Golden State Warriors: 7 Reasons Why Move to San Francisco Won't Fix the Team
It was announced on May 22nd that the Golden State Warriors would be packing up and moving across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. The move is a exciting one for the franchise; they are returning home to San Francisco where they left in 1971. The plan was laid out on Pier 30/32 where the new state of the art arena will be built. The location of the arena is great for fans. With easy transportation to and from the arena, it should not be a problem to see the Dubs play. It is also located in an area where the bars and restaurants will provide a whole new feel for Warriors games.
What the Warriors should realize and what the fans should know is that the move will not make the team any better. Just because they play in a new city doesn't mean they will be winning championships. Here are seven reasons why the move to San Francisco won't fix the Warriors.
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Unless there are drastic changes before the 2017 season, the Dubs will still have the same lousy decision makers that they have now. Running away to San Francisco is not going to guarantee you a certain amount of wins. Living next door to the Oakland A's in the recent years has been a easy task, they don't provide any pressure to win games, moving to San Francisco where your new neighbors won the World Series in 2010 and are in contention to win their division every year will provide new added pressures.
Earlier in the year Grantland's Bill Simmons wrote a piece entitled "How to Annoy a Fan Base in 60 Easy Steps" all of which were are about the Warriors. It is no hidden fact that the Warriors have made some of the most head-scratching decisions in all of sports and the move to San Francisco won't change this. Fan's will not be as likely to throw out money for expensive tickets to watch a team finish the year under .500.
For the Warriors' sake let's hope they bring in better and smarter decision makers or else the product on the court in 2017 won't match the building they play in.
They Still Won't Have the Ability to Land a Mega Star
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Many people believe that the move to San Francisco is a great move for the team because it moves them from a mid to large market. But in reality the team is not changing markets, the team's market is the Bay Area and the move to San Francisco does not change this. Whether San Francisco will attract more big time free agents then Oakland is a toss up. If the team is in the same state that they are now, it will not. I don't believe stars don't come to Oakland because of Oakland; stars don't come to Oakland because the team isn't very good.
Let's pretend for a second that the move was happening right now. Do you think the Warriors would be on the wish lists of say Dwight Howard or Darren Williams? Probably not but it's not because of Oakland, it's because of the team. Golden State has the some of the best fans in all of the NBA, the Warriors ranked 10th this past season in attendance and only one team ahead of them also missed the playoffs. You could argue that the Warriors have the most dedicated fans in all of the NBA and star players love to play in front of rocking stadiums every night.
Lacob and company will have to figure out a way either through trades or the draft to get this team up to a level that it can not only make a playoff run but make a serious run at a star player in free agency.
The Western Conference Is Strong
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Another reason why the Warriors move across the bay won't make the team any better is the fact that they play in the Western Conference. The Western Conference is much different than the Eastern Conference. In the Western Conference the two teams that are squaring off in the championship were both built through the draft. The Thunder and the Spurs were both built in a similar way. The Spurs are aging, but there isn't an organization that is more capable to reload than the Spurs. In the Eastern Conference, the Heat and Celtics were both built mainly through trades and free agency.
If you take a look at the Western Conference many teams are loaded with young talent that will still be good in 2017. The Thunder, Grizzlies, Clippers, Nuggets and Timberwolves are all young and talented teams that will still be atop the conference in 2017, and the Spurs and Lakers, who are both aging now, will have no problem reloading their teams with talent.
The Warriors may have the nicest arena in the Western Conference but on the court how will they match up in 2017?
How Will the Fans React?
Oracle is a great place to watch a basketball game, the Warriors boast some of the best fans in the NBA, and one of the biggest luxuries is the how inexpensive it is. With sites like Stub Hub and Craigslist, Warrior tickets can be found at a low cost. Not spending very much money to watch an average basketball team is not half bad, because the basketball and Oracle's atmosphere is worth it.
I can't even imagine how much it is going to cost for a ticket once the Warriors make their way across the Bay Bridge, but I can guarantee one thing: it sure will be way more than fans pay now. My guess is ticket prices will go through the roof as well as concessions and parking fees. This probably won't matter in the first part of the 2017 season, the excitement of the move will out way the prices but what happens around All-Star break when the team isn't racking up the wins? If the economy does not improve by 2017 then the Warriors could fall from their 10th ranking in attendance.
This will hurt the team financially as I suspect that they will rely on ticket sales to help with the cost of the arena and the ability to go out and sign free agents. If attendance numbers stumble from where they are now, it could drastically hurt the teams attempts to get better.
Bad Drafts Are Becoming a Trend
Anthony Randolph was selected 14th in the 2008 NBA Draft
Without being a team that is capable of signing big-time free agents, the Warriors have to improve through the draft, which proposes a big problem for the Warriors since they are one of worst drafting teams in the NBA. Without drafts that produce stars it is very hard to win games at a consistent level in the NBA.
If you review the Warriors' drafts from past years you will find players who either didn't reach their potential and now sit on the bench or aren't on the roster anymore. It takes two or three years of solid drafts for a team to rise to the top of the NBA. Even if the Warriors had the No. 1 pick in this year's draft you could argue that if they selected Anthony Davis or another top rated prospect the team might be better than they were, but they still aren't making a championship run.
The good thing about the move is it doesn't happen till 2017, plenty of time for the Warriors to string together drafts that produce strong players that will turn the tide to a winning way. But are they capable of doing it?
Coupled with terrible moves by management is a trail of bad luck that has been following the Dubs. For example, Stephen Curry and his ankle that hobbled him all of this year. With Monta not on the roster anymore Curry became the face of the franchise. It is not good when the face of your franchise misses considerable time. You are left with a weak bench, and a first-year head coach scrambling to solve his teams problems.
If the Warriors want to be serious title contenders they have to first make smarter decisions and have some good fortune. They have the money to spend on players that they want but if/when they do spend money on someone that player must be on the court and not the training room.
Terrible Long-Term Contracts
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If you haven't noticed by now, the reason why the Warriors are not very good is because of their front office. The front office once again has let down its fans by signing players to terrible contracts. It is extremely tough for new/better players to be signed when all their money is wrapped up in three or four huge contracts.
According to HoopsHype.com the Warriors will spend $13 million on Andrew Bogut, $12 million on David Lee, $10 million on Richard Jefferson and $9 million on Andris Biedrins next year. That's not very good. That is a lot of money wrapped up in players that aren't going to win you a championship. Something even worse is that all four of those players are under contract for the 2013/14 season and they all will be making more than those figures.
The Warriors are going to have to find a way to unload some of this baggage because if they do get a chance to go out and sign a franchise changing player, they don't have the room to do it. All because they are paying Biedrins $9 million for 15.7 minutes per game, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 points.