Golden State Warriors Take Advantage of LeBron Sweepstakes

Steve YobContributor INovember 21, 2008

Al Harrington has been shipped to the New York Knicks for Jamal Crawford.

The Golden State Warriors gained immediate help by acquiring Crawford, who seemed to thrive in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense.

He’s averaging 19.6 points per game and has made four or more three-pointers in a game six times already this season.

The Knicks seem more than happy to trade Crawford, in order to throw their best offer at "King" James in the 2010 offseason.

There is one reason why the Knicks made this trade—Al Harrington’s contract ends one year before Crawford’s, which is the year that LeBron James becomes a free agent.

It will free up about $10 million that will go towards the LeBron fund.

The Warriors were able to swoop in on Crawford and take advantage of New York's fire sale.

Crawford is a volume shooter who can put points on the board in a hurry. His game revolves a lot around one-on-one basketball where he can break down his defender, rather than coming off screens. He will also be able to help out the Warriors bringing the ball up the court.

This is a great trade for the Warriors, who basically get a player for free. 

Harrington hasn’t played a game for the Warriors since November 5, only five games into the season. With Harrington publicly demanding a trade, it made it harder for Chris Mullin and the Warriors to get fair offers. 

Mullin held out long enough, and Crawford is a solid player who will help try to push the Warriors into an eight seed in the Western Conference. Getting a guy like Crawford was much more than I thought the Warriors could get for Harrington’s services.

The one problem that can arise from bringing in Crawford is his shoot-first mentality.

Also, the Warriors seem to have a roster of all shooting guards who are 6’6’’. The starting roster looks something like Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, Andris Biedrins, and either Anthony Morrow or Kelenna Azubuike.

It’s basically four guards and a center, which is not always a bad thing in Don Nelson's system.

Though with only one ball to go around, who is going to be taking the shots? Jackson has been firing away at all times this season, Maggette isn’t shy to shoot, and Buike has become more comfortable in putting up about 15 shots a game. Not to mention the best player in the past two games has been Anthony Morrow.

One thing is for sure, the Warriors have just gotten a lot more talented.

When Monta Ellis comes back from his injury, the bench will be strong with one of the starters losing minutes. In the past week, the Warriors have basically added two starting players that are able to put up 30 points on any given day.

The discovery of Anthony Morrow and the addition of Crawford have put the run-and-gun Nellie offense in high gear.

The Warriors still have a long way to go, but you can’t say they aren’t trying.

There are seven solid teams in the Western Conference, the eight spot is up for grabs. If the Warriors can hang on until Ellis returns, they could make a run at the playoffs.

The Knicks achieved their goal of dumping salary in order to offer LeBron James a contract. The Warriors took advantage and now become a very athletic team that can run up and down with anybody.