48 wins and only 2 games out of a playoff spot. We're closer to competing for a title than many realize - Baron agrees in this KNBR interview. The disappointing finish left a bad taste in the mouths of many Warrior fans and their knee-jerk reaction is to blow this team up and start over. Up until early March, thoughts of a 4th or 5th seed didn't seem so far fetched. But due to a number of factors outlined previously on this blog, the wheels came off at the end and our playoff hopes disappeared. If we start rebuilding now, it will be another few years until we sniff the playoffs, so why not give it our best shot for the next two years (while Jackson is still under contract) and then rebuild afterwards.
What this team needs is a stronger bench, a true backup PG, better defense, better rebounding, and better shot blocking. With these improvements to the team, a fresher Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson could be the difference between missing out and competing hard deep into the playoffs. Those two captains were nearly named to the Western Conference All-Star Team. When those two are able to preform at their peak, the Warriors are as dangerous a team as any. Keeping their minutes down will be the key to a more successful season and here is a way to try and achieve that goal without sacrificing the future.
Trade Al Harrington for Earl Watson + Nick Collison + #32 Pick
Draft Marreese Speights w/ #14 Pick
Draft Mario Chalmers w/ #32 Pick
Draft Pat Calathes w/ #49 Pick
Extend Baron Davis (5 yr/$57m : $13m, $13m, $11.6m, $10.3m, $9.1m) 3rd & 4th yr. P.O. , 5th yr T.O
Re-sign Monta Ellis (5 yr/$45.4m : $7.5m, $8.3m, $9.1m, $9.9m, $10.7m)
Re-sign Andris Beidrins (5 yr/$41.1m : $6.8m, $7.5m, $8.2m, $8.9m, $9.7m)
Re-sign Kelenna Azubuike (3 yr/$9m : $2.5m, $3m, $3.5 mil) 3rd yr. P.O.
Re-sign Matt Barnes (2 yr/$3.2m : $1.5m, $1.7m) 2nd yr. P.O.
Sign Josh Childress (5 yr/$29m : $5.0m, $5.4m, $5.8m, $6.2m, $6.6m) 5th yr. P.O.
T.O. = Team Option, P.O. = Player Option
Baron Davis - $13,000,000
Stephen Jackson - $7,140,000
Monta Ellis - $7,500,000
Andris Biedrins - $6,800,000
Nick Collison - $6,250,000
Adonal Foyle - $6,900,000
Earl Watson - $6,200,000
Josh Childress - $5,000,000
Kellena Azubuike - $2,300,000
Brandan Wright -$2,497,320
Kosta Perovic - $1,944,000
Marco Belinelli - $1,445,720
Marreese Speights - $1,424,400
Matt Barnes - $1,500,000
Mario Chalmers - $750,000
Pat Calathes - $700,000
Total Team Salary - $71,352,440
2008/2009 Warriors Lineup:
PG: Davis/E. Watson/Chalmers
This team is a lot better than last year's in many respects. With only 6 players under contract for the 2008-2009 season, the Warriors need quality bodies that will fill needs and provide a stronger, more reliable bench.
- Harrington is traded for two quality players that immediately increase depth and address deficiencies in the previous roster. With Watson, Baron gains a legit backup that would allow him to get his rest and increase his productivity. With Collison, we get a hard nosed rebounder that compliments Wright and Biedrins' games. Click here for additional details
- In order to insure Baron stays for the duration of the 2-year window, he needs to be given a long term deal that appeals to him. If he's serious about winning like he said in his recent interview, Baron will take a short term pay cut in order for the team to field a competitive team that fits under the luxury tax threshold. In the long term, he'll likely make more money overall with this deal than if he decided to opt out this year or risk getting a much lower contract as a free agent in the Summer of 2009. He'll get $26m for the next 2 seasons with the option to get out of the contract in the Summers of 2010 and 2011. The salary levels decline as the years pass and they are at a reasonable enough level (Billups at 31 years old is comparable) for Baron to be moved for an expiring deal down the line, if necessary.
- Signing Josh Childress for the MLE gives us a reliable, versatile 6th man that fits nicely with the Warriors' style of play. He plays hard at both ends of the floor, shoots at a high percentage, rebounds well from the SF position, and has the ability to distribute the ball. ESPN Game Log
- Drafting Marreese Speights gives the Warriors a future stud at the PF/C position. His midrange shooting, incredible footwork, rebounding and shotblocking ability, and mobility will allow him to eventually step in as part of a fierce trio made up of Wright, Biedrins, and Spieghts. Click for additional information on Marreese Speights
- Drafting Mario Chalmers gives us one of the best perimeter defenders coming out of college. He's talented enough to guard the 2 when Monta slides to the 1. He's a born leader, fearless, and a clutch performer. His long arms, quickness, and ability to deflect passes makes him a perfect addition to Nelliball. ESPN Profile
- Drafting Pat Calathes gives the Warriors a point forward with outstanding ball-handling, court vision, awareness, and perimeter shooting. He'll be able to play 3 positions and will fit nicely into the Warriors system. ESPN Profile
- Internal development will naturally make this team stronger than last year's team. Monta and Biedrins will continue to get better. Wright and Belinelli will play a more prominent role. Azubuike and Perovic also have room to grow and should help provide meaningful minutes off the bench.
This new group of players stay together for the next 2 years. Chemistry will have time to develop in this fine mix of veterans and youngsters. The young players will get better. All the new additions fit the Warriors' style of play. Davis, Monta, and Jackson will lead the team with All-star caliber play. Defense is improved with the additions of Spieghts, Collison, Chalmers, Childress, and Watson. The future is bright with the addition of the draft picks. Davis, our leader and star player, will be around to hold this team together for at least the next 2 years. Without him, this team is just another mediocre late lottery team. With him, this is a team that is ready to compete hard in the Western Conference Playoffs.
Josh Childress - Forgotten Josh MIX by MISIEK
Earl Watson alley oop UCLA vs Maryland
Nick Collison - Nick Who MIX by MISIEK