It has been quite a season for the Golden State Warriors. Entering the 2011-12 season, they had a motivated owner in Joe Lacob, a young coach in Mark Jackson, talented assistant coaches and a moderately talented team on the court.
The eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs was attainable.
Then how did we get to the Warriors possibly tanking the season to get a better pick in the NBA Draft?
The Warriors will have one of their biggest offseasons in some time, and it starts with the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30.
Arguably the biggest goal of the 2012 offseason is getting the Warriors' starters healthy.
Golden State now has three of their best players headed for surgery. Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry will have their ankles examined in arthroscopic surgery and David Lee will undergo surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle. They are essential to the any Warriors' success next season.
Having a big man like Bogut added to the team is one thing, but not having supporting him with either Curry or Lee just puts the team back at square one once again.
There are two ways the Warriors can own a top-seven pick in the 2012 NBA Draft in June. They can be awarded one of the top-seven picks via the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery in late May, or they can trade for it.
For the first time in awhile, the NBA Draft Lottery will be exciting for Warriors fans if all goes according to plan.
However, the whole idea of tanking to get a top-seven selection is absurd. The Warriors would be tanking for just a few more ping pong balls. It is one thing to tank for a top-three pick, but it another thing to tank for an undersized power forward like Jared Sullinger outside of the top-five.
Either way, the Warriors will be lucky to get any talent out of this whole ordeal.
The Warriors have one of the best group of assistant coaches the NBA has to offer, and assistant coach Mike Malone is at the top of it. Of course, that also comes with a little competition in terms of keeping him around as a part of their staff.
Part of the deal of having Jackson come on as the head coach was to have one of the best assistant coaches in the game, Malone, as the assistant coach to help guide the first-year head coach.
There will be teams calling for Malone to become their head coach this offseason, and the Warriors would be wise to give him what he wants, as if they have not already. He is the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA this season.
Free agency may not be very high on the Warriors' priority list this offseason, but it would bode well for them to pick up a few players to help solidify a nice bench going into next season.
With the Bogut acquisition, Lacob and new GM Bob Myers will not be going after a center anymore. But they should look for a more stable option at small forward, as well as a power forward to play behind Lee.
A player like Kris Humphries or Boris Diaw could be a valuable pick-up this offseason.
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