With the Golden State Warriors at risk of losing Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack to free agency, the team will obviously need to consider contingency plans in order to replace their spots in the rotation.
We've already looked at free agent options both at point guard and in the post and we previously got some insight from SB Nation's Jonathan Tjarks about whether there are any potential point guard prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft. The other day I followed up with Tjarks about the draft to look at potential power forward prospects.
Obviously, the chances of a) buying into the draft and b) finding a productive player to "replace" what either of those veterans brought to the Warriors are slim. Still, it's worth exploring what might be available in the draft in the event someone drops into the range the Warriors are willing to spend or out of the draft entirely.
For those of you who have followed the draft closely even though the Warriors don't figure to be major players might see this as 101 level talk about the 2013 NBA Draft. For those that were more than willing to forget about the draft in favor of looking ahead to the playoffs, read on.
Q&A with Jonathan Tjarks on power forward prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft
1. GSoM: When you compare the point guard group in this year's draft to the post group, which would you say is the deeper bunch?
Jonathan Tjarks: There's no question this year's PG crop is significantly better, if for no other reason than how bad last year's group was. There were only 7 PG drafted in 2012. Of that group, Damian Lillard is the only one who looks like a sure-fire starter. The others -- Kendall Marshall, Tony Wroten, Marquis Teague, Tyshawn Taylor -- still have to prove they can be legitimate backups. Wroten is a wild card b/c he has so much raw talent, but the other three would be scratching and clawing to make the Top 10 at the position this year.
2. GSoM: Carl Landry has been a guy who the Warriors could count on for scoring in the paint and he did so extremely efficiently this past season. Do you see any players in the mid- to late-first round who could develop into that type of post scorer?
JT: It's hard to say, just because post scoring has become something of a dying art. So many teams would rather space the floor from the power forward position or play a guy who can help them defensively. Not sure of the chicken/egg effect here, but the best young 4's would rather face up and attack off the dribble or shoot 3's.
The two who probably come closest to fitting your description are Brandon Davies of BYU and Jackie Carmichael of Illinois State. I think both can stick in the NBA as reasonably productive third big men in a rotation.
DraftExpress scouting report for Jackie Carmichael. Click here for their full profile.
3. GSoM: I know Tony Mitchell is a guy that you've been high on. What type of situation do you think he'd thrive in? And would he be a guy that could work with the Warriors?
JT: The best fit for Mitchell would be an uptempo team that spaces the floor and has a PG who can set him up for easy shots. Ideally, an established team that wouldn't ask him to do much early in his career and let him grow into a role on both sides of the ball. So yeah, Golden State would pretty much be an ideal scenario, especially because Mark Jackson has shown that he isn't afraid to give young players a chance.
To get Mitchell, you would probably have to get back into the first round. I'm curious as to how much that will cost this year. Last year, Golden State essentially paid $11 million (in the form of Richard Jefferson's contract) to take Festus Ezeli.
4. GSoM: The Warriors have also shown their willingness to actively use the D-League to develop players. Are there any posts who might be available who could have a chance to develop into contributors over time in the D-League that Golden State and Santa Cruz Warriors fans might want to keep an eye on?
JT: The "stretch 4" went mainstream in the college game this year. It seemed like half of the teams in the Top 10 had one. There's a big group of them in the borderline category of this year's draft -- Kenny Kadji, Ryan Kelly, James Southerland, Erik Murphy, Christian Watford. The most intriguing might be Grant Jerrett, a McDonald's All-American who declared after averaging 5 points a game as a freshman. He's a first-round talent who might be available well into the second round.
The one real wild card is CJ Leslie. He has what I like to call the curse of the big man with a J: he needs to either stop shooting them or start making them at a higher percentage. He also needs to play defense, compete harder on the glass and put some more weight on his frame. His body language on the court isn't helping things either. Nevertheless, he's got a ton of talent. High ceiling and a low floor.
Also -- quite the poet.
For more on the 2013 NBA Draft, check out SB Nation's draft section.