In a trading deadline when teams were swapping players as frantically as Charlie Sheen is giving interviews, the Golden State Warriors, with plenty of assets to make a deal, instead went with the status quo. It would have been nice to see them acquire a talent such as Luol Deng, to inject some energy for a playoff run—especially when they have an 11-day, seven-game road trip on the horizon; they could have used a player to bring some energy to that trip.
After Tuesday's game, it's really looking like they are in need of that, but like I said before, I think the Warriors made the right move at the deadline by not doing anything drastic. I don't think they should have made a run at Luol Deng especially because it would have been a costly deal, would have hindered the growth of Epke Udoh, plus Deng is owed A LOT of money.
We’re not sure the Chicago Bulls were actually shopping Deng around especially after Carmelo Anthony went to the New York Knicks—sure, it would have made sense for them to trade Deng to the Warriors for expiring deals if it meant that it would give them the slightest chance at acquiring Carmelo in the summer.
With Melo out of the picture, the chances of getting Deng for next-to-nothing were about the same as any actress not named Natalie Portman winning the best actress Oscar this year. The Bulls are playing fantastic ball right now, especially Deng. If you're like me and play fantasy basketball, he is currently the third-rated player overall over the last 14 days, meaning he is on fire right now.
For the Warriors to have really made a push for Deng, it would have meant parting with either Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis, and as bad as the rest of the season looks for the Warriors, I think most Warrior fans—myself included want to see what that backcourt duo is really capable of.
Acquiring Deng would have meant that Epke Udoh would probably be on the floor less. Although I'm not sure if he is really going to be a good NBA player or it's just that every Warrior fan is talking themselves into thinking he is going to be good because he is the only one that gives any ounce of effort on defense, I want him on the court so we can to find out if he has it or not.
Luol Deng is a good defender and a good scorer; Udoh can be a great defender and an average offensive player. If Deng were to have come to the Warriors, maybe it would mean that Udoh became a good defensive player and a poor offensive player—that—or he would thrive in a different uniform. That's happened couple times in the past right?
The Warriors need a difference maker on defense and maybe in a year or two Udoh will be that guy. I still can't understand why the Warriors aren't playing him more. Nine minutes in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves? If you're winning and he is on the bench that's one thing, but if you're going to lose to the Timberwolves, why not get him the experience he needs? Anyway, having Deng here would have stunted his growth even more than Don Nelson could ever have, so with Deng not coming to the Bay then maybe we'll get a chance to see how good he can become. Maybe.
Luol Deng's contract is one more thing that made it a wise move to not have picked him up. At three more years with nearly $40 million dollars and with Andris Biedrins on board, I don't know how many more bad contracts the Warriors could handle. It seems like from the day Luol Deng signed his deal, it instantly became one of the worst deals in the league—it's not his fault they offered him the money.
It has made him seem like a bad player when in fact he has been good, just not $13 million a year good. With an uncertain future for the NBA, it wouldn't make sense to take on another contract like Deng's unless his jersey said Anthony on the back. We have to remember that this is new ownership, so they haven't screwed anything up. We need to give them a chance to do that at the least. It looks like the new ownership is going to take their time building the franchise, and rather than a quick fix, they are going to attempt to do things the right way, which is fine with me.
We'll never know if the Bulls would have given away Deng just so they could get rid of his contract, but again, with the way he has been playing, my guess is no. Any team would be lucky to acquire a player like Deng but not at his price. I'm looking forward to this summer to see what direction management takes this team. Rather than be bogged down by Deng's contract, I want to see them maneuver around and start building this team into a contender.
Find a way to make Ellis and Curry work, because that could be one of the most intriguing backcourts the NBA has seen in awhile. Also, play Udoh—really—what do they have to lose? The rest of the Warriors season is looking about as promising as Two and a Half Men's, but at least the future won't be compromised by having Deng's contract on the books. Plus, who are we kidding, with Deng on board, would it really make that much of a difference this year? We just have to give new ownership the time to right the ship and hope they don't sink, so far, no move has been the right move, including not acquiring Luol Deng.