Over the last 20 years, the Golden State Warriors have only finished with a record over .500 3 times, and have made only 2 playoff appearances. A lot of high draft picks have come and gone during that time, and nothing seemed to chance much. However, with a promising young backcourt in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the reliable David Lee, and hopefully, a healthy Andrew Bogut, there is a decent foundation on which to build. With 4 picks in this draft, including 2 first round picks and an early second round pick, the Warrior have an opportunity, either through using the picks or using them as part of a trade, to build this group. Let’s take a look at what is facing the Warriors:
2011-2012 Record – 23-43 (4th in Pacific Division, Western Conference)
Head Coach – Mark Jackson
2-year Draft History
2011 – Klay Thompson (1st Round – 11th), Jeremy Tyler (2nd Round – 39th – Acquired from Charlotte for cash considerations), Charles Jenkins (2nd Round – 44th)
2010 – Ekpe Udoh (1st Round – 6th)
Returning Players- Andrew Bogut (C), David Lee (PF), Richard Jefferson (SF), Andris Biedrins (C), Dorell Wright (SF), Stephen Curry (G), Brandon Rush (SG), Klay Thompson (SG), Jeremy Tyler (C), Charles Jenkins (G – Team Option)
Team Needs- Bench depth/scoring, Perimeter defense, Rebounding
Position Needs – PG, SF, PF, C
Picks – #7 (1st Round, Pick 7)
#30 (1st Round, Pick 30 – from San Antonio)
#35 (2nd Round, Pick 5 – from Brooklyn)
#52 (2nd Round, Pick 22 – from Atlanta)
NBA Draft Blog Analysis
While the trade of Monta Ellis started the re-shaping of the Golden State roster, having 4 picks, including 3 of the first 35, in a very deep draft can go a long way to solidifying the team and making them much more competitive. With their pick at #7, the Warriors can go in a few different directions. Ideally, this is where Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s actual draft value should be, and if the teams before the Warriors are smart and go for other options, he should be available. He can give the Warriors a versatile defender, a player who can score in transition, and give the team some toughness which is lacking. If Kidd-Gilchrist does go in the Top 6, determining who will slip will be tough. It could be Andre Drummond, and that would be a major coup for Golden State. There wouldn’t be pressure on him to play significant minutes, but gives the Warriors a much better backup center option, and allows him to learn from a quality post player in Andrew Bogut. Also, he can provide some good defense around the basket and he can handle playing a fast paced game. Harrison Barnes would also be a big boost for the Warriors, if available. Other possibilities would be to reach for a player such as Terrence Jones or to take a serious look at John Henson. Henson would also give the Warriors a quality defender around the basket, and is also another big man who would be comfortable at the Warriors’ preferred pace.
With their next two picks at #30 and #35, again, the options are great. I am sure the possibility of some sort of trade package involving one or both of these picks will be discussed but for my purposes, they are keeping the picks. If they go big at #7, they can look for a wing scorer at #30. Will Barton could be a solid option here. He still needs time to develop his jumper, but he attacks the rim. He needs to develop physically and his defense hopefully improves over time, but with limited minutes, he could be an effective energy player. Darius Miller would also be a very good option. A strong perimeter defender who can knock down open shots, Miller also brings maturity and the ability to be effective whenever he gets in the game. There aren’t many big men, other than Festus Ezeli whose value range falls here, so they can look at other options. With Stephen Curry’s injury history, another point guard may not be out of the questions, and there may be a possibility of getting Tyshawn Taylor at this spot. A solid leader who can score and distribute, Taylor would be a solid backup to Curry in the Warriors’ offense. The possibility of also getting these players at #35 is a possibility. If they are gone, there will still be some great secondary options, possibly Kevin Murphy, Orlando Johnson, or Jared Cunningham.
With the #52 pick, the options are too numerous to discuss, but there will be quality players available at most positions.
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