NBA Rumors: Golden State Warriors Must Land Elite Small Forward on Draft Day
The Golden State Warriors must use their four draft picks to land a missing link on draft day. Whether it come via trade or lottery selection, the Warriors have to find an elite small forward for next season.
The Warriors could do just that, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.
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.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the best-case scenario. He, or Harrison Barnes, will require Golden State to move up from No. 7 into the top five.
Simmons speaks to that as well.
The Warriors ideally would like to deal the No. 7 pick, one of their selections in the 30s and Dorell Wright for an upgrade at small forward. Then, they could use the remaining pick (No. 30 or 35) on a big man, like St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, and have the mid-level exception to offer an experienced free-agent point guard.
The Warriors are not far away from making noise in the Western Conference.
Stephen Curry (health permitting) is a budding star at point guard, Klay Thompson proved himself to be a valuable sharpshooter after Monta Ellis was traded last season, and Andrew Bogut (also health permitting) is an underrated presence in the middle. David Lee adds his two cents as well.
Now Golden State just has to find that attacker on the wing. They need a player to create mismatches and attack the rim. This will free up everyone else, and it could make the Warriors one of the NBA's most exciting teams next season.
Let's take a look at the Warriors' options through trade, and who they could select if they stand pat at No. 7.
We already mentioned Iguodala, but the options do not stop there.
According to Simmons, the Warriors have expressed interest in Nicolas Batum, Luol Deng, Josh Smith, Rudy Gay and Danny Granger.
I can't see Indiana moving Granger for a lottery selection, but the other players could certainly be available for the right price.
Who makes the most sense for Golden State?
According to Mike McGraw of the Chicago Daily Herald (subscription required), luxury tax concerns could force the Bulls to part ways with Deng. Whether or not the Warriors want to pay his $28 million over the next two seasons is another issue.
But he is talented, and he would fill the Warriors' most immediate need.
Whether these players are actually on the table or not, the Warriors must pursue them. Each player fills a definitive need.
In my opinion, Iguodala makes the most sense. He is an excellent veteran defender and the price matches up. Allowing "Iggy" to play a complementary role, rather than be a star, would help his production.
Golden State must keep every option on the table until David Stern calls their name on draft day.
What If They Stay Put?
I understand why the Warriors do not want to add four rookies to an already young team. That makes sense, and it isn't the way to compete in the Western Conference.
But what if they held No. 7, drafted Terrence Jones and let the rest of their chips fall where they may. Other deals could be made later, but Jones could fill their need without having to give up anything.
The Warriors want an established player to pair with their inexperienced team, but Jones is extremely talented.
He can play both forward spots, rebounds well and has excellent range. His strength (6'9'', 245 pounds) and wingspan (7'2'') create problems for opponents, and he's athletic to boot.
Jones' attitude creates mixed opinions, but on paper he is an elite prospect. He has a unique skill set, and he could flourish in the NBA.
If Golden State stays at No. 7, who should they take?
One last thing, and I know I've harped on Golden State's needs on the wing.
But what if they sat at No. 7 and took Andre Drummond? He may not be there, but he would be another intriguing possibility.
They traded Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee as part of the Ellis deal this season. Drummond would have time to sit and learn behind Lee and Bogut, but he would also provide insurance for the oft-injured Australian.
The bottom line is the Warriors have a multitude of options. If they make savvy choices on draft day, they will be in a very good position heading into next season.
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