Golden State Warriors: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agent News, Draft Buzz

James PearsonCorrespondent IMay 29, 2012

Golden State Warriors: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agent News, Draft Buzz

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    The NBA Draft Lottery is approaching and is usually the most exciting time for fans of the Golden State Warriors.

    This time, they hope it will just be the start of new and exciting times to come during the actual season.

    After trading for Andrew Bogut at the deadline and also bringing in Richard Jefferson, the Warriors will have a very new look next season. The hope in the front office is that the new construction of the roster will lead to more fruitful results.

    Here is all the latest buzz surrounding the Warriors this offseason.

Jarrett Jack to Add Security

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    Per a report via CSNPhilly.com, the Philadelphia 76ers have acquired Dorell Wright from the Golden State Warriors. It was previously speculated that the Warriors would receive Edin Bavcic, but Marc Stein of ESPN.com has reported that he will be utilized for a different acquisition.

    Warriors to get Jarrett Jack & Hornets only have to take back draft rights to Edin Bavcic (originally Philly-bound) to complete the trade

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2012

    This is a great acquisition for the Warriors, as they will add security behind the injury-prone Stephen Curry. Expect Jack to see serious playing time and pace the Warriors' offense.

Dorell Wright Traded

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    According to Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com, the Golden State Warriors have traded three-point specialist Dorell Wright to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Warriors will receive a player whom the Sixers stashed overseas.

    [The trade] would mean the player is likely Edin Bavcic. The Warriors also received a trade exception worth $4.1 million – Wright’s salary.

    As reported in the previous slide, Bavcic was utilized to acquire Jarrett Jack from the New Orleans Hornets.

    This is a deal that opens up playing time for rookies Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. This also opens up financial flexibility in preparation for what could be a big 2013 offseason in San Francisco.

Draft Luck?

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    The Warriors could really use some of that right about now.

    Not necessarily the kind of luck that lands them Anthony Davis, or even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who would be a perfect fit), but luck good enough to keep them in the top seven, so they can retain their pick. Then they will not just make the playoffs, but make some serious noise when they get there.

    The Warriors are expected to select seventh overall on June 28th, but to bring some luck, Warriors co-owner Peter Guber has his "lucky" shark tooth.

    That's not all.

    Newly minted General Manager Bob Myers, who will be representing the team tomorrow, is bringing his American Indian coin. Which is also lucky I guess, as it has "propitious powers."

    This can't miss right?

    I wouldn't get any hopes up, but if this does work though, expect "fan giveaway nights" featuring lucky teeth and powerful coins.

Warriors Potential Move to the San Francisco

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    This is not an immediate dilemma by any means, but it is one of the biggest stories for the Warriors this offseason.

    Golden State ownership, if they get their way, will move the Warriors to San Francisco by 2017. This could make the team more marketable and attract free agents, thus improving the Warriors' name around NBA financial circles. 

    The move could alienate a fanbase that has supported this team through almost nothing but tough times and has still given the franchise one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA.

    There is still a lot to be done to make this move happen, but the most important thing right now is that they start winning games.

Free Agent Focus

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    Priorities one and two in free agency should be re-signing Brandon Rush and Dominic McGuire.

    Rush was outstanding for the Warriors last year and as a restricted free agent, the Warriors are able to match any offer that comes his way. Rush back in a Warrior uniform next season should be a no-brainer.

    Dominic McGuire, an unrestricted free agent, is an excellent defender and a key member of their bench. As long as the offer isn't too outrageous, the smart thing to do would be to bring him back as well.

    Other than that, the Warriors will have only a mid-level exception around $5 or 6 million to spend on outside free agents this summer. With that the best thing they could do is bring in a veteran presence, who can teach this team how to win on and off the court.

Who Will Be the Starting Small Forward?

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    Dorell Wright? Richard Jefferson? Dominic McGuire? A rookie? A free agent? Someone they trade for? 

    The only glaring need for the Warriors' staring five is at small forward and there are plenty of options.

    Wright, after a stellar first season with the Warriors, showed why he wasn't highly sought as a free agent a couple of years ago. Entering a contract year now, will he turn it back on and give the Warriors what they are looking for?

    Richard Jefferson is probably better suited for the bench at this point of his career (even less of a role really, if he wasn't making so much money).

    The same goes for McGuire. While it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if he did start for this team next season, I think his energy is best used coming off the bench.

    That leaves a new name to come in and start. Ideally the Warriors will address this position through the draft. If not, with their mid-level exception they may be able to lure someone like Grant Hill, Matt Barnes or anyone else who is strong on the defensive end.

    They could also parlay their draft pick and players to acquire a veteran to lock down the position.  

    It's really up in the air at this point who the starting small forward will be next season, but is the biggest roster question mark heading into this offseason.

The Warriors Are Trying to Ensure That They Keep Their Lottery Pick

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    The Warriors have a 72 percent chance of keeping their own pick tomorrow and apparently that's not enough to help them sleep tonight.

    Although it was reported that the Warriors tried to make a deal with the Utah Jazz to keep their pick regardless of the outcome, those talks are dead and Golden State will have its fingers crossed when the ping pong balls start flying.

    The Warriors have to be hopeful that the Jazz don't walk away with the lottery pick, because this is a team that needs to improve through the draft.

    With cumbersome contracts already on the books in Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Richard Jefferson and even Andris Biedrins, Golden State has to think outside the box when it comes to reversing the recent fortune of the franchise.

Other Trade Options?

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    The Warriors should be looking at all options this summer, including the trade market.

    I wouldn't suggest dealing David Lee, Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut or Klay Thompson, but everyone else on the team should at least be available.

    At this point you couldn’t even give Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson away, so that makes either of their two first round picks and Dorell Wright likely trading chips.

    Depending on where they land if the lottery, using that pick and Wright as trade bait to acquire a strong defender to start at small forward is something they should be looking at.

    It's awfully tough to predict this team's strategy, but it wouldn't be the worst idea to explore offers other teams might float their way prior to the June draft.

2012 Draft Notes

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    The Warriors biggest needs heading into the draft are more size up front and a small forward.

    Barring any unforeseen miracle, like landing a top-three pick or being able to trade up, the Warriors are projected to select seventh, 30th, 35th, and 52nd.

    They should be able to do some damage with these picks.

    Early targets include Harrison Barnes from UNC and Perry Jones from Baylor. Both project as small forwards and have enormous upside.

    While it makes the most sense to draft a small forward early in this draft, if the Warriors went in another direction and selected a big man who can rebound (remember Andris Biedrins is their first option off the bench down low), Jared Sullinger from Ohio State, Tyler Zeller from UN, and the explosive Arnett Moultrie from Mississippi State (who by draft night might have made a Bismack Biyombo type leap up the draft board) are good options.

    Whichever direction they go with on their first pick though, they should be going the other way on their second pick.

    The Warriors also have two second-round picks and by that point should be taking the best available player on their draft board.

Will Michael Malone Leave or Stay?

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    Michael Malone, the Warriors' top assistant, could be on his way out, leaving behind Mark Jackson with a grand total of one year of head-coaching experience.

    That would be unfortunate, but that is what top assistants do, they leave for head coaching jobs.

    Malone, highly regarded around the league, could very well land a head-coaching job elsewhere, but what else can the Warriors do but grant him the chance to look around?

    GM Bob Myers has stated that they will do everything they can to keep him, which is great, but if he finds a top job somewhere and unless they fire Jackson (which isn't going to happen), Malone will be on his way out.

    The Warriors would obviously like him back, but I think everyone would wish him the best if he lands somewhere else and the team should be planning in case he does leave.

Veteran Presence

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    This is a Warriors team that needs leadership in the worst way.

    Golden State is suffering through a bit of an identity crisis, and the first point of order in the offseason should be to bring in someone who is capable of controlling the locker room.

    A locker room leader doesn't always have to be the best player on the floor—just ask Derek Fisher.

    With Jerry West stressing the need for a couple of veteran players on the team, it's going to be important to bring in some players who have good intangibles in order to set the tone.

    For a club that hopes to rise up and exceed expectations in the 2012-13 season, the Warriors need to choose wisely about who they bring in before the campaign kicks off.