The Golden State Warriors have plenty of armor available as they enter the 2012 NBA draft. The Dubs have two first-round picks (Nos. 7 and 30) and two second-round picks (Nos. 35 and 52) in what has been projected as the deepest draft in a decade.
The Dubs need a small forward to fill out an up-and-coming roster. Names like Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay and Josh Smith headline the players that are currently available. Do the Warriors want to mortgage their future to acquire a proven small forward?
The Dubs will be inquiring about the headline names and the draft is probably the best time and place to strike a deal. It combines the past (player to be traded) with the future (player or draft choices acquired). The Dubs have four picks in their arsenal to make an upgrade.
Any of the headline names would be a great fit for the Dubs and an instant upgrade for years to come, but at what price? Teams that have highly coveted players wait for the best offer and most times it comes in above what they are expecting.
The Warriors have players who are in the peak of their careers (David Lee and Andrew Bogut), a player who is just entering the peak years of his career (Stephen Curry) and a potential future star (Klay Thompson). They need to trade that pick to a team that is looking to start over and won’t mind ditching top talent.
Who will be the Dubs biggest upgrade?
Do the Dubs offer all four draft picks to get that one player? That decision will definitely fill the whole in their lineup, but it will also leave a big whole in their bench. Can they trade only three of the four picks and hold back the 35th pick to add a big man to their depth?
The Warriors are also looking to trade down in the draft to get Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the only top five small forward talent (h/t baysportsnet.com). If he is available at pick three or later, they will have to seriously consider making that deal.
As I have said before, the Dubs want to make a splash and with new ownership, this is their time to do it. For every star that could be picked in the seventh position, there are as many soon-to-be busts.
It is time for Dubs GM Bob Myers to start getting on the phone and see what talent is available in this poker game. This experience will get his feet wet at the GM position and let the fans know if he currently has the mettle for the role or if it is a growing experience.
Ideally, the Dubs will trade their seventh pick, 35th pick, Dorell Wright and either Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson to match the salary of a premier small forward. That package will begin negotiations with teams.
The fallback option for the Dubs is to draft talent and stock their bench. Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Perry Jones III or Jared Sullinger (who now has potential back problems and will probably fall in the draft) could mature with the young core.
This is the first time in years that the Dubs are in a power position. They have a young nucleus, draft choices and a management team that, by all accounts, gets it. It is time to make the Warriors a winner.
Prediction: Kidd-Gilchrist costs too much and the Warriors continue their flirting with Iguodala. The Dubs will push hard, but Atlanta declines on taking Wright and Biedrins, because they aren’t clear what to do with Smith and can delay that decision until the trade deadline. Rudy Gay becomes available but only with the addition of David Lee to the original package. The Warriors decide Iggy is their man and give up Dorell Wright, Richard Jefferson and the seventh and 35th pick in the draft.
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