NBA Draft 2012: Breaking Down Golden State Warriors' Options with No. 7 Pick
Thanks to a little luck on lottery night, the Warriors are right where they are accustomed to being on draft night.
Smack dab in the middle of the lottery.
They also own the 30th, 35th and 52nd picks, and considering how deep the talent pool is this year they should be able to draft some difference-makers.
The Warriors' primary needs this offseason are at small forward and to find help off the bench. Specifically, one who serves as a backup post player, preferably one that can score the basketball. With all their picks they should be able to fill both needs on draft night.
With no shortage of options, this is what the Warriors will be facing in the coming weeks.
Selecting at No. 7
Even when the Warriors do get lucky, by keeping their own pick, they are still a little bit unlucky.
In a draft that has a drop-off in talent after the top six players—well depending on how you feel about Andre Drummond (C, Connecticut)—the Warriors, unless something miraculous happens, (like when Stephen Curry fell into their laps) will have the pick from the best of the rest.
The Warriors really have two option here. They could just go ahead and take the best available player on their draft board, which might not necessarily fit a need, or they can take a small forward.
At pick No. 7, most of the players available would be a reach, but would fill a need.
Targets that could be taken include: Drummond if he lasts this long, Dion Waiters (SG, Syracuse), Damian Lillard (PG, Weber State) and Jeremy Lamb (SG, Connecticut).
Any one of these guards would move Klay Thompson to small forward, should they choose to go this route.
The Warriors could go big and select Meyers Leonard (C, Illinois) who has been impressive so far in his individual workouts. Selecting Leonard would give them insurance in case Andrew Bogut gets hurt.
If the Warriors want to fill a need then Terrence Jones (SF, Kentucky) and Perry Jones (SF/PF, Baylor) become their best options. Although both have unimpressed so far in their individual workouts, both have the potential to become the Warriors' next starting small forward.
The Warriors, with all their picks, should entertain the idea of moving back in this draft. Their ideal trading partner is the Houston Rockets, who own the 14th and 16th picks.
If Houston would like to move up, acquiring their two first-round picks in exchange for the seventh, 30th and whatever else it would take should allow the Warriors to take care of their biggest needs.
Any combination of either one of the Joneses, Tyler Zeller (C, North Carolina), Royce White (PF, Iowa State) and Moe Harkless (SF, St. John's), might work.
The combination of players the Warriors could select at picks 14 and 16 would be a better combo than whomever they would select at picks seven and 30.
It seems like quite a few of the players that the Warriors are targeting at No. 7 have a chance to be there at picks 14 and 16, so it makes sense to inquire about Houston's willingness to deal.
If the Warriors keep all of their picks it would (likely) give them seven players on their roster with a combined total of three NBA seasons of experience between them.
This draft is very deep, but that much inexperience is not ideal for a team that is looking to make the playoffs.
If the Warriors are able to package their four picks to a team, say the Charlotte Bobcats for their No. 2 overall pick, they could get the player who best fits their team in the entire draft.
The Warriors are loaded with guys who can score. What they are missing is a tough, athletic defender who just happens to play the same position that is in dire need of an upgrade.
While Kidd-Gilchrist’s offensive game may be raw, it won't be detrimental to this team. He would immediately become the Warriors' best defender who wouldn’t be controlling the paint.
A trade makes sense for the Bobcats also. Adding four picks and possibly another player to a team that needs help everywhere might put them in a better spot than getting just one player.
Especially when that player won’t be Anthony Davis.
I can't imagine the Warriors having a more successful draft day than if they land Kidd-Gilchrist.
That is, unless they managed to get rid of both Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson somehow.
Trading for a Veteran Forward
For a team that is in need a playoff appearance or in risk of enraging their entire fanbase, adding a veteran small forward, especially for a team that is salary-cap strapped, would be a great way to make the playoffs a reality.
The Warriors are rumored to be interested in Nicolas Batum, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay and Josh Smith. Any of these six players would be fine additions and are all actually possible.
Well, except Batum.
The trade that makes most sense (and is the most likely) is for the Warriors to acquire Iguodala.
Iguodala has been rumored to the Warriors for so long now that it feels like he is a member of the team, so why not make it happen already?
Iguodala is the ideal target because of his ball-handling and playmaking abilities. Pair those skills with his defensive ability and he becomes the perfect fit for this Warrior squad.
That would make it highly possible for Iguodala to end up in Golden State.