Golden State is a team with a plethora of players. The problem is, there are no superstars—at least not at the moment.
To become a title contender, and even a consistent playoff team, an all-star player is required.
Los Angeles has Black Mamba (Kobe), Houston has Yao, Denver has Melo, Dallas has Dirk, Cleveland has The Chosen One (LeBron), Orlando has Superman (Howard), Boston has The Truth (Pierce), and Atlanta has Joe Johnson.
These are the top four playoff teams from each conference this year. There’s a common theme here. Each guy is an all-star whom you can build around.
It seems like the Warriors are constantly searching for that type of player. Between the likes of C-Webb, Gil Zero, J-Rich, B-Diddy, and now Monta, these guys haven’t panned out.
Whether it was beef between coach/player, the second round pick contract a few years ago (now the Larry Bird Rights rule is in effect), management conflict, or injuries, the Warriors have not been able to keep a franchise player.
NBA Draft Preview
With the No. 7 overall draft pick in June’s NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors will have very few players to choose from that can elevate the team back to playoff contenders, unless the team can get lucky in Tuesday’s Draft Lottery.
Below are the three (yes...only three) players in this year’s draft that can help the Warriors:
Blake Griffin - He is the one franchise player in this year’s draft. A beast in every facet of the game, Blake would give the Warriors a true power forward in the mold of The Mailman Karl Malone. Blake would provide much-needed beef to the frontcourt as the team is currently rail thin up front (Biedrins, Wright, Randolph).
The Warriors thought they found a bruiser in the mold of Paul Millsap when drafting Richard Hendrix in the second round last year, but he got cut during the season. Griffin would provide the perfect inside-outside tandem with Monta Ellis.
Hasheem Thabeet - Hasheem is one of the few players who can contribute without having to score 20+ points a game. He’s 7’3” and would swat away everything that came his way for the Dubs. Although Ronny Turiaf is good shot blocker, Hasheem’s monkey arms would alter opponent's shots consistently and make them think twice about taking it to the rack.
Stephen Curry - Although Stephen is undersized, his heart and shooting ability make up for it. Not only is Stephen a pure shooter, but a playmaker who would complement the slashing and mid-range game of Monta in the backcourt.
The Warriors can use another pure shooter besides Anthony Morrow. What about the defense? Well, Stephen Jackson usually guards the best offensive player anyways, so SCurry or Monta can interchange between the opponent’s weakest guard/forward.
Offseason Strategy Advice
Golden State already has too much depth on their roster to add another “role” player, which is why I’ve only listed those three players that can improve the team.
The Warriors would be much better off if they can swing a deal for Chris Bosh. It is unlikely that CB4 will re-sign in Toronto and GM Bryan Colangelo cannot afford to lose his franchise player for zilch.
Golden State can trade their first-round pick, along with a combination of players including Biedrins, Belinelli, Crawford, Jackson, Maggette, Morrow, ‘Buike, Watson, and Wright. I believe Ellis and Randolph, although unlikely to be traded, are not untouchable.
Golden State has all the assets in place to trade for an all-star such as Bosh. Let’s see if rookie GM Larry Riley can right the ship for this troubled franchise in which fans are yearning for that superstar player.