Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saltzman Says...Warriors left in the dust by Knicks, Nets

Despite $17 million in expiring contracts, the Warriors spent the last 24 hours watching two of the top 24 players in the NBA be traded with their help. 

1. First, the Warriors watched as two 2nd round picks that were originally theres as well as former PF Anthony Randolph, go from New York to Denver and Minnesota respectively, to help finalize the Carmelo trade to the Knicks. The 2nd round picks and Anthony Randolph were part of the David Lee trade over the summer. 

2. Now, it is being reported, that Deron Williams is heading to New Jersey, and the Warriors are sending Dan Gadzuric to New Jersey to help the trade work financially. 

Now, a positive here, (and maybe this is the grand plan part 1) is two of the top 12 Western Conference All-Stars are now in the Eastern Conference.  Not to mention, Chauncey Billups is also in New York now.

For the 2010-11 season, two teams ahead of the Warriors in the standings just got much worse in the short term.  Denver now has Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari in their starting lineup with no guarantee they can convince their lone star left, Nene, to sign an extension.  Utah reportedly just lost one of the best point guards in the Western Conference, and only got a former Eastern Conference all-star in Devin Harris and a long term answer at power forward in Derrick Favors. They will have multiple 1st round picks and a power forward better than David Lee when it is all said and done, but this year, they won't be nearly as good.

The Warriors, by the end of the trade deadline, may have 4 or 5 draft picks for next year, and have had great success in the recent past in the 2nd round (Gilbert Arenas and Monta Ellis)  Joe Lacob, the Warriors new owner, has said it is imperitive to build through the draft.  Stephen Curry, Ellis and Ekpe Udoh all came through the draft, and the Warriors have some gaping holes to fill.

If they can't find NBA ready players at the deadline, they are still in desperate need of a offensive threat down low who can play alongside David Lee, a wing defender who can tandem with Dorell Wright at the small forward, and a guard who could allow the Warriors the luxury of sitting Curry or Ellis during long stretches to keep them fresh for the fourth quarter.

However, if the Boston Celtics game last night is any indication, the Warriors are far from where they need to be on the defensive end of the floor.

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