As draft day approaches, it is difficult to put a finger on exactly who the Golden State Warriors will choose come June 23rd. Will the Warriors draft an American or go overseas? Will they trade up or stay put? These daunting questions will not be answered until David Stern announces the eleventh pick in the 2011 draft. The Warriors are currently having individual workouts and will continue to do so until a clear draftee has been chosen. The Warriors needs include depth and an interior presence. Drafting a player who can rebound and protect the paint is type of guy the Warriors will try to snatch. If Golden State picks up a big man through free-agency however, look for them to draft the best player available, regardless of his position. Let’s take this time to look upon a few of the “Dubs” possible candidates.
Bismack Biyombo F/C –Congo
There are some mixed emotions with Biyombo. He is a 6’9 center with a tremendous wingspan. Bismack is a lottery pick candidate because of his hustle, defense, and blocking specialty. As for rebounding, the guy seems to have no problem of getting scrappy. Now here is what decreases his stock greatly. Biyombo has know where close to a NBA ready offensive game. He is lacking both footwork and overall awareness on the court. Another area, needing improvement for Biyombo, is his shooting and passing. Bismack is a below average free throw shooter and does not have a great jump shot. His passing is not terrible but not to the status of a big man like David Lee per say. An additional part of the African’s game, needing refinement, is his overall offensive awareness. Fundamentals and self discipline need to develop. During the European workout Biyombo chose to opt out of the scrimmages and do various one-on-none drills. Most of these drills focused on his perimeter game, not a strong point for Biyombo. With missing nearly 75 percent of his shots, the big mans stock might have took a big hit. One European scout present at the workout said:
“He played one on none and lost”
Klay Thompson SG/SF –Washington State
Klay Thompson is simply one of the best shooters in this years draft class. With his commitment to getting himself open and working off the ball, this guy will most certainly be a decent, if not great, scorer at the pro level. Another top attribute of Thompson is his strength and size. Standing at 6’6 and 205 pounds, he has the ideal body of a NBA shooting guard. Klay can utilize his left hand effectively and applies the use of a pump fake to get open shots. Lastly, he has a nice basketball IQ with a positive assist to turnover ratio. Although the Washington State shooting guard is a perfect fit for the NBA in terms of size, he is still a below average athlete. In addition Thompson is not good in the open court and finds it difficult to create his own shot off the dribble. His footwork will need improvement if he looks to play against some of the elite shooting guards the NBA has to offer. Also keep in mind, Klay received a one game suspension for a marijuana charge.
Jonas Valanciunas C - Lietuvos Rytas
The Lithuanian big man has great size and rebounding skills. Jonas runs the floor nicely for a center and gets a nice amount of tip-ins and offensive rebounds, due to his aggressiveness when attacking the basket. Another area, in which Valanciunas thrives in for his position, is his free throw shooting. He has a nice looking form and can make an occasional jump shot. It seems as if Jonas Valanciunas is extremely efficient on the offensive end, for he had a 70% field goal percentage in the European league. With that being said he cannot create his own offense yet. Jonas can finish but needs the help of teammates to set him up. He is a poor passer and is not great at creating offense anywhere other then in the paint. Like Andris Biedrins, Valanciunas get’s into trouble foul quickly which may drop his stock in the Warriors eyes. Lastly, he has a 3 million dollar buyout meaning he is unlikely to come to the NBA for a few years.
Alec Burks SG - Colorado
Alec Burks certainly has the NBA-ready length. With a 6’6 structure and a 6’10 wingspan he seems to be a dream fit for the 2 spot. Burks however, can also play the point guard role very effectively. This is mainly because he is an advanced ball handler and has the ability to finish in traffic, with either hand. Another area, in which the former buffalo has no problem in, is his will to rebound. Alec’s aggressiveness and anticipation on the glass gets him a tremendous 6.5 rebounds a game. Another pro of Alec Burk’s game is his length and athleticism. This will make it much easier for him to defend and stay in front of his man at the next level. Even though his strengths are great, there is a whole lot he will need to work on. For starters, he needs to add weight to his 192 lb. frame. He will be pushed around to easily with such a small body. Another weakness in Burk’s game is his 3 point shooting; he shot only 29% from behind the arc this past year. He also has trouble guarding smaller guards and needs to improve footwork and speed to stay in front of them. Lastly the role of a shooting guard in the NBA is pretty self explanatory. You need some one who can flat out shoot the ball. Alec Burks needs to improve in this area. His mid range as well as long range shot is extremely inconsistent.
Jeff Bzdelik, Colorado head coach: “Alec just plays with so much passion”
It is most definitely clear that the athletes above are not the only possible players for the job. The Warriors franchise has never been easy to figure out and this year is no different. One thing is for certain; the Warriors will have numerous amounts of players to choose from on draft night.