In all the pre-draft discussion, there's a noticeable absence of talk about our need for a legit SF to go up against the stars of the league at the position like Lebron James and Kevin Durant. The Warriors clearly have problems down low, as they always do, but I suppose that it would be best for the team to resist the temptation to draft an Anthony Randolph 2.0 like Derrick Favors, and instead draft a prototypical SF that we can lock into the starting line-up next to Randolph. Wall, Turner, and Cousins would be worth much deliberation, but if it comes down to Johnson or Favors, I think the make-up of our current roster makes the choice pretty clear. Randolph, Wright, and Biedrins are all coming back, along with Turiaf. Drafting another PF would not only create a situation where there aren't enough minutes to go around but it would almost seal the deal that Randolph will not resign with the Warriors. If we haven't given up on him yet, then we need to stay the course with Randolph as the starter and Wright as the back-up. For the most part, I'm realizing that the best course may be patience with our bigs.
Instead, the Warriors need to acquire a SF that can match-up with the long SFs in the NBA. Right now the position is littered with hybrid 2/3's like Azubuike and Williams. Maggette is efficient and may rebound relatively well for his position but he is by no means a physical presence and has absolutely no chance defending dominant SF's in the league. He's an efficient change of pace off the bench, and there he should remain. Essentially, the team has three back-up SFs.
And so, I propose drafting Wesley Johnson, a player that is long: he boards extremely well for his position (8.5 per) and can also block shots (1.8 per). Those are impressive numbers when put up against the fact that he drastically improved his FG% this past year (50%) by showing excellent shot selection in the mid-range. By all accounts, he's the consummate teammate, a player that defers to his teammates but loves to get out in the open court and play above the rim. Nellie will like the fact that he can also shoot the 3, an attribute that I consider as merely gravy.
Lets face the truth, no big free agents are coming here. And so just like the Thunder, the best chance to compete is to let a young team gel together. We have so many of those pieces already; inserting Johnson and moving Ellis for Iguodala or Mayo (because we need to move Ellis is we're going to be most successful) could make the Warriors a very young and exciting team to follow. I love Monta and think he's a player, but chemistry matters. Lets stop the controversy and trot out a no-nonsense team that will always play hard and together. Here's what I'm saying:
This is my dream line-up for the next 3-5 years. We may not win early, but eventually I think this team could usher in a new era of playoff hoops in the East Bay. When stacked up against the Thunder, a team many are referring to as the model, I would almost prefer our guy at every position but SF.
Curry vs. Westbrook - a matter of styles, both are equal distributors, but Curry scores and Westbrook bodies
Iguodala/Mayo vs. Harden - I'd probably take our guy either way based on athleticism, all three are skilled
Johnson vs. Durant - clearly Durant, but Johnson has the look of a Danny Granger in the making
Randolph vs. Green - Randolph is still raw but he's far superior athletically than Green, who's really a SF
Biedrins vs. Ibaka - Biedrins is still the more experienced player and better rebounder
A top three pick might change this scenario with the possibility of acquiring Wall, Turner, or Cousins. But if we land in the 4-6 range, drafting Wesley Johnson would be a great direction to go, maybe even the best given the current make-up of our roster.
Can't wait to see those ping pong balls droppin!!