Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Warriors Have Needs This Summer

The Warriors finished the 2010-11 season with a 36-46 record, which by Eastern Conference standards, will sometimes land you in the playoffs, but here in the West, that's about 10 losses too many.

So, what do the Warriors need to do this offseason in order to make up those 10 or so losses and possibly compete for a low Western Conference Playoff seed? For starters, a good solid coach who can relate with the new generation of NBA player and someone who can optimize the teams strengths. The right veteran would fit, maybe like Van Gundy, who's had time to sit back and watch the game the last couple of seasons and who's not afraid to get in your face and rile up a bunch, but I'd look for a college coach or young assistant first. The Warriors, as currently constructed, are a run-and-shoot team. If they were a college football team, they'd be a spread offense, that passes the ball 85% of the time. They have no banger down in the paint that will make other teams think twice about doubling Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry every time they drive the lane (or in my NCAA football comparison, no power running game). Andris Biedrins had some nice years at he beginning of his career, and it looked like he was developing into that person, but whether it's his health, general lack of ambition towards basketball or something, cause when I've seen him on the court these last few years, it looks like he's just going through the motions. Now, with him hurt all the time and not producing when he is in there, I don't want to say give up on Biedrins (they're paying him a huge sum of money that I don't see many teams taking on), but I certainly would stop counting on any sort of consistent production out of him. If the W's never made the playoffs in 2006, this guy wouldn't have gotten that $67M deal (Damn you Mullin)!

One option worth trying may be to get on the phone with the European basketball teams that were interested in Biedrins when the W's singed his long-term deal in '08, and maybe see if they can pawn him off to Europe. Otherwise it's Biedrins at about $10M per for another 3 seasons. They're still saying he's developing, which he's had 6 years to do and is now going downhill. I guess I'm curious to see how he responds to a new coaching regime, but my patience for Biedrins is wearing thin!

Speaking of low patience level, I don't like the fact that Larry Riley is running the show (Mullin's right-hand man on those horrible 2008 summer signings and draft which handicapped this team), and I really hope he doesn't have the final say in who this team hires as coach or who they go after, if anyone, in free agency. The Warriors sore for a big man, and everyone in the NBA knows it, and they are playing with essentially 2-point guards in their back court in Ellis and Curry. The logic would be to trade one for a big man since the W's likely can't afford to add one through Free Agency. Marc Gasol, Pau's little brother would be at the tip-top of my list if I were to shell out a big deal to one of these Free Agents. The 26 year-old had sort of an "off-year" in 2010-11, (11.7 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.5 apg) after a 14.7/9.5/2.5 line last year, but turned it on in the playoffs for the Grizz before they got eliminated Sunday. In the latest 13 game stretch of postseason play, Gasol averaged 15 points, 11.3 boards, 2+ assists and 2+ blocks per night. That's production in the middle the W's could really use. Nene Hilario is also finally free, and has put together some real nice season since getting healthy. Over his last 3 campaigns, he's averaged 14.4/ 7.7 with a block and 2 assists. Not as good or young as Gasol, but not a bad 2nd option at the right price.

Another option, as I stated earlier, and maybe the better one, would be to deal Monta (I think he brings back more in return than Curry, and has had some mis-understandings with Warriors in the past), for a big man (I've always like Al Jefferson), then maybe sign someone like J-Rich, or maybe go after Alec Burks out of Colorado in the draft. The top ranked pure Shooting Guard who averaged over 20 PPG as a Sophomore, but he's much of a 3 pt. shooter yet... I could go for a starting 5 of: PG-Curry; SG-J-Rich/Burks; SF Dorrell Wright; PF David Lee; C Al Jefferson. That's a much better team than what they finished 2011 with!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A 2nd sting of J-Rich huh? Never ever would have thought of it, but with a new regime, you never know. There were never the same since they broke up J-Rich/Baron/Jackson combo. Maybe they can start a Steph/J-Rich/Wright/Lee front.... Way better rebounding and defensively. Any takers? Any Takers?