As for the draft as a whole, I thought it started out great for the Warriors chances with all the European guard/forward hybrids going so highly, while players like Brandon Knight (the guy I really wanted to see the W's move for) and Kemba Walker waited and waited to hear their names called. In fact Walker didn't go until two picks ahead of Golden State at #9, and I wonder what Larry Riley and Mark Jackson wound have done had Walker (who Jackson loves) had fallen to them at 11? I was mostly focused on the Morris' and thought it would be either Thompson or one of the Morris bro's, which likely was what Riley and Co. were thinking as well. In the end, the Warriors went with Thompson, the Junior out of Washington State, which, again, kind of left me a little curious since the Warriors have 2 "building block" guards in tow already. Immediately after Thompson went, the guys I was hoping for, SG Alec Burks (more physical, defensive, take it to the hoop 2-guard) or one of the athletic Morris brothers, especially Markieff (the NBA's next "Lopez-Duo", though the Morris' all-around games are better), were taken off the board in succession, so that had me thinking again; Did the W's make the right move? Burks is more of that in your face, take it to the rim, true 2 guard who really reminds me a lot of Jason Richardson. As much as I like watching Ellis and Curry play together, if they are to make a change, I would rather it be to a more physical, defensive 2 guard to compliment Curry, one who can defend the likes of Kobe Bryant and Kevin Martin, and a player who can get to the line 10 times per night. That said, if they're looking for a true scorer and a 2-guard if they're going to replace Monta, Thompson is a better scorer than Burks. If they don't move Monta for a stud big man, then missing out on a Morris will be a real head-scratcher. And I'd only deal Monta for a guy on the level of LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson or Al Horford, nothing less.
Now, they had their chance to re-make their front line without doing all the tricky trading by just drafting one of the 6'10", uber-atheltic Morris' brothers, but they went with another wing-man, and a scoring one at that (already have Wright, Ellis, Curry, Williams, all scorers). The team is a little deep with guards/wings who will want minutes and shots. Mark Jackson is going to have to figure out the guard situation where Thompson, Wright, Curry, Ellis etc... will all be in the mix and be happy, or he has to deal one. In all reality, they could use a 4-man rotation at the guard/small forward spot with Thompson taking the light-end behind Monta, Steph and Wright, then if Thompson asserts himself, Monta could become a big trade chip come February. However, you then run the risk of damaging chemistry if one guy feels he's getting the short end of the stick. Monta felt shoved out after they drafted Curry last season, so how's he going to feel now with Thompson in town too, is that going to be an immediate problem? Unless they have a plan to keep everyone happy and playing hard, it may have been wiser for Golden State to have taken that big man who could play 25-30 minutes per night right off the bat and allow their guard situation to gel as is, if that's what they want. Now, that said, Thompson was probably the most valuable player at that spot, but not by much over Burks and the Morris' to the point in which the Warriors had to grab him. The problem the W's have had now 17 years and counting, minus the magical run in 2006, will likely once again haunt them in 2011/12, scoring, but not enough defense, especially up front. I want to be wrong, but I see Klay Thompson as another Mike Dunleavy, with lesser ball handling but a better shot, but not someone who is going to help carry this franchise to the next level. Good for 17-20 ppg probably with that shot, but limited abilities in other areas. As is, the 6th man on this club behind Monta, Steph and D-Wright, and to use an 11th pick on another scoring wing-man similar to Wright and not nearly as good as Monta? I'm not so sure I'm sold unless there's more to this!
The Dubs did get a big man though, sneaking in a late first rounder in a deal with Charlotte and buying up former youth star Jeremy Tyler. Though he's hardly the guy Warrior fans had in mind coming into this draft as the post factor they needed, he is a nice project and could have been a high first rounder in had been draft eligible in 2010, but struggled mightily overseas. My favorite pick, and quite possibly the best value pick in the draft was 2nd rounder Charles Jenkins. The Hofstra point guard was projected to go as high as picks 12-15 in the first round in many expert mock drafts, and the W's got him in the middle of the 2nd (Monta Ellis anyone?). I see him immediately coming in winning the back up spot to Steph at point.
WRD Grade for Warriors Draft: C+/B-
More NBA Draft Coverage to Come!