A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

NBA Fan Q&A: Golden State Warriors

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Unfortunately this will have to be one of the last fan Q&As for this series, the news that the lockout is over means that to get this done by the start of the season, I’ll have to… power through the remaining Franchise Rankings. I’m glad to have got to Golden State fans however since they brought, as I would’ve expected:

Q: How do you feel about your team’s upside going forward? If everything goes right, how do the Warriors make the leap to contention in the next half decade?

turk3d: I like it. I’m excited about our new ownership (being here from the start) and our new coach Mark Jackson and look forward to what he brings to the mix. I think this will be a year of evaluation while at the same time an attempt to make a leap to the playoffs if we have a season. If not, I’m in hope for the next draft and the possibility of one or more trades being made that will improve this team over the long haul.

FireNellieQuick: A: They have to make moves. Its clear the current team isn’t going anywhere. Lacob and Co. have been busy acquiring smart, less athletic players in an effort to drive down the teams’ selfishness or basketball ignorance. As it stands, that transition is still a work in progress. We either need Monta, one of our key players, to buy into that type of basketball, or we need to find someone else who will. The only way the W’s leap into legitimate contention is if they find a good defensive C and address their situation with Monta. Adding depth at the guard spots would be nice as well.

Coxy: Not very promising. I’m a huge believer in defense and bigs, and we currently have neither. We need to make a huge splash trade wise for a franchise changing big, or hopefully get lucky in landing a big in the draft. As is, the best we can hope for is an above average season that lands us in the playoffs so we look more attractive for players in the long run.

Q: How do you feel about Monta Ellis’ future with the team? Do you believe he and Stephen Curry can be succesful long term or would you look to trade him? I asked Atlanta Hawks fans whether they’d trade Josh Smith for Monta Ellis, their answers were mixed. Would you make the deal? What about Andris Biedrins for Marvin Williams?

510TWSS: I think Monta has a place on this team, but like others have said he needs to be reigned in. He’s obviously our best player and our “alpha dog”. But largely that’s due to Monta self proclaiming himself the “2nd best in the league behind Kobe”. This is a large result of poor coaching by Nellie and Smart. I know Smart felt he needed to get wins to save his job, but it’s really a disservice to Monta’s career because he’s not being put in the best position for himself to succeed. Then you get calls of ball hog and detriment to the team from us disgruntled Dub fans when it really isn’t a Monta problem per se. I believe a readjustment into a smaller role could be necessary to bring his impact to our team back to a +.

If we keep both Monta and Curry, we need some bigs that will play defense for us. I might be willing to do a Smith for Monta trade because I believe Smith to be a better defender. However that’d create a logjam for us at PF with Lee. One has to find another home. I would not trade Beans for Williams. If I’m forced to have a useless player on my roster, give me the useless bigman.

BROWN:
I love Monta, feel that allot of people have criticized him for putting a bad team on his back, and now that there’s finally a short list of talented guys on this team that he should be forced to take a back seat.

I truly believe if they keep Curry and Monta together that they would change the way a 1/2 combo would be played in the league. With having 2 ultra quick guys who can bomb it from far and find open guys, both 1’s and 2’s across the league would have trouble matching up defensively.

If this team doesn’t get a big, and Wright would be able to play the 2, then yeah I’d do Monta for Smith. An extremely long team, with a ball handler like Curry would cause havoc. Adding Smith would help the defensive weaknesses of David Lee.

Without a doubt I’d trade Andris for Marvin. Andris lost all of his confidence, and I cannot imagine a guy like him getting back to track, Marvin was a top 2 pick in the draft not too long ago, a new system, new teammates can possibly change his game.

don nelson: The young guard tandem of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry is currently the strongest area on the Warriors. Trading Monta for Josh Smith from a pure talent perspective is acceptable but Smith duplicates David Lee who Golden State signed long term last summer making this trade totally unacceptable to the Warriors unless a third team who is interested in Lee became involved. As disappointing as Andris Biedrins has been for the past couple of years trading the Warriors only center for Marvin Williams just to backup small forward Dorell Wright at twice his salary is completely unacceptable to the Warriors. If Atlanta wants to move Williams the Hawks will need to look elsewhere or amnesty Marvin.

Q: Last summer the Warriors signed David Lee and his first year with the team was statistically inferior to his Knicks seasons. Would you still do the signing?

Chris Porter’s Hair: All about opportunity cost. Do we get to see what the alternatives are? I didn’t like the signing at the time because I thought the money would have been better spent on a different skillset. I’m not sure what our viable alternatives are in the hypothetical scenario where we can undo Lee’s contract.

giberish: didn’t like it at the time – mostly due to giving up Randolph.
I don’t like it now – mostly from the contract for a player who isn’t that good (and also giving up value to overpay someone).

floppymoose: I wouldn’t have done it then, even.

Q: If you had a chance to trade Ekpe Udoh for one of Tristan Thompson, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely, or Bismack Biyombo, selected 4-7 in the 2011 draft, would you do it?

xRapHeadx: I’d probably do it for Vesely or Jonas…or even Donatas. Like Ekpe, but he’s way too limited.

turk3d: Not sure, I don’t follow college and Euro ball enough and don’t really know enough about those players to be able to make that determination. However I will tell you this, I would have rather drafted Monroe than Udoh if we had it to do all over. I do like Udoh more than Byombo. His offensive game is much more polished.

510TWSS: For me the 2010 draft was such a disappointment. It was a trap game really cause we all knew we’d be disappointed before hand. We were picking 6th in a 5 person draft. Nice.

We still managed to f*** this draft up too by taking Ekpe over Monroe. We can all argue over who’s the better fit, but as of right now Monroe is the better player with higher value. Gotta thank Larry Dickens RIley on that call. FWIW I’d prolly take a sniff at Tristan Thompson, Jonas V and Jan Vesely. I’d probably keep Ekpe if Biyombo was being offered.

Q: If you had to rank the Warriors by how much you’d ask for them in a trade/how much you value them, what would be your list?

FireNellieQuick:

Curry’s obviously #1, otherwise the rest of the list would be a joke.
Monta is #2, I’d want a good return for him in a trade but I dont know if his value will ever get that high, so he’s interchangable with…
#3, Ekpe Udoh, who’d I’d sell for a lot less but could possibly have more trade value due to contract and size, hoping some team overrates his value like Warriors’ fans overrate the value of..
#4, Dorell Wright. He’s a role player on a role player’s contract, but because his per games look nice, fans assume he has more value than he does. Which you can probably say about..
#5, Klay Thompson, since he’s a draft pick that hasn’t played a single minute. His value could be sky high, or dirt cheap. We have no idea, but b/c he hasn’t played and he’s ours, we’d probably ask for a lot more than he’s worth on the market, not unlike…
#6 David Lee. He, too, is worth more with a W’s jersey on right now than he would be to other teams. Its one thing to overpay via UFA, its another thing to trade for an undesireable contract, and thats what he is right now, which is half of why…
#7, Andris Biedrins, is dead last on this list. He’s a dual threat – undesireable contract and undesireable player.

unranked: Lou Amundson, Charlie Bell (expirings and marginal players, so their value is as filler) and Jeremy Tyler, Charles Jenkins (2nd round picks that have no true value at this time)

Coxy:

Curry
Monta
Thompson
Wright
Lee
Udoh
Tyler
Amundson
Lin
Jenkins
Bell
Biedrins

BROWN:

Curry
Monta
….
Lee
Tyler
Thompson
Wright
Udoh
Jenkins

Q: Predict what the Warriors record would’ve been this year if they played 82 Gs

don nelson: Depending on good health and how successful the Warriors front office is at adding size and talent at center to their roster my guess for this season based on an 82 game schedule is 42-40

Chris Porter’s hair: 43-39. We won 36 games last year. Lee’s season was definitely impacted by the freak injury. The young players we picked up sound promising. I’m somewhat optimistic about having a new coach in a new regime. I’m kind of surprised by the predictions that we’d win 30; what was going to make us 6 games worse? The coaching? The loss of VladRad?

giberish: Assuming they filled out the roster with a couple moderate FA’s -> 38-44.

And a general response from the man, the legend, old rem:

With this many questions to consider…for the moment I’d simplify by saying I’m fairly close to Turk’s view.

I think there is a considerable plus to building some core or base as opposed to a revolving door where hardly anyone lasts more than a couple years….including coaches. GSW already has an excess of turnover,or blow it up. You don’t want to always be a detour in player’s pro careers, always a team still groping for something to move to “above average”. Halfway up ther hill…you need to sometimes keep going.

I think on D, with good coaching input, that Lee and Curry can be average and Ellis-Biedrins-Wright-Udoh can be above average. I have, over many years,seen Ellis + Biedrins have VERY solid performances on D. I know what they are capable of and yet I saw the last 3 coaches get hung up on Defensive tactics that simply were not effective on average. GSW’s “strategy” often handicapped a set of players who had the athletic ability and hustle to be above average on D. There’s a new coach now and we shall see.

Ellis is so freaky quick that he’s a hard matchup for a bigger SG. GSW coaches in just a few games tasked Monta to go lock down on a STAR…and Monta showed he can be an ACE on D. If Ellis is all over you, you find that you can not dribble and maneuver because he seems to get anywhere you want to go before you can,and he’s a threat to steal the ball anytime you dribble. Monta also is apt to score 20-40 and you can’t D him with a guy who can’t catch him.

Curry, as a pure shooter,is a weapon BUT….I don’t want to rely on a 3 pt guy as my #1 option. If a team can put their best defender on Curry, they can reduce his impact. Meanwhile, Curry and ? is probably not equal to Monta and ? on D. I’d rather not swap either yet, but likely would rather lose Curry than Ellis. Can Ellis do PG? Sure. He has been doing PG often. Basically, Ellis+ Curry have been co-point G’s. Dorell W is not the best SF in the NBA but for a veteran starter is the best VALUE.
Ellis+ Curry+ Wright are a damn productive trio who all together add up to less $ than E Brand.

GSW likely overpaid Lee, and while the players NYK got did not thrive there,at the time it was not expected Azu would miss more than a month and a half of the season. AR had had 11+ pt,7+ reb pre-trade and had short minutes, had high upside. That NYK wasted that…is hard to explain. Turiaf,if you can remember…was a plus for GSW in many ways. Now? What can GSW get for Lee…salary and all? Not a lot. I would not, however,say ZERO. Can Lee be BETTER than last year? Yes. No doubt.

In the past 2 years GSW basically gave away a whole BUNCH of starters,recent lotto picks and surprise rotation guys and got back damn little. Instead of a team loaded with depth, GSW has very little depth,is pretty thin on trade chips.

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Written by jr.

November 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

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