The Draft is creeping up quicker than I anticipated, as the Golden State Warriors' brass, including the new comer, Mark Jackson, are currently cramming together their last minute game plan for the 2011 NBA draft.
There has been all sorts of names tossed out there from the Spanish "Dikembe", Bismack Biyambo, to Washington State SG Klay Thompson and Kansas PF Marcus Morris or even the free-falling Jimmer Freddette. It appears almost certain that the top-6 will be PG Kyle Irving, PF Derek Williams, PG Brandon Knight, C Enes Kanter, F Jan Vesely, and PG Kemba Walker. Obviously, you can tell it's a point guard heavy draft, and it just so happens the teams selecting high in the draft could certainly use a strong guard. That could also bode well for the Warriors, should they decide to try and pawn Monta Ellis off onto one of those teams in order to move into position to get an Enes Kanter or Derek Williams, but that's all speculation. What I do believe though, is there is going to be somebody worth drafting when the Warriors select 11th in Thursday's NBA Draft. A lot of basketball people feel Washington State junior SG Klay Thompson would be a nice fit. A big, 6'6" 2 guard who can shoot the lights out and could look very nice along side Steph Curry in the back court. Problem with Thompson though, is that he lacks defense, and isn't a great play-maker yet.
The guy I'm hoping will fall down to the W's, who's know projected to go #10 to Milwaukee (according to DraftExpress), is the post-dominant Marcus Morris. The thing I like so much about Morris is that he reminds me of a young Elton Brand and is a guy who lives in the paint and succeeds. As much as the Warriors were hoping David Lee would be that guy last year, that really just isn't his style, he's more of a free-playing power forward who runs around. I think the Warriors could draft Morris and use him with Lee on the front line a lot, giving the team 2 completely different looks up front. Then they could use Epke Udoh and Andris Biedrins as purely rebounders and defenders with no obligation of scoring. It would also enable the team to keep the duo-guard threat of Curry and Ellis, which appears their plan. Either way, if the Warriors are indeed going to deal Ellis, it better certainly be for a sure thing, and not another Jason Richardson deal! They better get a Brandon Knight or Kyle Irving or a young, all-star NBA point guard which would allow Steph to move into his more natural spot.
5 Possible Draft Scenarios:
-Draft a true PG, trade Monta, move Steph to SG
-Draft big man/paint scoring presence, which just isn't David Lee's type (Morris?)
-Draft big bodied defender/shot blocker, the Adonal Foyel that never transpired (Biyombo)
-SG, Thompson/Burks, allowing a trade of Monta for another big scoring threat
SG Alex Burks, Colorado: Burks is a bright young scorer who reminds me very much of Jason Richardson with a twist of Dwayne Wade the way he gets to the hoop. Not quite polished from beyond the arch, which may hurt him, but I still think he's a better all-around player than Klay Thompson.
SF Chris Singleton, Florida St.: Super defender, but may not have a place in Golden State with the emergence of Dorrell Wright, but would compliment the 3-point sniper, as well as come in and overpower strong SG's with ease. Still isn't quite a polished scorer, though that could come.
My Hope: PF Marcus Morris or SG Alex Burks (latest poll has him dropping out of top-10... He and Steph would be amazing.. and no Monta attitude!). I really think Freddette is a great talent, but he's basically a Stephen Curry clone, and what the heck would they do if they ended up with Freddette, Curry and Ellis, all 6'2" tweener guards? That said, my draft philosophy in all drafts from baseball to football and basketball; unless your picking in the top-10, take the best player available, and that's what I think I see the W's doing. If they don't like any of the top-15 players, they should trade down a few spots and maybe target Marcus Morris's brother Markieff Morris, a real physical center (6'11'', 260 pounds) who has the skill-set to come in and compete immediately with Biedrins for minutes.
My Guess: SG Klay Thompson or F/C Bismack Biyambo: The Warriors are gaga over Thompson's range and shot (why they forget the hard-nosed, in your face ball that got them to the playoffs in '06 is beyond me and Thompson isn't that player, Burks and Morris are). Still, I have a hard time seeing them pass on him if he falls to them... If he doesn't, Biyambo should, and the W's will see the defensive upside and go for it, even if he is Epke Udoh #2!