Golden State Warriors: Second-Guessing Their Trade Deadline Moves
They finally did get a center, and even with one good arm Andrew Bogut is the best one that they have had in years, but it didn't come without a lot of risk and a couple of puzzling moves.
If the plan was to tank games (they did trade for someone who wasn't going to play) and get their draft pick back, things would have been a little more clear, but that doesn't look like it's happening.
The Warriors are playing themselves out of a pick, which was supposed to be a big part of the deals they made (one would hope), leaving several questions concerning all the moves and non-moves made several weeks ago.
1. Why Was Stephen Jackson Included in the Andrew Bogut Deal?
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Of all the players in the league, it had to be him right?
Trading Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh for Bogut seems fair enough, especially considering Bogut was out for the season, but why include Kwame Brown's contract for Stephen Jackson?
That was a stipulation?
A lottery pick (Udoh) just one full season into his career and Ellis wasn't enough for a center who hasn't played 82 games since his rookie year? It seems like they could've made this deal without having to take back Stack Jack, if only they would have waited a little bit.
There were at least 36 hours until the trade deadline would pass, so why didn't they sweat it out and hope that the Bucks would "cave" and make the deal without including Jackson?
(After all, the Bucks were trading the guy that wasn't going to play the rest of the year, coming off a year where he played 65 games, and less than two years from this.)
It seems like the Warriors would have been better off just waiting a bit and hoping the Bucks would change their mind on the inclusion of Jackson.
Even if they'd waited and the Bucks had still insisted on including Jackson, the Warriors could have made the same deal at the deadline and prevented themselves from making this next doozy.
2. Why Did They Trade for Richard Jefferson?
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$11 million while eliminating all their salary cap room for the next two seasons for a 2012 draft pick in the mid-to-late 20s and a player who might actually help them win games?
This whole Bogut deal was to get a big man—which they did—and since he wasn't going to play, the plan was to tank the rest of their games to in order to get their draft pick back.
Right? The losing would help make sense of the entire trade deadline: to get their first round pick back.
So why get a veteran, who by all accounts has played on a winning team most of his career, for a late-first-round draft pick?
This is expected to be a very deep draft, so is the first-rounder that they are getting from the San Antonio Spurs $11 million better than the second-round pick they are getting from the New Jersey Nets from the Troy Murphy trade?
The Spurs' pick will probably be only 5-6 slots better than the Nets' second-round pick, so why make this deal?
They would have been better off telling Jackson to stay home and that they will trade him next year when he has only one year left on his deal, making him a little more attractive. Then the Warriors could have saved the $11 million in cap space the following season.
3. Why Didn't They Look to Move Dorell Wright?
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If the Warriors were so hell bent on getting a first-round draft pick, why didn't they call the Los Angeles Lakers, who would have probably loved to get Dorell Wright for a late-first-round pick? One that might end up being better than the Spurs pick anyway?
Plus they would have been marginally worse without Wright, and they wouldn't have had to trade for Jefferson, giving them an even better chance at getting their own pick back while not clogging up all their cap space.
Wright is entering the final year of his contract next season and is likely to ask for more money. Do the Warriors really want to pay a one-dimensional player upwards of $8 million a year? Outside of before the season started, the trade deadline would have been a perfect time to move him.
4. Is Andrew Bogut Worth the Risk?
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The Warriors got their center, which is great, but is the risk going to be worth the reward?
Bogut gets hurt all the time. You can argue that they are fluky injuries, but doesn't he seem like your one friend (we all have one) that gets hurt all the time?
In trading for Bogut, the Warriors now have no cap flexibility for two years and possibly no lottery draft pick this year. They are one more fluky injury away from being stuck with no center and being salary cap strapped.
It's understandable that trading for Bogut now freed up valuable minutes and experience for Klay Thompson, but would it have made more sense to wait and see what the trade market was like after the season? I have a hard time believing this deal wouldn't have been on the table next season, or that they couldn't have looked elsewhere.
The risk of his injures and zero cap space would have made sense had the team planned on tanking their games to get their pick back, but as of right now it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
Trading for an injured player doesn't make a whole lot of sense because now they are locked in with their current roster for the foreseeable future. It may have been better to wait to make a deal if they are going to miss out on that pick anyway.
5. Is Their Current Rotation Going to Be Enough for the Playoffs?
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In making these trades, the Warriors are pretty much set with the core of their roster for the next two seasons.
Barring any more deals, Bogut, David Lee, Wright, Stephen Curry and Thompson are their starting five, with Andris Biedrins, Jefferson, and Charles Jenkins coming off the bench.
They can sign Brandon Rush back. Jeremy Tyler looks like he is going to be a player in this league, but he is a few years away. Dominic McGuire has been playing well, but can they afford him?
If they end up of missing out on their pick, where is any other impact player going to come from?
This roster has a better chance on paper than the one they started this season with (although that's debatable), but can you say that this is a playoff team, especially with how deep the Western Conference is?
With no cap room and no lottery pick (as of today)m the Warriors had better hope this team is ready to contend because the trade deadline brought them the team they are stuck with for the next two seasons.