The great All Star Weekend has come upon NBA Nation! It should be a fun weekend featuring an exciting Slam Dunk Contest, a smooth 3 point contest, and a dazzling All Star Game. Sure there are no Warriors in ANY event this year (even the Celebrity Contests), but we'll continue to drop Warrior science all weekend long here at Golden State of Mind.
Tonight the annual Rookie-Sophomore competition tips off and... it's got me worried. The Warriors have not had a participant in the Rook-Soph game for the past two years. For a team that it supposed to be so young and promising shouldn't the Dubs be well represented in the junior festivities?
Of all of the Warriors' problems this season, this should have Warriors Nation the most worried. Warriors management is grossly overestimating the potential of their youth. This year Andris Biendrins joins Mickael Pietrus as Warriors who were not selected to the game in their rookie or sophomore seasons. Warriors rookies Ike Diogu, Montay Ellis, and Chris Taft did make the cut for tonight's rookie roster either.
Pietrus, Biedrins, Diogu, Ellis, and Taft are all favorites of Warriors Nation, but they aren't amazing, rising superstars. It's ridiculous that Chris Mullin deemed rookie Ike Diogu "untouchable" in trade talks for Artest, but he didn't even get selected to the Rookie game.
I'll take off my Warriors (mis)management goggles for second. Here's my projections for the projects:
MP2 has earned the starting SF spot on the Warriors, but that's only because he's outplayed one of the worst #3 picks of all time. In his peak Pietrus will be a 17ppg 4rpg swingman who can defend very well at times. Nice, but not someone you build around.
After Fantasy Junkie called him the "One Minute Man" Biedrins has cut down his inane fouls and played better. Make no mistake, Biedrins is still incredibly raw. He's got the hustle, but he seems to be too much of a project to ever pan out. Biedrins has next to no offensive game. Have you ever seen him shoot a free throw? In his peak Biedrins will be a decent backup center.
Ike has an impressive arsenal of post up moves. The problem is he's just not athletic enough to stay on the floor. His rebounding is pretty poor and his defense is porous. In his peak Ike will be a solid backup forward a la Corliss Williamson.
Taft has been sidelined by some painful back injuries for most of this season. He needs to get in shape, but he's in the unenviable situation of constantly dealing with injuries. It's tough to train and work on your game when you're always rehabbing from injuries. Not to be the voice of doom, but he probably won't be in the league in 3 years because of all these nasty injuries.
Monta is young, quick, and athletic. It's really tough to project how good he will based on his limited playing time and youth. Honestly who knows how good he will be? But, do you really think he's going to be an elite guard? Probably not.
The Warriors should be looking to deal some of their youth along with their bad contracts. None of these players will ever make an All Star game. Remember this is a young league. Lebron and Melo are both under 22. The real All Star snubbing is the Warriors management trying to convince themselves and fans that their youth are potential stars. It's just not going to happen.
Pietrus, Biedrins, Diogu, Ellis, and Taft all seem like good guys and I hope I'm completely wrong with my projections. Actually let me stress that again- I hope I'm completely wrong. I just don't think the Warriors should be banking on them to be franchise saviors.
What are your thoughts about the Warriors' youth?