting Wall when we have Curry, and there is no sense on passing up the value of Wall as a player for another team. This would be a controversial decision that may be mocked by generations of fans but I believe that it would make the Warriors better.
If we get the No. 2 pick we should draft Turner and never look back, we should trade the necessary players to give Turner significant time at SG/SF.
If we get the No. 3 pick we should draft Favors, we should make sure that he knows his role with the team and racket up his playing time as the year progressed.
If we get the No. 4 pick we should draft Cousins and finally have a low post scorer/tough defender and platoon him with the existing centers until he gets accustom to the Warriors system and improves his stamina enough to play more minutes.
Next year will be Nelson's last year as the coach and in my opinion Nelson is the right coach for the current team. The Warriors are built around Nelson and although I don't like some of Nelson's decisions I think that he would be the most effective coach for the team next year.
I would like to have a protegee, maybe Keith Smart to take over after Nelson is done. What I want to see carry over from Neslon is the fast paced exciting Warrior we are used to maybe just smarter and with a better ability to play half-court if needed. What I would not like to see is a team that is purposefully put on a rebounding disadvantage. Rebounding is such an important part of t he game it is hard to win when you can't out rebound opponents.
If the Warriors become more successful and start making the early rounds of the playoffs I would hire a more high profile coach that slowly brings the team away from the current run and gun strategy to create a more perinatal playoff contender that would have the ability to attract a premier player preferably a center and possibly win a championship or two.
Conclusion: It is difficult to find an efficient point guard that makes his teammates more efficient, almost as hard as it is to find a big man that can defend and run the court. The current Warriors team is broken mostly because of a lack of defense against teams that have the ability to score down low. The Warriors also lack defense in other areas as well, and have an inexperienced core at the power forward position. These problems must be remedied. If that means trading a star like Monta Ellis, or trading a future super star like the no. 1 pick that is what needs to be done.