Golden State Warriors: "What's Next?" Part I

Tim LeeCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2008

Baron Davis is gone. Is it all "for nothing?"

The Warriors Management crew, though stunned, appeared ready to walk the path without Baron in the long-term. According to news media, the Warriors were pushing for only two guaranteed years in Baron's contract.

No wonder he intends to sign for the greater safety net of five-years with the LA Clippers.

One thing is certain: NBA fans will enjoy watching the Clippers more than ever now, with a line-up that includes solid players: Kaman, Brand, Thornton, Gordon (or Mobley) and Davis.

But, the Clippers just added another injury-plagued player, and one they might regret having two-plus years down the road. It will be worth it only if they at least make the Western Conference Finals or beyond, this year and/or next year.

That's no small feat in the West, where there are existing powerhouses like: San Antonio, LA (Lakers), Phoenix, Utah, and up-and-comers New Orleans (some may already consider a shoe-in) and Portland-- all vying for the same prize.

Consider the following Warriors' new depth chart, with each player in their most natural position, considering players available (back-up options in parentheses):

  • Andris Biedrins / Kosta Perovic (Brandan Wright, Al Harrington)
  • Brandan Wright / Richard Hendrix (Al Harrington)
  • Stephen Jackson / Al Harrington / Anthony Randolph
  • Kelenna Azubuike / Marco Belinelli (Stephen Jackson)
  • Monta Ellis / CJ Watson (Marco Belinelli)

If one assumes Ellis and Biedrins are signed to multi-year deals (and there are no longer any obstructions cash-wise whatsoever for the Warriors to do so), the Warriors have a long-term core of Biedrins, Ellis, Wright, Belinelli, and Randolph (the latter three with contracts and team options).

This appears to be a lot of unproven talent. However, their starting five in the coming year are all returning players (unless a splashy free-agent is signed).

Harrington is the wild-card, who can pretty much play back-up for any position, from three to five. Or, the Warriors could have Jackson move over to SG and re-insert Harrington into the starting line-up.

By no means is this a scary team to the rest of the imposing forces of the NBA.

It is, however, one with a growing, young "potential" (the danger word) core.

Once again.

Very small consolation to the Bay Area fans. But one thing can be said: for all the griping that the Bay Area fans have given, they've been behind the Warriors through a lot of down times.

They deserve more. Will they ever get it?

(See Part II for more).