The 2012 NBA Draft is just days away and teams are looking to finalize some offers to move up or down in the draft order.
While the Golden State Warriors already have a pretty high pick at number seven overall, they may not be content with who will be available. The Warriors have looked at the option of bringing in a veteran like Luol Deng to fill their small forward need, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, that will not be an option.
Since the Deng deal has seemingly fallen through, would it be a good option for the Warriors to trade up and take the best small forward in the 2012 draft class?
The small forward I am referring to is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from the University of Kentucky. He is a very talented and very young (19 years old) prospect who could be an exact fit for the Warriors.
Kidd-Gilchrist may be the best athlete in the entire 2012 draft class and his playing style reflects that advantage. He attacks the rim and uses his athleticism to create offense or draw fouls. While he excels at driving to the basket, one of the big knocks on Kidd-Gilchrist is his undeveloped shooting touch. However, he makes up for his lack of high scoring by playing strong and versatile defense. He is tall and long enough to guard the bigger players, but also agile and fast enough to match up with guards.
What makes Kidd-Gilchrist such a great fit for the Warriors is that he is a great compliment to their offense, which will have plenty of scoring ability from their core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and David Lee. This is a similar situation to what Kidd-Gilchrist played in last season at Kentucky, where he did not shoulder a heavy offensive load.
Without the pressure to score a lot, Kidd-Gilchrist should be able to find his comfort zone in Golden State and use the majority of his energy on the defensive end.
All of this sounds great but the problem is, Kidd-Gilchrist will certainly be gone at No. 7. Therefore, if the Warriors really want to have him, they will have to give up some talent to get in position to draft him.
Golden State may be forced to trade up to either the second, third or fourth pick in the draft, depending on where they think Kidd-Gilchrist would get picked. Trading up just a few spots this high in the draft is definitely gonna cost the Warriors a price. However, the underlying question for Golden State is, "Is it worth it?"
Realistically, to get up to the second or third overall pick the Warriors would have to part with their seventh overall pick, their 30th overall pick, plus one of their two second-round picks or a player already on their team. By trading for number two or three overall, the Warriors are pretty much solidifying their chances for Kidd-Gilchrist since Anthony Davis is a sure-fire No. 1 overall, and Thomas Robinson and Bradley Beal have both been speculated to be the second pick.
The Bobcats are a desperate team who needs to add a lot of talent, but they have shown interest in trading down in the draft. The Wizards are a less desperate team with a decent core of their own, but would most likely be interested in a deal with Golden State if the right package was offered.
The Warriors would essentially have to trade possibly three of their four selections in the draft to get Kidd-Gilchrist. Not to mention the possibility of including a player like Dorell Wright or Charles Jenkins instead of one of their second-round picks. Is that too high of an asking price for Golden State? I would say that it is.
Instead of focusing on just one player to get out of this draft, the Warriors need depth more than pure talent right now. With four picks to get some good, young talent on their roster, Golden State could come out of the draft with one of the best young squads in the Western Conference.
Even if they aren't satisfied with Dorell Wright as their starting small forward, the Warriors do have options in free agency, with players like Nicolas Batum and Michael Beasley being restricted free agents.
Golden State has a solid core with Curry, Thompson, Lee and Bogut, so all they need is to add some support. While Kidd-Gilchrist would be one nice piece to add to that mix, the Warriors would be better off to use all four of their draft picks to see if they can add good talent across all positions, instead of just addressing the small forward position.
Additionally, picking at No. 7 overall still puts the Warriors in position to find a great pick. Draft Express currently has the Warriors selecting big man Andre Drummond from UConn. He could be a nice addition to give depth to a shallow front court for Golden State.
Besides Drummond, the Warriors could also potentially snag a player whose stock has fallen rapidly and dropped out of the top five.
Overall, the Warriors would be better suited to get all the young talent they can out of this draft, even if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seems like a perfect fit for their lineup. If Golden State has a good draft that supports their core, they could become a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference for years to come.