Golden State Warriors: 5 Winners the Warriors Should Pursue

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 21, 2011

Golden State Warriors: 5 Winners the Warriors Should Pursue

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    For the Golden State Warriors faithful, an anxious summer is nothing new.

    Typically it's their first chance to see their annual lottery pick compete with rookies and fringe NBA talent in the Las Vegas summer league.

    But this year's different.

    Sure there are intriguing rookies to be excited about, but with names like Mark Jackson, Bob Myers and Jerry West joining the organization, the fans are hoping for a little more than Anthony Randolph-like domination of Vegas.

    Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber cautioned the fan base that their overhaul of the mess left behind by former owner Chris Cohan might take some time.

    But in less than a year the duo have changed the face and more importantly, the culture of the Warriors organization.

    But those changes, no matter how exciting, mean little if the on-court culture cannot change as quickly as the off-court culture has.

    Save for Dorell Wright's tenure in Miami and the few holdovers from the "We Believe" Warriors, this roster does not feature much playoff experience.

    Here are a few players that could show the bright-eyed and talented roster how to become winners.

5. Josh Howard

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    While Josh Howard has yet to hoist any championship hardware in his career, his 62 career playoff games would certainly carry some weight in Mark Jackson's locker room.

    An All-Star in 2006-07, Howard has spent the better part of the last three seasons battling to come back from various knee injuries.

    Knee injuries, huh? Are you intrigued yet?

    Granted, he would bring as many question marks as playoff games should he come to the Bay.

    But that will also keep his price tag reasonable.

    Despite the wear and tear on those knees, he's still just two years removed from three consecutive 18-plus-point seasons.

    Playing behind Dorell Wright, and perhaps even rookie Klay Thompson, might limit his potential impact on the club. Then again, those limited minutes might be the best diagnosis for that nagging knee issue.

4. Shane Battier

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    Like Howard, Shane Battier has failed to capture the Larry O'Brien trophy in his productive 10-year career.

    But seven playoff appearances in 10 seasons highlight his golden touch, even if he has yet to touch the gold.

    His impact on the court would be minimal on the offensive end of the floor—his 10.4 points per game career average is a number he's failed to reach since 2005-06—but that would suit the shoot-first Warriors just fine.

    Last season marked the first time in three years—and the sixth overall—that he's averaged better than a steal and a block per game.

    In certain situations, he could pair with Wright to give opposing perimeters fits on the defensive end and capable three-point threats on the offensive side.

3. DeShawn Stevenson

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    Granted, Stevenson appeared in more championship games last season (21) than his previous 10 combined (17).

    But anyone with a championship ring joining a club with one playoff appearance since 1997 will grab his teammate's attention.

    Stevenson has fought to shake his reputation of being a hothead—a fight that he might even harder after a DUI arrest this offseason—but brings a grittiness that this team desperately lacks.

    He's proven to be a reliable three-point shooter but has a swagger that the rest of the team could learn from.

    Stevenson would go head-to-head with LeBron James any given night if he had his way. Certainly that would be a welcome sight for a club that, in the past, has looked intimated by the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings.

    With Rudy Fernandez and a healthy Caron Butler back in the Mavericks' mix for next season, Stevenson could be the odd man out in Dallas.

2. Glen "Big Baby" Davis

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    It's hard to imagine Big Baby donning any NBA uniform other than that of the Celtics.

    Still, with nothing better to do than speculate during a lockout, it's fun to think of Davis heading West.

    And it's not out of the realm of possibilities for Davis to find himself in a new city whenever next season starts.

    After all, the Celtics sent key contributor—not to mention locker room favorite—Kendrick Perkins out of Boston to bring in fellow free agent Jeff Green. At the very least, it will be tough for the Celtics to find the money to keep both.

    Should Davis opt to play elsewhere, the Warriors should give him more than just consideration. A key to the city, perhaps?

    Davis has the personality to combine with his championship experience and playmaking ability on both ends of the floor to make the Warriors championship believers.

    Playing alongside Ekpe Udoh and Klay Thompson, Davis could help the Warriors turn one of last season's biggest weaknesses—the second unit—into one of the franchise's cornerstones.

1. Tyson Chandler

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    Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Warriors need to find a center.

    Unless you're a believer in Jeremy Tyler—even the most optimistic believer cannot expect much this season—or think that Mark Jackson will return to Andris Biedrins to his former self, you've already accepted that the Warriors perennial search for a big man remains an ongoing issue.

    Chandler will no doubt be watched closer by Mark Cuban than Kim Kardashian is by Kris Humphries, so the Warriors may have to get creative in their pursuit.

    Maybe putting a player agent in your front office, bolstering your front office with the Logo or hiring a broadcaster with no coaching background to lead your team creative.

    If there's one thing Warriors fans can expect from the ownership it's this: expect the unexpected.

    Chandler has the frame (7'1", 235-pounds), the numbers (8.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for his career) and now, the hardware to excite any fanbase.

    But for a franchise that's been searching for big men like fantasy hoops players are searching for new hobbies, Chandler could be the most exciting addition since...well...the latest rookie class.

    Or Bob Myers...Or Jerry West...Or Mark Jackson...

    Can the NBA lockout end already?