Latest Yahoo Warriors Team Report

I've been away from this board, so excuse if already posted.  Anyway, the Yahoo Team Report.  My comments in bold.

Warriors Team Report

Yahoo! Sports 11 hours, 45 minutes ago


The Warriors hired Hall of Famer Jerry West to become an adviser in the franchise’s front office and a member of the executive board.  Yahoo!

West will work with the basketball operations staff and report directly to Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

West, 72, spent 18 seasons as the Lakers’ general manager and seven in Memphis’ front office. He is a two-time NBA executive of the year.

“We are elated to add Jerry West and his incredible list of credentials to our Executive Board,” Lacob said. “His accomplishments in this business as both a player and executive are almost beyond comprehension and certainly well-documented. He’s simply a winner and, quite honestly, you can never have too many of those in your organization.”

West is better known for his accolades on the court, where he was a 14-time All-Star with the Los Angeles Lakers and the inspiration for the NBA’s logo. He is one of only seven players in NBA history to play at least 14 seasons in the league and be selected as a member of the All-Star team every year.

The Warriors are in the process of looking for a coach to replace Keith Smart, whose contract was not renewed in April. Under Smart, the Warriors finished the 2010-11 season 36-46, improving their record by 10 games from the year before, but management felt the need to go in a different direction.

Larry Riley was retained as the Warriors’ general manager last month, and the team also hired former NBA agent Bob Myers to be the assistant general manager and Riley’s eventual successor.

• The Warriors haven’t offered their head-coaching position to anyone, but already three leading candidates have said no.

According to various news sources, longtime head coaches Jerry Sloan and Jeff Van Gundy and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer turned down Warriors requests to be interviewed for the position.  Ouch on Jerry Sloan and I hear Budenholzer would have been a good pick.

They were far from the only three men contacted by Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob and general manager Larry Riley.

Even before the second round of the playoffs had ended, the Warriors had interviewed Lakers assistants Brian Shaw and Chuck Person, former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown and two other current assistants, Lawrence Frank of the Celtics and Dwane Casey of the Mavericks.

The Warriors appear to be in competition for some of the candidates with other teams whose offseasons have begun with coaching vacancies.

Shaw, who grew up in the Oakland area, is considered a candidate to replace Phil Jackson in Los Angeles. Frank and Casey are said to be on the Rockets’ short list to replace Rick Adelman.

Hornets assistant Michael Malone is another name that has been linked to the Warriors’ search.

Season Highlight:   The Warriors finished the season on an upbeat, beating the Mavericks, Trail Blazers and Lakers in consecutive games in April. But no doubt the most encouraging thing that occurred all season in fact didn’t happen during the season at all. When a group led by Joe Lacob acquired the Warriors from Chris Cohan last summer, Golden State fans began to believe again. Adding David Lee and Dorell Wright along the way helped in the rebirth as well.

Turning Point:   As with the Season Highlight, this occurred in the offseason as well. When Stephen Curry sprained his ankle in the lead-up to the World Championships, Warriors fans held their collective breath. It appeared he would have time to make a full recovery before Opening Night, but Curry reinjured the ankle in the final preseason game, a precursor to having to sit out games in two stretches early in the season because of subsequent flare-ups. Curry’s minutes were limited most of the season and he never really recaptured his rookie season’s magic, which many attribute to an ankle that was never 100 percent.  Speaks for itself.


• Even though they had less than a one percent chance of winning the NBA Draft Lottery, the Warriors walked away a bit disappointed.

Why? Because the first two ping-pong balls to come out of the chute were 14-13, a starting combination the Warriors had on two “tickets.”

The final two balls were numbered 7-8, however. The Warriors’ tickets had numbers 9-8 and 10-8.

“One number away from getting the No. 1 pick. One number,” Warriors representative Joe Lacob muttered to  Ooooooh...

The Warriors wound up right where they began the evening—picking 11th.

• The Warriors are expected to think big on draft night, especially with the 11th pick in the draft. So early speculation on the selection focused on Lithuanians Donatas Motiejunas and Jonas Valanciunas, Kansas’ Marcus and Markleff Morris, Texas’ Tristan Thompson, Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried and The Congo’s Bismack Biyombo.  I like Jonas V and then Donatas M in that order.  Also, high on Kawhi Leonard.  Pass on Kanter.  Intrigued by Morris if they trade down.

The Warriors went big seven years ago with the 11th pick and the results were pretty good … a least for a while. Andris Biedrins, the No. 11 overall selection of the 2004 draft, blossomed into one of the most consistent big men in the league early in his career, but he has since slumped into one of the most disappointing.

The Warriors also had the 11th pick in 2003 and selected another foreigner who’s still in the league—guard Mickael Pietrus.

• The San Francisco Chronicle reported the Warriors’ new ownership will not be retaining director of athletic development Mark Grabow, strength and conditioning coach John Murray, director of scouting Scott Pruneau and scout Jim Mitchell.

The report noted that Troy Wenzel, who replaced longtime athletic trainer Tom Abdenour on an interim basis late in the season, will remain with the team.

Quote To Note:   “Changes are taking place within the organization from top to bottom. We’ve talked at length about improvement and a new direction. Joe Lacob’s goal is to get every piece of this organization to be top-notch.”—General manager Larry Riley.


Most Valuable Player:   Monta Ellis. The Warriors haven’t had an All-Star since 1997. In fact, they haven’t even been in the conversation much. The latter changed this season. Ellis, who ranked among the league leaders in scoring all season, was considered by many to have been snubbed when he was not selected to make the trip to Los Angeles. Ellis played 80 of the 82 games, scored 20 or more points more times than not, moved over to point guard when Stephen Curry was on the bench or injured, and was almost always called upon to take the big shots at crunch time. He not only had his best season, but also solidified his position as a foundation block in the Warriors’ future.  Yup.  I agree.

Most Disappointing Player:   Stephen Curry. It would be easy to pick Andris Biedrins, who not all that long ago was deemed good enough to get a $54 million contract extension. But the big left-hander was just as ineffective last season, so at least his poor play could have been predicted. Curry wasn’t nearly as embarrassingly bad, but he certainly rated as a disappointment. Here’s how far the second-year guard fell: He entered the season as an untouchable in the team’s rebuilding effort; he ended it as the most likely player to be dealt in the club’s effort to find an upgrade for Biedrins.  I would have picked Biedrins.

Biggest Needs:   The Warriors fixed half their frontcourt problem with the addition of David Lee last offseason. He’s a top-flight rebounder who can step away from the basket and keep his defender honest. So now the Warriors need to solve the other half of the equation—finding a complement for Lee. That guy ideally would be a low-post scorer and low-post defender. The Warriors might have to trade Stephen Curry to get this guy, which in turn would make finding a guard complement for Monta Ellis their greatest need. Whether Curry is traded or not, drafting a backup point guard is a must.  Trade Curry and not Monta.  LOL.  I'm not advocating trading Curry unless it's for Chris Paul or Deron Williams.  I doubt Cleveland would give up #1 Kyrie for Curry.  That said, I've stated build around Monta, Lee and Curry.

Free Agent Focus:   The Warriors have their top four players (Monta Ellis, David Lee, Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright) locked up, and they’re stuck with Andris Biedrins, so their pending free agents aren’t big-name guys. Louis Amundson, a disappointment this season as a first-year Warrior, has a player option on a $2.4 million second season. It’s possible he’s as interested in leaving a bad situation as the Warriors are in erasing a signing mistake. It would be a surprise if both Reggie Williams and Al Thornton, a pair of free agent swingmen, are retained. With $49 million in guaranteed contracts, the club figures to be at least a small-time player in the free agent market, depending upon where the salary cap lands in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Player Notes: 

• F/C Ekpe Udoh didn’t exactly have a stellar rookie season, but that could be blamed on a thumb injury that cost him much of training camp and almost the entire first half of the season. Most people expect the Warriors to draft a big man with the 11th selection in June, but that might be considered a slap in the face to Udoh, last year’s lottery pick. The Warriors finished the year expecting Udoh to be their starting center of the future. With David Lee set at power forward, you might conclude a team that missed the playoffs by 10 games has greater needs than a backup big man.

• G Jeremy Lin was a great story coming out of the Warriors’ training camp. News that he had signed a two-year deal delighted most fans. But recently it has been reported that the second year of his contract is not guaranteed, rendering him to just another player at training camp this fall.  I was rooting for him, but JL is gone next season if we can get a bench.

• G Acie Law has been the Warriors’ backup point guard at the end of each of the last two seasons despite never holding the position at the end of training camp. Considering that he’s a free agent again, it’s possible his status will be the same—not on the roster—come opening night next season. If the Warriors go big with their lottery pick in June, they might look for their backup point guard of the future with the No. 44 selection of the second round.

Medical Watch: 

• G Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) played the Warriors’ final 54 games, so obviously the injury wasn’t serious. Or at least Curry never told anybody it was. But he didn’t play nearly as well in 2010-11 as he had the previous season, after having injured the ankle in the offseason. After playing for the United States team in the World Championships last summer, what Curry needs now is a long vacation. That should assure his ankle is 100 percent for the start of training camp in October.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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