NBA Trade Rumors: Could the Golden State Warriors Trade All Four Draft Picks?
For once, luck went the Warriors' way during the NBA Draft Lottery last week, allowing them to keep their desired lottery pick. With that pick, Golden State will have four draft choices in the upcoming 2012 NBA draft: two first-rounders (Nos. 7 and 30) and two second-rounders (Nos. 35 and 52).
However, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that they do not plan on keeping all four of their picks.
Simmons gives us a brief summary of the Warriors' strategy:
The team is considering a number of options for its four draft picks, according to Warriors and league sources, including trading some or all of them for a current NBA starter such as Andre Iguodala, trading up in the draft to get a top-five prospect like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or even moving back in the draft to secure future assets.
In other words, expect the Warriors to make some kind of trade before the draft begins on June 28.
Plan A, according to Simmons, would be to use their No. 7 pick, one of their second-rounders and Dorell Wright in a deal for an upgrade at small forward.
There are endless possibilities for who the Warriors could land at small forward, which include Portland's Nicolas Batum (RFA), Chicago's Luol Deng, Memphis' Rudy Gay, Indiana's Danny Granger, Atlanta's Josh Smith and Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala.
Out of all these players, Simmons reports that Iguodala remains highest on the Warriors' wish list. The Warriors had a deal in the works to send Monta Ellis to Philadelphia in exchange for Iguodala, but the 76ers backed away because they were in the process of being sold.
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Ellis, of course, was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks this past March in an extremely unpopular deal that sent injured center Andrew Bogut to the Warriors.
If the Warriors can land one of the players above using Plan A, they would have a bona fide starter penciled in at every position, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as their two guards, David Lee and Andrew Bogut as their two big men and a potential upgrade at small forward.
Plan A would also allow the Warriors to keep two draft picks and give them the mid-level exception that they could use to lure a backup point guard via free agency, such as Jason Kidd or Andre Miller.
But the deal that really intrigues me is Plan B.
Simmons reports that there is a high possibility that Plan A does not work out. In that case, they will look to other options.
Plan B involves the Warriors potentially moving all four draft picks to either Charlotte or Washington for either the No. 2 or 3 pick with the intention of drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of Kentucky to start at small-forward.
At 6'7" and 232 pounds, Kidd-Gilchrist has been regarded by many scouts as the second-best player in the draft behind Anthony Davis, his teammate at Kentucky.
Minus his perimeter shooting, Kidd-Gilchrist displays the complete package. He is effective in just about every aspect of the game, including being a lockdown defender with the ability to guard several positions (something the Warriors desperately need).
He is also an excellent rebounder for his size and is lethal on the fast break, with the ability to slash to the basket (a la Russell Westbrook). Kidd-Gilchrist has drawn comparisons to Gerald Wallace, although his potential is much higher.
Because he is just 18 years old, scouts say that Kidd-Gilchrist would benefit from joining a system where he is not the go-to guy. This is a good fit for the Warriors, as they have quality starters at the four other positions (Curry, Thompson, Lee, Bogut).
Drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would allow the Warriors to spend their mid-level exception on a backup big man such as Kris Humphries, Darrell Arthur or Reggie Evans.
However, there is no guarantee that Charlotte or Washington would be willing to part with the No. 2 or 3 picks.
After a disastrous season that saw them set an NBA record for lowest winning percentage in a season (.106), the Bobcats are looking for young players to be the next face of the franchise, while the Wizards are salivating at the possibility of pairing former No. 1 pick John Wall and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as a lethal one-two punch.
So, if luck does not pan out and neither Plan A nor Plan B is successful, the Warriors would be down to two final options.
Plan C would be to not make a trade and instead keep the No. 7 pick. Simmons suspects that the Warriors do not want to play it safe by drafting Jared Sullinger out of Ohio State, but will take a risk on Connecticut's Andre Drummond or Jeremy Lamb or Baylor's Perry Jones III
And finally, I'll let Simmons explain Plan D, which involves moving back in the draft:
The Warriors also are considering moving back to get more value out of drafting players who have their attention, like Kentucky's Terrence Jones or Illinois' Meyers Leonard. In either of those draft-only plans, the Warriors could use their late picks on draft-and-stash international players or in trades to get future picks.
So there you have it. Now that you've seen the Warriors' draft strategies, which one do you support?
In my opinion, Plan B works the best, which is why it is the title of this article. Unlike the NFL, having a lot of draft picks in the NBA is not a good thing. In the NFL, 46 players can be on the active roster at one time, compared to just 13 players in the NBA.
In other words, the Warriors do not have room for four extra players, especially since at least two of them will be relatively unproven second-round draft picks.
Would you rather have one skilled, high-ceiling top-three pick such as Kidd-Gilchrist, or four mediocre picks who will eat up salary and roster spots?
New Warriors' GM Bob Myers certainly understands this (via Simmons):
Having four picks is a tremendous situation to be in, and I think we can do some good things with it. We're excited. We have a tremendous amount of assets, which puts us in good shape to explore a variety of opportunities. It's up to us to make something of it.
It is safe to say that all eyes will be on the Warriors front office to see what that "something" will be.
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