Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Warriors Look to Make this Off-Season Count

After last year's off season, the Warriors can only do better. Being the first game of the season, team captain Baron Davis slipped away, leaving a huge void in at the point guard position along with questions. Who will be the leader of the team? Stephen Jackson? More important, who will run the point? Monta Ellis? That question was quickly answered. Moped. That's all I need to say. With only Jackson left as a proven scorer, Chris Mullen went to the free agent market and picked up Corey Maggette from the Clippers. Maggette missed a large part of the first half of the season, but found his role as a sixth man. He was productive, but not for the $50 million the Warriors dished out.

Injuries hit this team hard in 2008-09'. There wasn't a player on this roster that didn't experience an injury of some kind. The late season injuries to Ellis, Jackson, Maggette, and Biedrins were disappointing, but helped the young guys get minutes coach Nelson may not have allowed if he had his able bodied starters he holds so close, like a baby's security blanket. It's not like the W's were playoff bound, it was more important to develop the rookies for future seasons.

The Warriors have a shot to get back into the Playoffs next season, but not with the players on the roster right now. The Warriors have more wings than Popeye's, shooting guards and small forwards galore: Ellis, Jackson, Crawford, Maggette, Belinelli and Morrow. There are simply not enough minutes for all these players to be productive, some will have to be dealt. There are only three players I am unwilling to part with if I am Warriors management. Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, and Anthony Randolph; otherwise, I support giving up anyone else for young players to fill needed positions.

Thanks to their poor record this season, the Warriors should get the 7th pick in the first round of the NBA draft. There are several intriguing players that might be available. Brandon Jennings is an 18 year old 6-1, lefty, super athletic point guard who played a professional season in Italy instead of college. He is lightning quick and able to get up the rim to jam, as well as pass. He'd be a great add to the gold and blue, but many experts have him going to the T-Wolves (Minnesotta T-Wolves Schedule) at pick 6. The next player could be Earl Clark from Louisville. At 6-10, he could play power forward or small forward. He is a skilled scorer and showed good range beyond the college three point arc. Clark has plenty of big game experience playing in the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament. Gerald Henderson, the 6-4 shooting guard from Duke would be a solid pick and maybe trade bate for a position they need more. Henderson's game has been compared to Latrell Spreewell on NBAdraft.net. Not in the sense that he chokes, but his athleticism makes him a versatile offensive threat. Out of these three, I like what Clark can bring to this team. I think one of the best players in the upcoming draft is under the radar and I would be quite pleased if the Warriors picked him up. That player is Johnny Flynn from Syracuse. He's a bit undersized at 5'11", but he is a true point guard that has proven he can be a leader when the game is on the line. If I could chose, I pick Flynn with the first round pick, then use the abundance of wings and maybe Brandon Wright to get a physical power forward like the Maverics' (Dallas Mavericks Schedule) Brandon Bass.

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