It's obvious the Warriors are building for next season. They've traded for Andrew Bogut, who won't suit up for them this season, stock-piled some draft picks and added a strong veteran influence in Richard Jefferson.
As I said in our last post, the loss of Ellis is wearing off a bit more and I'm starting to see this trade in a different light and really do understand why the Warriors pulled the trigger. Now, one of the players that they did give up, who I was hoping they wouldn't have to, was PF/C Epke Udoh, who had really started coming into his own the last few weeks and took over the starting center spot. However, with him know shipped off to the Bucks along with Ellis, the Warriors have a big void there at backup power forward/center. Dominic McGuire has done an admirable job all-season long off the bench and is a solid player, but asking him to guard these 6'10" and larger bigs is just asking too much. Luckily for the Warriors, if they're interested, the Sacramento Kings just released on of their surplus of talented big men in J.J. Hickson. The 23 year-old 6'9", 250 pounder (pictured on the left from last year dunking over KG) is coming off a breakout year last season in Cleveland, where he averaged about 14 points and 8 boards per night in just his 3rd season. The Kings then acquired him before this season, but developed such a surplus of big-men that Hickson was never really able to get regular minutes or acclimated in Sac. He started early on in the season, but then hit a little slump and completely lost all of his PT.
The Warriors are indeed building for 2012-13 and beyond and I think J.J. Hickson is the perfect backup to David Lee, who could provide rebounding and offense off the bench, and of course, give them another big-bodied player who can play some center. He's a lot like Udoh, just not quite the defender, but much more polished offensively. He's a guy that I'd love to see Mark Jackson get a chance to coach and I see nothing but positive output from the kid if they signed him! While were on the topic of young players, why Jeremy Tyler (at center) and Charles Jenkins (at point) aren't starting and playing good minutes every game at this point is beyond me? The Warriors need to see what they have in these guys and it would certainly help out their efforts to make the bottom-7 if those two saw in significant increase in PT. Keep the Robinson/Rush/McGuire combo coming off the bench and add Hickson to that bunch then you have not only a nice young starting core, but a solid young bench to boot!
NOTE: It's in the middle of the Monday night's game vs. the T-Wolves as I write this, but I wanted to re-state that I now believe Richard Jefferson will be the Warriors starting SF next season, and beat out Dorrell Wright. I think Wright is far too inconsistent and Jackson's always looking for ways to not play the streaky 3-point threat and he just got a big one in Jefferson. I said after the trade that he'll do better once out of San Antonio, and he's playing well early on Monday. I don't expect anything to change this season, cause Wright is giving them a better chance to lose while out there. We'll see how it transpires, but with what they're paying Jefferson coupled with D-Wright's inabilities on both ends, the elder small forward may have the upper hand at starting for the new look 2012-13 Warriors!