A Warriors Mock Draft with Trade Scenarios
Watching the postseason, I just hope that we might be able to see the Warriors there again in the new future. I get antsy hoping and thinking about how it might occur and wanted to put my thoughts down.
The Lottery and Draft offer rays of hope to downtrodden teams like the Warriors. Could we get the equivalent of a Rose, Roy, or Duncan that immediately transforms the franchise? Could our malaise end?
This article is written in that spirit of hope. That we can believe again in a playoff team. The draft may not be enough so I threw in some trade possibilites of players that should be available.
This should be a strong draft that might force changes in the team. The preferences are picked on what will improve the Warriors the most, but not necessarily be the best for playing with Nelson since there is no guarantee he will be around.
On a side note, I would like to thank Genesic at Golden State of Mind for the percentages of the draft.
10.4% Warriors get the first pick: John Wall
If Derrick Rose's impressive showing against the Cavaliers showed anything, it demonstrated that fast point guards can change a team. He and Noah had some injuries and they still got a mediocre Bulls team to the playoffs.
Many Warrior fans want to trade this pick, but unless we can get an elite big and trade Maggette, you keep a player of the caliber of Wall.
Truly Wall is a gamechanger. Off-the-charts athleticism, great court vision, good size, and three-point range, which has shown signs of improvement. He has the athleticism to be a plus defender.
With Wall, we may have the talent to attract a player that would be willing to come in a sign and trade, but we will assume that is not the case for the purposes of this slide show.
With Wall's size and athleticism, I think we will be able to play him with Curry without losing too much on defense. On offense, with Wall's athleticism, both of their passing abilities, and Curry's shooting; they would be one of, if not the best backcourt in basketball.
11.2% Warriors get the second pick: Evan Turner
If we get the second pick, then we will and probably should pick Evan Turner. Others are higher on Turner than I am. I would look to trade down to get DeMarcus Cousins if we could get anything of significant value.
While Evan Turner has a great handle and was the best college player. He is 21 and played well against inferior competition, but did not appear to be fully transcendent. He does not have the athleticism of Favors or Wall and lacks the impressive physical presence of Cousins. He does not have a great shooting stroke. He has above average strength, but the average athleticism will probably keep him from being a plus defender.
If we get him, we can hope that he will become the next Brandon Roy with his impressive strength, court vision, and handle will make him the small forward or shooting guard we need. He is not an incredible shooter, but there is hope he can improve.
Drafting Turner rather than Wall gives us more freedom with what we want to do with Ellis, but Turner would probably be a better shooting guard than a small forward. He is also the most NBA ready prospect in the draft, so should contribute right away.
12.1% Warriors get the third pick: DeMarcus Cousins
This is a pick that would probably signal a coaching change. Cousins is not a Nelson-type player. He is not undersized and is certainly not designed for run and gun.
However, he is 6'10" 250 lbs with a 7'2" wingspan and he was the most polished scorer as only a freshman in college. He had so many post moves he has been compared to McHale.
While not incredibly athletic, he has tremendous body control and strength. He will not have the same kind of dominance in the NBA that he had with college, but he is only 19 and still has room to grow.
He allows the Warriors to change speeds and match up against bigger teams. Cousins has shown strong shot blocking ability and the ability to guard the post. His lack of athleticism leaves him open on the weak side, but he has Randolph to guard that.
9.9% Warriors get the fourth pick: Derrick Favors
Amare Stoudemire with defense?!
Favors has amazing potential, but at 6'9'' -6'10'', he may be a little small for center and we already have two power forwards who have yet to reach their potential.
He played with horrible guards and another player who played his exact position. It is still uncertain what he can do. The glimpses of greatness are there with his tremendous athletic potential he has to be the pick here.
Besides, he completely fits the Warriors style of play, but can add some of the defense we lack. He and Wall are the best athletes in the draft. If he lives up to his potential he could be the second best pick of the draft class in 3-4 years.
Finally, we can wait to do any trades with this pick because we will probably not be in position to make the playoffs as we wait for our talent to develop.
37.4% Warriors get the fifth pick: Wesley Johnson
Wesley Johnson should be an athletic 3 who grades out to be a decent long-range shooter and has the possibility of being a plus-defender.
However, he is one of the older players in the draft with limited upside. They claim his upside will be Shawn Marion, but I don't think he has the athleticism Matrix once possessed. I'm thinking he will be more like Trevor Ariza. Still not bad for fifth overall to have an excellent starter.
He averaged almost 2 blocks and 2 steals a game, but that might have been a product of playing in a zone.
On the plus side, he is a fast runner and athletic three who can shoot threes and finish. He should not upset the power structure of the Warriors because he is not an alpha dog. If he is not a complete bust and the Warriors stay healthy, he could be the key to getting us to the playoffs, if never an all-star talent.
17.9% Warriors get the sixth pick: Al-Farouq Aminu
Aminu is another player with great potential. A player with 3-point range, the potential to be an excellent defender, and a great rebounder from the small forward position. He has a 7'2" wingspan.
The Warriors desperately need a strong wing defender and Aminu could be it in a couple of years. He has a fantastic ability to get to the hoop, which should only be increased by playing with a fantastic passer like Curry.
Like with Derrick Favors, the Warriors would be allowing potential to sacrifice the present. For a talent like Aminu, like Favors, it might be worth it.
1.5% Warriors get the seventh pick: Hassan Whiteside
Let's face it, if the Warriors get the 7th pick, when we have a 98.5% chance to avoid it, it will be bad.
Whiteside becomes less than the obvious choice largely by process of elimination. Higher upside than anyone projected in the lottery not already on this list besides perhaps Donatas Motiejunas. However, Whiteside has a better skillset for the Warriors with defensive weaknesses.
To be fair, he is compared to Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby. He has been a triple double threat (points, rebounds, and blocks). He is incredibly quick, athletic, and has not been routinely bested like Thabeet.
This is also a vote against seemingly sure busts like the muted and soft Greg Monroe and Cole Aldrich and the duplication of skills with Ed Davis (less athletic version of Randolph).
Personally if we are so unlucky, I hope we trade the pick rather than hope Whiteside does not go Patrick O'Bryant on us.
Trade Scenario #1: Andre Iguodala
The reason why so many Warriors fans covet Iguodala is his impressive athleticism and strong defensive presence. Unfortunately, we don't have anything that would directly appeal to Philadelphia despite their willingness to trade their star.
With Memphis and their well-publicized desire for Ellis, we would get OJ Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet, who should be acceptable assets for Iguodala.
For the Warriors, Iguodala can take the best perimeter player and should excel as a slasher, especially with Curry to pass to him.
This trade needs to be attempted if we draft Wall or Cousins. If the Warriors want to compete next year, which we should be in a position to do with either player, we will need an elite perimeter defender.
Why they do it?
Memphis is desperate for Ellis and has already offered the proposal so that is an easy yes. Philly might be reluctant to give up Iggy, but for the opportunity to get two developing young players with smaller salaries and shorter contracts who might fit better with the quickly developing Jrue Holiday, who will need a shooter like Mayo.
Trade Scenario #2: Al Jefferson
Stats freaks do not like Jefferson because they claim he is inefficient. His anemic TS% speaks to that fact, but it must be considered that he has never played with a very good point guard who could feed him the ball in a position to score.
I think this can be fixed and that he could become a special player playing with Curry.
Like Cousins, he allows the Warriors to change speeds and play either fast with Biedrins or slowly against other bigs (think Shaq, Lakers, or Howard)
It is important to take into consideration that this is a chance to buy low on a player that should be fully healed by next year.
Again we use Memphis as a mediary. Ellis to Memphis, with OJ Mayo and Thabeet to Minnesota, and Jefferson to the Warriors.
This trade makes sense if we draft Turner, Johnson, or Aminu. Any of these players makes acquiring Iguodala not make sense and requires us to find a stronger post presence.
Why Minnesota does it?
Al Jefferson and Kevin Love do not play well together. Jefferson has the larger contract. Minnesota has the time to wait for Thabeet to develop and needs a shooter (scorer) to go along with Brewer and Flynn.
Trade Scenario #3: Hedo Turkoglu
Depending on our need for another scorer and a guy to initiate the offense or create a mismatch we can trade Maggette for Hedo Turkoglu. Given how badly the Turkoglu experiment has gone for Toronto, Golden State may be able to extract a first round pick in addition to Turkoglu for Maggette.
The key thing is that if we get Turkoglu, we will need a good post defender to ensure that we can protect against faster players getting around Turkoglu.
Given how much our fans want to get rid of Maggette this is a reminder that we can trade him for a possibly acceptable option. However, if we have a coach that uses him right (like in limited quantaties), he can be very helpful in piling up fouls on our opposition and helping us get into the bonus.