Thursday, March 15, 2012

Saltzman Says...Hello Andrew Bogut

The Golden State Warriors have revamped their team with the additions of Andrew Bogut and Richard Jefferson as well as adding two draft picks in the upcoming draft.

If they end up with a top 7 pick, they will have 4 draft picks in which to add many pieces to challenge the incumbent Warriors next year.

No Warrior besides David Lee and Klay Thompson are signed past 2013-14, so there is no commitment to any other player beyond two years.  That allows the Warriors two things.  Patience and flexibility.  In that order.

They don't have the trade pieces anymore to make a major change, and they don't have the salary cap space to make any big free agent splash.

However, if they bring back Brandon Rush, Dominic McGuire and/or Nate Robinson, the majority of their roster next year is accounted for.

The only major difference will be if someone decides to take on Andris Biedrins, Dorell Wright, or Richard Jefferson.

Locked in for next year are the following: [IF HEALTHY]

PG Stephen Curry
SG Klay Thompson
PF David Lee
C Andrew Bogut

Curry and Bogut make that a big if.

Point Guard: Nate Robinson has proven to be a nice addition off the bench.  Rookie Charles Jenkins has shown enough flashes to see why the team liked him enough to let Jeremy Lin go {not the blog entry to get into that turn of events}

Both could be brought back to give Jenkins more time to develop and give the team some scoring off the bench.

PG: Curry, Robinson and Jenkins

Shooting Guard: Brandon Rush needs to be signed beyond this season to remain a Warrior, and the team had an offer on the table to get Chris Kaman if they included Rush, and passed.  That shows he is someone they really like.  If they re-sign him, their isn't any further need at the 2 guard spot.

SG: Thompson and Rush

Small Forward: Richard Jefferson hasn't played a game yet under Mark Jackson, so it is way too early to say if he will be a great fit, a long term answer, or even a starter.  He could start over Dorell Wright, which would allow Wright to contribute off the bench.  Either way, both are expendable if the team lands a top 7 pick in the upcoming draft.  Chris Wright, an end of the bench SF right now, will be a long shot to stay with the club next year.

SF: Jefferson and D. Wright

Power Forward: David Lee is your starting PF for the next several years no matter what.  That being said, Dominic McGuire has certainly proven he is worthy for playing time.  His effort on the boards, ability to play defense on the perimeter, and down low, and his overall hustle, makes him as valuable to this team as anyone.  They may bring in another banger to replace Udoh, but only because McGuire can play multiple positions.

PF: Lee and McGuire

Center: Andrew Bogut can easily become the best center in Warriors history since Nate Thurmond simply by being competent on both ends of the floor.  If Healthy, he can be dominant on either end at times.  This does two things.  It allows Andris Biedrins to simply be a backup despite his salary.  Also, it let's Biedrins become expendable.  An twist in the trades made this week would be if the team brought back Kwame Brown next year to backup Bogut.  Jeremy Tyler is way too raw for any kind of consistent minutes at this level.  He won't be moved to another team because why let him blossom somewhere else.

C: Bogut, Biedrins and Tyler

That leaves three open spots if these 12 players are brought back.

The Warriors currently have 2 guaranteed draft picks, both in the 2nd round, and have two draft picks that are conditional.  Their own, which is Top 7 protected and now the Spurs 1st round pick, which is Top 14 protected.

IF the Warriors end up with 4 draft picks, they will either need to release or trade one of the 12 players above, or simply draft a player that is playing overseas and just obtain his rights.  Regardless, the team looks to have a full 15 man roster next year.

These moves allow the Warriors to be much more balanced next season.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Saltzman Says...Goodbye Monta Ellis

The Warriors were bought by Owners with a background in two things as it relates to sports: Owning teams, and building teams.

Peter Guber's Mandalay Entertainment owns several Minor League teams.

Joe Lacob owned part of the Boston Celtics and saw the internal workings of a organization that carved out a plan, stuck to it, and delivered a championship from it.

Bringing in Jerry West as an advisor to evaluate talent, Rick Welts to run the business side that bobby fowell used to, Bob Myers to help improve the Warriors standing with other GM's and agents, and Mark Jackson to build a team that relies on passing the basketball and defense. 

Everyone hired was hired for a purpose.

The team was not fully built by the time David Lee was traded for, but the move had the ok from ownership.  They traded three complimentary pieces:

Anthony Randolph, who is currently playing 12 minutes a game, scoring 5.9 PPG for Minnesota

Ronny Turiaf, who is currently averaging 1.2 PPG and 3 RPG for Washington

Kelenna Azubuike, who is not currently playing basketball.  

The Knicks, in essence, traded David Lee for cap space to pursue Amare Stoudemire and trade for Carmelo Anthony.  As good as they look on paper, especially now with Jeremy Lin, they aren't in any better shape than the Warriors currently.  

For all of David Lee's shortcomings on defense, he is an offensive force at times, and he has a consistent jumper that helps open the floor for his teammates.  He is also a willing passer.  It doesn't make up for his lack of defense, yet he is now going to be paired with Andrew Bogut.

Bottomline: Monta Ellis doesn't play defense.  Monta Ellis is not as good long term as Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson.  Monta Ellis is not as important to a playoff team as Andrew Bogut.

Every single Warrior that has been brought in plays defense since the front office was completely built.

Klay Thompson

Kwame Brown

Dominic McGuire

Brandon Rush
Nate Robinson

Andrew Bogut

Stephen Jackson

Every one of those players puts in work on the defensive side of the ball.

PG Stephen Curry (backed up by Nate Robinson)
SG Klay Thompson (backed up by Brandon Rush)
SF Dorell Wright (backed up by Stephen Jackson)
PF David Lee (backed up by Dominic McGuire)
C Andrew Bogut (backed up by Andris Biedrins)

{That would be a fun 5-on-5 to watch.}

with Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler, that is a much more balanced team with a very talented bench.

If Stephen Jackson can embrace the 6th man type role that Nate Robinson has, we can be tough to beat next year.

We will certainly look to bring in a rookie or two to challenge for playing time

I could see the Warriors bringing in a rookie SF to make Stephen Jackson expendable.

I could see the Warriors bringing in a rookie C to make Jeremy Tyler work and Andris more expendable.

I could even see the Warriors bring back Kwame Brown this off-season.