Golden State Warriors in 2010-2011: To Compete or Not To Compete

William ButchkoContributor IMay 9, 2010

MINNESOTA, MN - APRIL 7: Head coach Don Nelson (C) of Golden State Warriors celebrates with his fellow coaches and players following a basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on April 7, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Warriors defeated the Timberwolves 116-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Hadarii wrote an interesting article about whether we keep both Brandon Wright and Anthony Randolph and try to develop them. However, I think the answer to that question depends on a more central one. Do we try to compete in 2010-2011?

The advantages of competing are obvious. We get to believe that this might be our year to get back into the playoffs and if we do, then we might be able to rekindle the magic from 2007.

The advantages of growing are less, but can be almost as attractive if we look to Presti's model in Oklahoma City. We would need to get a coach who would let Randolph, Wright and our draft pick play.

To Compete

If we want to compete next year, then we are more likely to draft players like DeMarcus Cousins, Wesley Johnson or Evan Turner. We will probably look to trade Monta Ellis, Wright, and possibly Biedrins to get the pieces this year. I suggested Al Jefferson or Andre Iguodala.

Some would argue that we keep Ellis and see what he can do. I tend to disagree because Ellis has become less efficient, while still being a defensive liability in spite of his ability to get steals. Despite some noise that he thinks he can play with Curry, we are still talking about somebody who considers himself the second best player in the NBA. Somebody that deluded about himself probably does not see a reason to change. Ellis is a good player, but we don't need the scoring. We need defense.

If we draft Cousins then we should try to trade for Iguodala or another athletic wing defender. If we draft Turner, then we will probably need to find an athletic wing and trade for Jefferson. If we get Johnson, then we just need Jefferson or another big.

The real hopes for the "compete today" plan is that we can acquire a big piece, such as Chris Bosh with a sign-and-trade. The attraction the Warriors provide can be immense. We have significant talent on our roster that we can either trade in a sign-and-trade or develop within.

With new ownership, Golden State becomes one of the best locations for free agents based on surroundings and climate.

The new owner(s) may want to make a splash and set a new standard for winning. But is it the right move?

Develop For Tomorrow

Even though tomorrow may always seem a day away for Warriors fans, if we do not blow it, we may have the pieces coming our way to build a competitor, not for the playoffs, but the championship.

The goal is always to buy low and sell high.

If we are going to trade some of our talent for greater future opportunity, the only players that are probably at peak value are Ellis and Corey Maggette. Ellis' high scoring average carrying an injured team makes him more valuable today than he will be tomorrow as a secondary scorer, who may or may not get his efficiency back up. He is a deficient passer and defender.

Maggette will probably never have more value than he has now. In spite of his horrible contract, he had an incredibly efficient year scoring. A team looking to win today and mortgage the future may be able to look around Maggette's awful contract.

In the same theory, it is not a good time to trade Biedrins coming off his worst season or Wright coming off injury. If we want to trade them we should at least give them time to boost their value.

Randolph needs time to develop, which has been denied by coach Don Nelson. There are few cynics about Randolph's potential. If he gets to be as good as he is expected to be, playing with Curry and future draft picks, we can be the next Oklahoma City.

Finally, the 2011 draft class already looks sensational. With Harrison Barnes the leading candidate for the No. 1 pick, but followed closely by Enes Kantor, Perry Jones and Jan Vesely. There is a lot of talent in next year's lottery.

To conclude, if we do not get an elite player in a sign-and-trade, I think we may be better off waiting for tomorrow and developing our talent. This means that we must dump Nelson and get a coach who will play our young talent and ensure that they thrive.

The goal should not be to win, but to improve our players so that they are ready to compete not just for the playoffs, but the championship in 2013 or 2014. A fully developed Curry and Randolph to go along with lottery picks from this year and next should make the Warriors a both exciting and terrifying team that no one wants to play, but everyone wants to watch.

We have waited this long, what is another year or two?


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