Monday, November 24, 2008


Future Frontline of Randolph, Wright, and Biedrins

I was fairly certain that the Warriors absolutely had to tank and draft a top tier PG like Rubio in order to become a contender. But with the emergence of Morrow, the drafting of Randolph, the upside of Wright, the potential stardom of Ellis and Biedrins, and the veterans Jackson, Maggette, and Crawford - they just might have enough to grow into contenders. Sure, tanking would make this team even stronger, but it may not be necessary to win it all 3-5 few years from now.

The Warriors can follow the Pistons model of building a contender and put together a formidable Starting 5 with a deeper bench. I think they have all but one of the pieces...a true PG. But with the current cast, I don't believe it's necessary to have a Chris Paul level PG to succeed. The Warriors need to draft/acquire a mid-level PG like Rondo, Ford, or Duhon. Those types could be had in the middle of the draft, the Warriors' likely draft position. The Warriors could even trade up a few slots to draft a better PG because they have the surplus of assets to do so.

Hypothetical Lineup in 2010

PG: Ellis / Crawford / Patrick Mills*
SG: Jackson / Crawford / Morrow / Azubuike / Belinelli
SF: Randolph / Maggette / Jackson / Azubuike
PF: Wright / Randolph / Hendrix
C: Biedrins / Wright / Turiaf

* other possibilities for next year: Nick Calathes, Darren Collison, Eric Maynor, Tyreke Evans?, Ty Lawson, Jonny Flynn, Greivis Vasquez
* or trade up for: Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry?

There's a logjam of talent at the 2 and 3. I would use Maggette, Azubuike, Belinelli and their pick as trade bait to move further up in the draft if possible.

Australia vs USA Basketball 5th August '08 // BOOMERS & PAT MILLS TOP PLAYS!
From: msfbasketball

This group is loaded with guys that could play multiple positions allowing Nellie to go big, small, or traditional. The catch is, Nelson needs to continue to develop the Bigs in order to have them ready within a year or two. That means consistent minutes every night and the best Big-man coaching possible. When the Bigs are ready, the Warriors will be defined by their versatility, athleticism, quickness, length, and scoring ability at all positions and deep into the bench.

Wright is ahead of Biedrins' development if you compare each of them at the start of the 2nd years. I see Wright with almost as much potential as a post scorer as Biedrins, and in addition, a little more range to enable him to be a threat to drive or shoot from 10-15 feet out. He's a much better shot blocker as well.

Randolph is scary good. His combination of size, defense, ball handling, competitive fire, and confidence make him 'Gold Medal Superstar' material. He could be the impact player that puts this team on his back when he is in his prime. Championship teams have that big time star, and Randolph is their best chance at filling that requisite. If he gets close (All-Star level) then that may be good enough, given the rest of the talent on the roster.

The discovery of Morrow is huge, not only because he is the Warriors' best shooter, but because he can also be used in a trade if necessary. By signing this undrafted player from Georgia Tech, it's as if they landed a free lottery pick. A package including a combination of a developed Wright, improved Morrow, Maggette, Crawford, and future picks can get you that star that bolsters the Starting 5 even more. The Warriors are blessed with many young players that other teams would covet if they were forced to trade a disgruntled star and they don't have the leverage to get back equal value.

Ellis and Biedrins put Championship in the realm of possibility (though unlikely), Wright made things more interesting, Randolph made it seem even more plausible, and Morrow gave me even greater hope. Continued improvement, the addition of a true PG, better assistant coaching (defense and Big-man gurus), and the surrounding veteran stability (Jackson, Crawford, Maggette, Turiaf) just might be enough to get fans to utter the words "Championship Contenders" by 2011.

Patrick Mills on Trans World Sport
From: dfdfec

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