Golden State Warriors:10 Players Who Could Make Them a Playoff Team in 2011-12
At least three components are missing from the Golden State Warriors lineup.
First, what in my opinion is essential to a team's success, there is nobody who can get the Warriors consistent points from the low block.
Second, there is nobody who can play perimeter defense.
And third, there is nobody to help David Lee corral rebounds.
The 2011 NBA Draft gives the Warriors a chance to remedy some of these issues.
But what they do not get on draft day, they may be able to find on the free agent list.
There are some tremendous big men who will be available this summer, and even a few wings who could add a bit of defense to a team that gives up over 100 points a game.
Let's take a look at 10 free agents who could bring the Warriors to the postseason.
If the Warriors could somehow land Zach Randolph, they could essentially kill two birds with one 6'9", 260 pound power forward.
Randolph may be the most gifted player, when it comes to scoring in the post, playing in the NBA today.
He's also one of the league's best rebounders. During the regular season, Randolph pulled down 12 rebounds per game, around four of which were offensive.
Randolph understands the importance of occupying space on his post ups. That gives him great position when he catches the ball, which forces defenses to give him most of their attention.
Therefore, even when Randolph misses shots, a teammate of his usually gets a hand on the offensive rebound. A missed shot from him is sometimes the best offensive option.
A high-energy guy like David Lee would look like an MVP playing with Randolph, by simply cleaning up his missed shots.
Randolph's teammate and partner on the block, Marc Gasol, will also be a free agent, and his big body could help the Warriors.
As mentioned before, Zach Randolph demands a ton of attention, and part of Gasol's success may be due to that, but that is no discredit to him.
He is really starting to shine now in the playoffs, averaging close to 15 points and 12 rebounds per game.
He is over seven feet tall, which is good. He also offensively competent, which is better.
His range stretches to 15 to 18 feet. He is even able to make explosive, one-dribble moves to the basket.
He is a big target in the post who needs to be taken seriously by opposing defenses.
The Bay Area is "Hella Chill," and Kenyon Martin is "Hella not."
He is intense, confrontational, abrasive even.
In other words, just what the Warriors need.
Adding Kenyon Martin to the Warriors would be more about trying to change the team's identity as soft and complacent, and less about any kind of on-the-court strategy.
With him out there playing the role of tattooed muscle for hire, the Warriors may feel a little tougher as a team, and compete a little harder then they have been the last few years.
Caron Butler is coming off a knee injury, but his game will remain intact.
Butler is a great shooter, but he can really score in a variety of ways.
What he has on Dorell Wright is the ability to attack the basket. Butler goes at the hoop hard and has the ability to finish over people.
Thaddeus Young is an athletic wing who can provide the Warriors with some much-needed defensive toughness on the wing.
His solid frame enables him to guard multiple positions.
It also makes him effective on offense.
Young can be a bit of a matchup problem because of his ability to score in the post and beat defenders with his quickness.
The addition of Yao Ming to the Warriors would benefit both the team and the Bay Area community.
Yao just had the cast on his leg removed about a month ago, so nobody can speculate on his future with basketball in general, much less the NBA.
But if he comes back healthy, his size and celebrity would be welcomed by the Warriors.
Yao's skill as a player is well known. But think of the excitement in the Bay Area, where there is a huge population of Chinese, when the most famous Chinese basketball player of all time arrives?
The buzz alone could propel the Warriors into the Playoffs.
Jeff Green is the kind of role player most teams would like to have a few of.
He has good size. He plays within himself. And he commits himself to defense.
Playing with Monta Ellis may be difficult for some players, but Green could fit in nicely.
After starting in the NBA next to Kevin Durant, Green quickly realized how to make a career for himself, hit open shots and guard the other team's best player.
He isn't concerned about getting his.
Just for old times' sake.
David West had surgery on his ACL, but it shouldn't impact his game too much.
He was never the kind of explosive forward who dunks on everybody. He is a jump shooter, and his elbow is just fine.
West could really help the Warriors balance the scoring load.
He is a more reliable scorer than David Lee. Though they are similar players, West just has a better touch.
West's jump shot could clear up the lane for Ellis to operate. Or they will finally be able to run the high pick-and-pop with someone worth passing back to.
He is arguably the greatest big man since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
He will be a free agent.
Why not try to get him?