The NBA draft lottery.
It has been an all too familiar sight for the fans in the Bay, waiting to see when the Warriors logo is pulled out of an envelope. And this year there's a new man who will be sitting there as it happens. Larry Riley has taken over as the new general manager after the inevitable ousting of Chris Mullin.
For the purpose of this article I'm going to put the internal management drama aside because, honestly, do fans really want to know what owner Chris Cohan and team president Robert Rowell are thinking?
I fear that would cause me to want to break something.
On the court the Warriors are in a similar mess. There are a ton of talented young players on this roster, but that's also the problem. The Warriors are a team of good players without that superstar to carry the team.
Monta Ellis was supposed to be the guy until he went and busted his ankle. His game is still eerily similar to Allen Iverson's, but with that noted lack of star power thus far in his career. His point guard skills are also even worse than Iverson's ever were.
The lack of a true point guard is the biggest concern even with the constant questions about the lack of size. Don Nelson's system is always going to play small ball, and being truly successful depends on having a great point guard. There was Steve Nash back in Dallas, and for those two glorious winning years Baron Davis held down the fort in Oakland.
Guard is the strength of this year's draft, even if it is weak overall. So here's some point guards the Warriors might consider.
The Warriors' best hope is to get the No. 2 pick and draft Ricky Rubio. He's the best true point guard in the draft and could be that facilitator to run the team. He can get the ball to Ellis and Stephen Jackson on the wings, and play to Andris Biedrins' strength in the pick and roll game.
But if the Warriors can't pull of the miracle and stick at their slotted seventh overall pick, there are still some options.
Brandon Jennings is an intriguing talent coming off a year abroad in Italy to avoid the age limit. He is insanely athletic and can handle the ball, but he is more of a dynamic scorer than a floor general.
There's also the problem that he's even smaller than Ellis (Jennings is listed around 6'2" and 170ish lbs.). A backcourt of Jennings and Ellis could put up 40 to 50 points a game.
And they would need to since they would probably give up around 50 to 60 on the defensive end.
Another guy to watch is UCLA guard Jrue Holiday. Holiday played out of position because of Darren Collison, and he can play the point. He is also a scoring point, but he's shown flashes of good floor vision and has good handles.
As with almost all incoming rookies he's a little raw, but he could develop into a solid point like his UCLA predecessor Russell Westbrook.
The Warriors should be ecstatic if Holiday can come in and average 15.3 points and 5.3 assists like Westbrook did as a rookie for Oklahoma City.
One guy the Warriors should be wary of is Stephen Curry. Curry should be a solid NBA player, but it will depend a lot on his situation. Curry is most effective coming off the ball and using that soft touch. He can play point, but he's at his best shooting the ball.
For some reason the name Monta Ellis comes to mind...
If Golden State can get a point guard through the draft, then that puts the focus squarely on trading for a big man. The good news is the Warriors have some pieces to deal. Jamal Crawford and Corey Maggette have value, but the question is how much.
One name thrown around is the possibility of acquiring Toronto All-Star Chris Bosh. Getting Bosh would probably also require giving up pieces like Biedrins, Brandan Wright, or Anthony Randolph. Randolph should be the closest to untouchable in the group, especially since he looks like he can turn into an All-Star.
Another concern with Bosh is his expiring contract. The Warriors would have to sign him to a big extension if they trade for him. And with Cohan and Rowell in charge, who knows if they will shell out the big bucks for Bosh.
But for now the Warriors' fate lies with the ping pong balls in Secaucus once again. The lottery on the 19th will be the start for yet another offseason of reevaluation and retooling. Best to just grit your teeth and hope for the best.
We Believe, right?
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