Will the Golden State Warriors Play the Free Agency Game?
Around this time last year, Warriors fans across the Bay Area were excited with the young talent and potential that the blue and orange had put together.
No, the Warriors weren't a contender, but the team had some nice pieces, and as the season went along, they cleared some cap space for this year's free agent frenzy.
On the one-week anniversary of the 2010 Draft, the Golden State faithful should be questioning everything the Warriors front office is doing.
First, they traded Corey Maggette to Milwaukee for Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell. Sure, that gives the team more cap space, but who are the Warriors really going to be able to sign?
The best sales pitch that the Warriors have to offer has very little to do with the team. After all, the roster is filled with inexperienced talent and no inside presence, and add a wacky coach to that mix.
Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, injury prone and well overpaid Andris Biedrins, Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright, and recent lottery pick (likely going to be a bust for where he was drafted and the fact he was taken before Greg Monroe) Ekpe Udoh.
Nothing about that group of guys, with or without the unrestricted and restricted free agents that Golden State could possibly get back, says contender.
So what could the Warriors do to make the most out of this offseason and get the sea of "We Believe" shirts back into Oracle Arena?
(I know we've got plenty, but these guys could help)
Eddie House: The guy is from the Bay Area and is the exact type of player that would fit in to the type of Nelly Ball that the Warriors play. He can light it up from downtown, plays with tremendous emotion, and would give the team an added local feel. Yes, House plays no defense and is undersized, but as long as Nelson is in Oakland, the Warriors won't be playing much defense.
Shannon Brown: Brown is a supreme athlete that can ignite the crowd in the open court. He is very raw and will probably never live up to the massive potential that he has. But the Warriors are lacking at the shooting guard position when Ellis is out of the game, and Brown could fit in nicely. Chances are he's going to be asking for more money than he's worth, but it's fun to play with the idea.
Javaris Crittenton: Crittenton is a big guard who handles the ball fairly well. He is not going to light up SportCenter's Top 10, but his size at the point guard position could make him helpful to the undersized Warriors. He is unproven, but that's pretty much what the Warriors are all about at this point.
Let's face it, they could use someone at both spots.
Dorell Wright: He's young, he's athletic, he's talented, and he's a got solid scoring potential at the small forward position. He's an unproven slasher that would add another dimension to a team that is completely reliant on the jump shot when Ellis isn't in the game (especially now that Maggette is gone). Wright hasn't shown much heart, but the kid is worth taking a chance on.
Josh Howard: All pot jokes and national anthem mocking aside, Howard is a dynamic player when given the opportunity. Like Wright, Howard is a good scorer and can get his own shot or spot up. He's also a very good and very long defender, something the Warriors don't have anywhere else on the floor. Howard will probably want more money than the Warriors are willing to give, but I don't think being on a losing team would deter Howard elsewhere if the price is right.
Travis Outlaw: Outlaw is a very talented offensive player, and he has shown throughout his career that he's capable of knocking down big shots. He's got the ability of playing good defense, and his size makes him a versatile weapon. I have a feeling that a contender will end up getting Outlaw, seeing that the Warriors have little to sell themselves on other than a beautiful geographic location.
Craig Smith: Smith is a bowling ball. He is undersized, but very gifted around the rim. Smith is an instant spark of offense every time he's in the game and would give the Warriors a small but powerful presence inside, something they haven't had in quite some time. He's a liability on the defensive end of the floor, but again, who on the Warriors really plays defense?
The big guys
Joe Smith: The old journeyman is at the point in his career where he will probably end up going to a team destined for the playoffs. But, if the Warriors were able to lure their former No. 1 pick (15 years ago!) back to the Bay, he'd be a nice addition inside. Smith is a good defender, he's long and he's even learned a few post moves in his 15-year career. Smith would be a needed veteran presence for Golden State.
Brad Miller: Personally, I don't like the guy. I think he's soft, but he's still better than what the Warriors have. Miller is a good shooting big man who can knock down open mid-range jumpers. He is also a good passer and could really help get the three-ball happy Warriors get better shots.
There are plenty of other options and more than enough time for the Warriors to do something to improve the team and provide some much needed hope to Bay Area sports fans.
The free agent game has already begun. The only question left is if the Warriors will play.
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