Oof, this has been a tougher off-season than usual for Warriors fans. Or has it? Are we getting better? Either way, it's pretty clear that we are not done making moves.
With the departure of Buke, AR, AMmo, Turiaf, CJ, and probably Tolliver it seems like the Dubs are going to be a completely different team next year. Although we lost a lot of games, I really liked to see the team chemistry between our young guys.
And as I watch the news about Harrington, Barnes, and Jax (not to mention J Rich and B Diddy) making their own waves in the NBA, I can't help but wonder which one of our recent (or impending) former players is going to become an important player in someone else's rotation.
Here's my top 5 picks to make a splash in the NBA this season, and the reasoning:
1.) AR -Not because of his play, but because he may end up being the centerpiece of a deal that brings CP3 (or Melo?..see bullet number 3 below) to the Knicks. I'm not so hurt about trading AR as I was at first. Yeah, he's hella good in theory, but if you have Monta trying to get you in the right spot on the floor (as I saw more than once last season) it's a pretty good indicator that you are LOST on the floor. And as far as AR's mid-range jumper....as my high school coach used to yell at me when I shot outside of my range: "You're open for a reason out there! Pass the ball or go to the hole!"...you listening Randolph?
2.) Barnes -I wish we would have kept this guy, but you can see from his recent contract decisions that we would have had to overpay to keep him since we are pretty far from an elite team. Barnes is a beast (ok, maybe more of a big dawg, than a beast...but more than decent) on the perimeter, and not afraid to mix it up down low. For sure going to play his way up into the Lakers rotation (maybe second player off the bench) and that is really saying something on a team as deep as the Lake show.
3.) Harrington -I was glad to see this guy go. Too slow. Too inconsistent with level of aggressiveness. No defense. Plus, something about him just makes me not like him (as a fan, I think we are allowed to include this in our assessments). I can already see Chauncey or Melo trying to straighten him out after some lazy defense, or stupid offensive play. Knowing Al, he's going to be a little baby about it and the team chemistry is going to suffer. Eventually this is just going to re-enforce Melo's desire to get out of the mile high.
4.) Steph -My vote for most likely to make the all star team this year. With a healthy (please, please, please) B Wright, Beans, and Lee, Steph is going to BLOW UP!! Plus, without AMmo and Buke, I expect Steph to be a bit more assertive on the offensive end.
5.) Monta -Here is where I'm the most uncertain. Will Monta stay or go? Not sure...but one thing is certain, the boy is a baller and our most likely trade bait. Stats be damned, we put a lot of pressure on Monta to bail us out with the shot clock winding down and everyone watching. Some of this is Nelson's fault, sure. But some of it is also related to the fact that Monta can take anyoneto the hole. Is he a little shorter and skinnier than we would like? yeah, but b-ball is about putting your best squad on the floor (look at the Rockets at the beginning of last season) and Monta is one of the best in the NBA....I mean come on gang, you have to put him in the top 20 players in the entire league...right?
thanks for reading this far down....I think Monta is going to be the next to go, but probably not until the trade deadline