Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saltzman Says...Warriors should dump their waste

State of the Warriors Franchise

After all is said and done, the Golden State Warriors have 5 players worthy of keeping past this season, 2 players not worth enough to move, and the rest aren't worth their contract.  That may seem harsh, but when a team has been so inept for so long, they don't deserve best case scenarios and optimism. 

Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Dorrell Wright, and David Lee.  The Warriors actually have 4/5 of a starting lineup.  That doesn't mean that the Warriors will ever win a championship with that backcourt, or Wright as a starting wingman, but they have 4 starters worthy of a place on this team long term.  Andris Biedrins was a great young center two years ago, but he has become a shell of himself.  He has become so paranoid about his pathetic free throw shooting, that he stopped being aggressive and he stopped working hard on the offensive side of the floor.

Reggie Williams is a good backup swingman.  So was Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Morrow.  So was Marco Belinelli and Jamal Crawford.  So was Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes.  So was...are you sensing a theme here.  The Warriors have been mostly successful at finding good bench players who aren't good enough to start.

Ekpe Udoh and Lou Amundson are both big men with small NBA contracts.  They are both signed through next year and beyond and have no business going anywhere else.  They are good role players, much in same way Ronny Turiaf was. 

Vladimir Radmanovic, Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright and Charlie Bell are not the answer.  None of them should be back in 2011-2012.  They are all making millions more than they are worth to an NBA team.

So what do we do?

Do we make a blockbuster trade for Carmelo Anthony?:

No, but I like the thought process.  Like it or not, it's an All-Star run league and the Warriors haven't had an All-Star since 1997.  Anthony hasn't won a title in Denver, and can't win by himself.  Neither can LeBron James, Dwayne Wade or Kobe Bryant.  Kobe needed Pau Gasol, and LeBron and Wade have each other now.  Monta Ellis is becoming an All-Star.  He needs help.  David Lee certainly applies as a 20-10 power forward who loves to hustle and get after it on defense.  Stephen Curry is certainly capable of being a running mate, and Dorell Wright is showing to be one of the best bargains in the game.  At the end of the day, Ellis still needs his other cornerstone.  Anthony could be it, but it would cost too much to get him.  Especially with so many teams after him and his desire to end up in New York next year anyway.

What are some trades that would make sense?

If Charlotte was looking to save money....

Trade Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright and a future draft pick for Gerald Wallace

If DeAndre Jordan is the answer at center for the L.A. Clippers...

Trade Vladimir Radmanovic and Charlie Bell and a future draft pick to the Clippers for Chris Kaman

If the Memphis Grizzlies have given up on O.J. Mayo...

Trade Andris Biedrins to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet and O.J. Mayo

New Look:
PG Curry
SG Ellis
SF Wallace
PF Lee
C Kaman

PG Mayo
SG Williams
SF Wright
PF Udoh
C Amundson

PG Law/Lin
C Thabeet

We get a reliable center in Kaman, a legitimate small forward in Wallace, and a potent 6th man in O.J. Mayo.  With the size and length of all three we can continue to build around our undersized trio of Ellis, Curry and Lee.  

Charlotte and Los Angeles would get cap relief.  That would be the biggest reason to take someone like Gadzuric or Radmanovic.  Obviously they are not getting the talent back that you might hope for for Wallace and Kaman.  But between the money they would save long term and the 1st round picks that would come along with the expiring contracts, it might be tempting.

Memphis would get an upgrade from Thabeet and insurance for Marc Gasol.  It very well may be too much money to pay a 7'0" who doesn't start, but maybe Biedrins can flourish playing with Gasol and Zach Randolph.  You can't teach 7'0" and having a guy as young as Biedrins may appeal to them.

The trip of Kaman, Wallace and Mayo joining our foursome gives us 7 capable NBA starters on our team.  That, along with Williams and two decent big men in Udoh and Admunson gives us a team that can compete for the playoffs every year.  Thabeet would get time to develop in the D-League along with Jeremy Lin, and in next year's draft we can go after a PG or a C to challenge those two for a roster spot.  Until trades like this are made, we will still always be a few players away from the playoffs.

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