Let's face it, the off-season is usually the most exciting time of year for a Warriors fan. This is our chance to dream of how things might be different next year, and concoct all kinds of unlikely scenarios that might bring us an All-Star through free agency or a blockbuster trade. This year is a little different, in that we haven't had much reason to use our imagination, as each day of this lockout shortened off-season seems to bring a new rumor about the Warriors front office acting aggressively to acquire the best talent available. The most recent news, as reported by Chris Broussard Marc Stein of ESPN, is that the Hornets may be looking to move Chris Paul, and our very own Warriors are on the short list of likely suitors:
The Clippers and Warriors, sources say, are the Hornets' preferred trade partners, but both California teams have hesitations because they want to be sure that Paul is committed to stay before surrendering some of the prized assets that New Orleans is chasing.
When you combine this with the Warriors being mentioned as a possible destination for most of the top free agent big men, you have to start to wonder if the Warriors are going to finally deliver the kind of bold move they've been promising since Joe Lacob and company took over. Jump for a quick rumor round-up and more analysis.
It shouldn't be a surprise that the Warriors are looking for help in the middle after another dreadfully disappointing season from Andris Biedrins. Sure, Udoh did a nice job on the defensive side of the floor, but this is clearly the biggest hole in the line-up if you are looking to build on the existing roster. What has been a bit of a surprise is that, while management has been stating publicly that they don't plan on using the amnesty to wipe Andris' $9 million per year off the books, that hasn't stopped them from kicking the tires on a few players who's signing with Golden State just might be contingent on sending the Latvian packing.
Warriors have been mentioned frequently as a possible destination for the Brazilian. Nene is probably the best all around big man that finds himself an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He's coming off of the best offensive season of his career, where he proved he can be a reliable option in the post by scoring at a rate of 17 pts per 36 minutes on a very impressive .657 TS%. He also knows how to use his 6-11, 260lb frame on defense, doing a fine job defending his man in the post. The biggest problem here is that he's being pursued by plenty of teams, and that competition is bound to drive the price up.
This story really started picking up steam when Chandler was spotted at the Niners game this past Sunday. Rumors immediately started showing up that he was in fact in town to meet with the Warriors. I found this particularly interesting considering this little nugget form Marc Stein's recent article on Tyson:
Sources said Sunday that the teams involved are most likely to make visits to Chandler as opposed to the 29-year-old traveling to the various cities. With free agency so compressed this month after the 149-day lockout, most top free agents are expected to adopt the same approach as opposed to traveling extensively before training camps open, which is also scheduled for Friday.
Chandler would seem a natural fit for a team who is weak in the middle and looking for a key piece to move them toward playing respectable defense.
Monta Ellis for Rudy Gay
While Rudy Gay and his massive contract aren't likely to be a long term answer for this team, it was interesting to see that, if this rumor was to be believed, the Warriors seem to be initiating trade talks involving Monta. As far as I'm concerned, activity on that front should be seen as a good thing. He is the most likely of our "big three" (I still can't type that with a straight face) to be moved, and if the team is going to make a step forward via a trade then it's likely they'll have to find a way to get some value out of Monta Ellis.
Chris Paul for, um, anyone they want... Seriously.
Chris Paul is the type of talent that you do whatever it takes to get when they become available. You move mountains, open nightclubs, you even trade away young promising point guards with charming smiles. Yes, any deal for Paul would certainly have Curry as the centerpiece. The only real question is whether or not they are able to get an extension in place before a deal is made. The Hornets will be looking for a lot in return for CP3, and it would be a big risk to trade away Curry without knowing that Paul was locked up for the foreseeable future.