Being a Warrior fan has led to love this time of year. The NBA playoffs, the combine and the coming draft. I cherish it less only to March Madness. As a huge college basketball and fan I’ve spent considerable time watching the draft prospects play and know very well, most of their qualities off the top of my head. I’ve recently watched every minute of the draft combine, read and contributed many post on this here site about who our W’s should draft with the #6 pick (assuming we keep it). While there can be a case made for many players, I think this draft is a pretty simple choice for our front office.
It’s clearly a 5 player draft so we have to hold hope we get lucky again and our guy drops to us. Who is that guy? Apparently Curry said he wants Wes Johnson, end of discussion. Although, I’d be happy with any of the top five picks in our lap. Assuming that doesn’t happen the W’s will most likely draft Greg Monroe.
I know, I’m not in love with him either but I’m not convinced with anyone outside the top 5. Good points have been made for Aminu, I think could also be made about Udoh (defense and rebounding, passing & ball handling) however, there is no sure thing. After chewing away at all the pros and cons, Monroe makes the most sense to me for many reasons.
First of all he’s big. We desperately need big men. If history is any indication we’ll have at least 2 of our current big men go down this year with injury. We need to stock up. Can we get a better big men than Monroe out side the draft, and if so, at what cost? He’s a true 6’11” @ 250 pounds. That’s similar size to Goose and Ronny and he’ll be a rookie. Will he be able to add 20lbs of muscle to his frame? If so, he’ll be pretty beasty.
Better yet, he could potentially play next to either of them. Giving us a respectable front line (as far as size goes). Playing with Beidrins, he’d compliment his rebounding with offense. Ronny would compliment his offense, with defense. We’d have 3 big men each with a different skill set and all pretty good at passing the rock. Can you conceive Monroe on the high post feeding Beidrins on the low post or another player cutting to the hoop? Offensively it should work very nicely. We could use more passing on this team….hint to Ellis and Maggette. The point is, he’s a versatile big man who has the size to play center or the skill to play PF. This gives us a bigger, more adjustable front line and correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re more in need of a C/PF than another PF/SF or a SF/SG, right? We’ll be better suited to adjust our line-up to our opponents. If Sac takes Cousins, we’ll be facing him, Griffin, Gasol, Bynum, Thompson, Kaman, Amare, Oden, Aldridge, just to name a few, each 4 times a year.
Defensively he’s not going to stop any of those guys. But, who is? He’s probably not in this draft class but, he’s probably not any worse than what we have. In fact, adding another big body should only help us in our efforts to control the paint. He certainly can’t be worse than Beidrins defensively.
Consider this, when have we ever had the opportunity to draft a player his size with his skill? Randolph was raw, Wrights is not near his size, Beidrins was a project, POB no comment, Diagu, Foyle, no, no, no. Webber and Joe Smith were higher picks ……do you start to get the picture? Sure he needs to improve but typically most draft prospects do, especially big men. He already has a good start and he’s still young. He exhibited significant improvement already from his freshmen to sophomore year. He might just keep going.
I know he’s not the sexy pick. I’m not thrilled about him. But, don’t see myself getting too excited about anyone out of the top five. It seems to be pot luck from 6-20. There will be a lot of hit and misses so from the limited info we have I think we’d be foolish to pass on Monroe. He’s not as athletic or spectacular as we’d like but, paired with a defensive, athletic PF and maybe it works. Could Randolph be that guy? We already have a couple athletic PF’s who can run and jump. Will Monroe be dropping them dimes? I think so. Last year I drafted a post as to why the W’s will draft Steph Curry. This year I’ll finish my post the same. Like it our not, Monroe is probably our guy.