Thursday, June 7, 2012

Putting on my GM Hat

What I Would do with the Warriors
By: Brian Sanchez @SportsReportDU

     The Warriors have a chance to be good this coming season.  It will be a breath of fresh air when most times the Warriors take the court they will either have the edge down low or be able to compete with any combination of bigs.  4 of the starting 5 is set, Curry at the point, Thompson at the 2, Lee at the 4, and Bogut at the 5.  Right now at the 3 is Dorell Wright and Richard Jefferson.  I don't mind Jefferson on the team, I know he is not worth the contract but we can't worry about it especially because we didn't make the mistake of signing him to it.  Dorell Wright has an expiring contract and is the best trade asset on the team and I will take advantage of it.  I say he has the most value because he is decent, has the expiring contract, and while there are better players on the team than him he is the one we can trade away and not really miss.  So, I have 4 draft picks, the expiring contract of Dorell Wright and 3 holes to fill (back up PG/SG, back up PF/C, and another 3 whether it be a starter or back up).  Here we go...

     First I want to address the back up guard spot.  I think Charles Jenkins is serviceable and I want to keep him on the roster.  But we need a guard who can eat up big minutes and even more so, start if Curry goes down.  Jenkins is OK, but I would not expect to make the playoffs with him as the starter.  So the first order of business is look for a PG on the trade market who is attainable.  Found him, Kyle Lowry from the Rockets.  Lowry is a good PG who can defend very well, hit 3's and plays like a bowling ball.  He would be an excellent 3rd guard along with Curry and Thompson.  Lowry could take 20-25 minutes night at the point.  It would also relieve pressure from Klay Thompson because Lowry could run the point with Curry as the 2.  And I think if Curry got more time off the ball he would score much more coming off of screens and not worrying about setting other player up.  This could also work because Lowry could have a good shot at defending 2's when he plays with Lowry.  Also, if Curry gets hurt you have a PG in Lowry who can easily be a starter, he has been for years, that way a Curry injury does not end Playoff hopes.  Then Charles Jenkins slides back in to the back up PG role.

     How do I get Lowry you ask?  Well, I have the leverage because both the Rockets and Lowry want to be done with each other.  This is where Wright comes in handy.  What I would do is trade Dorrell for Lowry and swap first rounders with Houston and throw in the 35th pick.  The Rockets own picks 14 and 16 and I would take 14.  The Rockets would do this because they could get some perimeter shooting with Wright as well as get him off the books the next year.  And they would move up 7 picks in the draft while still having pick 16.  At 7 the Rockets could choose the PG of their liking, a big man, or hope one of the top 6 prospects fall.  So all the Rockets do is improve their draft position and trade a player they don't want for an expiring contract.  I come away with the PG I covet and complete a solid three guard rotation.  Moving back to 14 does not bother me because a lot of the player I like at 7 will probably be there at 14.  And I got rid of the 35th pick which I did not have a roster spot for but kept my 30th pick.  (If the Rockets said they would do the deal if they got pick 30 instead of 35, that'd be fine)

     Now comes the Draft.  I filled my hole at back up guard, now I need to address SF and a back up big.  At 14 I have the chance to do both (people need to realize we do not have the assets to trade for Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Danny Granger, or Nic Batum).  The two players I'm looking at are Terrence Jones, SF Kentucky and Meyers Leonard, center from Illinois.  The Decision becomes two-fold.  Can Terrence Jones play SF in the NBA or is he going to be an undersized overly athletic 4 which doesn't help the team?  The second question becomes what free agent can be signed that fills the hole that the draft pick doesn't.  Since the Warriors basically only have the Mid Level Exception (we'll say 4 million dollars) to work with, there are more options of veteran bigs that can be signed than veteran small forwards.  So, given that information, with the 14th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft the Golden State Warriors select, Terrence Jones SF Kentucky.  Jones is very athletic and strong.  He can rebound as well as handle the ball.  He has a good face up game and an incredibly quick first step which means he can take guys off the dribble.  Jones has everything it would take to become a good defender.  His biggest flaw is his lack of a shot, but get him to attack the rim relentlessly and the shot matters much less.  I am comfortable starting Richard Jefferson and having Terrence Jones take the bulk of the minutes as his back up.  The natural hope would be for Jones to take the starting job from Jefferson and move RJ to the back up 3.  With the remaining picks, I take Jared Cunningham SG out of Oregon St. 30th overall to be another guard.  He can score and is a big time draft sleeper.  Then with the final pick in the late 2nd round I take the best International player available since I have no roster spot open for anybody.

     Now the final piece of the puzzle, the back up big man.  Although I liked Meyers Leonard I found it much more feasible to find a veteran big to play down low.  This big must be able to play the center in case Bogut gets hurt and play a little 4 to spell David Lee.  I like Jeremy Tyler but prefer him in the Chalres Jenkins role as the 4th man.  Not to mention if I want to win I never let Biedrins touch the floor again.  The goal is to have a 3 man rotation down low just like the 3 man rotation with Lowry, Curry, and Thompson.  There are three big men which I believe could be had for just the MLE (as that is all I have to work with, thanks Biedrins) Kenyon Martin, Darrell Arthur, and Jordan Hill.  Arthur is the most likely to get more than the MLE so we will cancel him out.  Kenyon Martin made $2.5 mil last year and Hill made $2.9 mil.  I think for the $4-5 mil that the MLE will be worth, Kenyon can be had.  And this is especially true if Joe Lacob would really dip into the luxury tax like he said he would (which I am not buying now that he has to pay for a new stadium).  Martin brings incredible toughness and rebounding and could give minutes at both the 4 and the 5.  Lee, Bogut, and Martin make up my 3 man rotation with Jeremy Tyler as a kicker.
So here is my new roster with basically no money to spare: 

Starting 5:
PG Stephen Curry
SG Klay Thompson
SF Richard Jefferson
PF David Lee
C Andrew Bogut

PG Kyle Lowry
PF/C Kenyon Martin
SF Terrence Jones
PF/C Jeremy Tyler
PG Charles Jenkins
C Andris Biedrins
SG Jared Cunningham

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