Russell Westbrook: A Potential Draft Pick for the Golden State Warriors

K ShakranSenior Analyst IMay 27, 2008

Golden State Warriors’ assistant coach Keith Smart's lucky red tie and nifty suit he had put on on NBA Draft Lottery night didn't seem to shed it's magic as the Warriors ended up with the predicted 14th pick.

However, the 14th pick might not be as bad as it looks.

There are many prospects that might wind up in Oakland this summer that include:

D.J. Augustin, 5-11, point guard, Texas, 20: Size is the only question with Augustin, the consummate point guard.

Russell Westbrook, 6-4, point guard/shooting guard, UCLA, 19: Good defender and excellent athlete who made vast improvement this year.

Darrell Arthur, 6-9, power forward, Kansas, 20: Athletic big man who might thrive outside Kansas' restrictive system. .

Chase Budinger, 6-7, shooting guard, Arizona, 20: Great athlete who can shoot and score.

After observing these vastly talented players and weighing out the most influential options, I picked Russell Westbrook from UCLA.

People might contend that the Warriors are "midgets" and a big body in the middle has to be a priority.

However, backtracking to the 2007-2008 season, the Warriors failed to make the playoffs in, the greatest weakness in the team lies in a lack of a proficient back-up point guard.

Coming in to last season, the Warriors looked like a complete team, most importantly with a back-up point guard in Troy Hudson to spell Davis some minutes during games.

Mid-season Troy Hudson suffered a knee injury and apparently retired. C-J Watson, an outstanding D-League player, joined the team but did not earn the trust of Don Nelson due to the fact that he was a rookie.

And we all acknowledge the Nellie rookie paranoia, don't we?

Russell Westbrook could conceivably be that point guard that fills in the gap for the high paced Warriors.

Westbrook is an athletic and explosive combo guard with the length to make up for his lack of height. Attacks the basket with a lethal first step and crossover ability. He can handle the ball well and gets into the lane effortlessly.

Westbrook finishes well at the rim and is unafraid to go up in traffic. With a huge wingspan, it allows him to play much bigger than his 6-3 height. In addition, he has an excellent mid-range game.

However, he must continue to improve his body strength.