Golden State Warriors: 10 Reasons They Should Be Sellers At the Trade Deadline
With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching and $17 million in expiring contracts, the Warriors name has come up quite frequently in trade rumors. Only 4.5 games out of a playoff spot, which for Warrior fans is like being 4.5 games short of an NBA finals appearance, there is some excitement in the Bay Area.
Despite being five games under .500, the reality is, they are 9-22 against teams that are .500 or better, and is one trade going to turn that around?
Boasting a team that is currently in 10th place in the Western Conference and with the NBA facing an uncertain future, here is why it is the time to start selling instead of buying at the deadline.
10. Start Building For The Future
Say they make a deal and make the playoffs, then what? The Warriors are in a position to make a move, acquire a "star" player in order to make a push and maybe grab the seven or eight seed.
A few years ago, it was fun when they squeaked in and beat a one seed in the Dallas Mavericks.
Thanks largely in part because Avery Johnson benched his players against the Warriors in one of the final regular season games, only to face his mentor in the first round and get beaten by his mentor Don Nelson.
Here, the Warriors would face the San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Lakers, win one playoff game at best and then be stuck with this same roster for the next four years or so with no flexibility, depending on whom they trade for.
If what they are going for is one playoff win, then go ahead and trade for somebody, but if you want to be smart and start building for the future, now is the perfect time to sell, by attaching their expiring deals with some of their long-term contracts.
9. If You’re Not an Elite Team, Why Not Just Be As Bad As You Can Be?
In the NBA there are the elite teams, the middle of the road teams, the bottom feeders, and then the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Warriors fall into the middle of the road teams of not being good enough to win it all yet not bad enough to lose every game.
Since being an elite team is pretty much out of the question why not try to sell everyone off, keep a few key guys and position yourself for a better lottery pick?
In today's NBA it's better to be really bad if you can't play with the best, so wouldn't it be better to admit that and tank your season so that you can improve your odds in the lottery?
What good is it doing anyone to be good enough to be five or six games out of the last playoff spot, inevitably miss the playoffs and give yourself .02 percent chance of getting a top pick?
Look at the Cavaliers. They were horrible, bad enough to get LeBron James and things worked out, for a while at least.
Now they are in the same position this year, although probably worse than they need to be, but now they are in position to get a difference maker in the lottery and maybe turn things around.
The Warriors can start selling off players, keep a few guys they want long-term who have good contracts (Wright, Curry) and try to better their position to get an impact player through the draft.
With their draft history it would be wise to do what you can to get a better pick and improve your odds of getting a "sure-fire" difference maker.
8. Keith Smart
He is clearly not the right coach for this team, so why not let him go now and start thinking about candidates for next year.
It looked like he would be a smooth transition from Don Nelson, and he was, which is the problem. The Warriors didn't need a smooth transition from Nelson they needed a change.
He was the guy the Warrior players all came to when Don Nelson started babbling nonsense, he was the nice guy on the staff. How often does the nice assistant who is a friend of the players work out when he is promoted to head coach?
Imagine having one of your best friends and co-worker promoted ahead of you, how would that work out? With new owners in place, now is the time to change your philosophy.
Let Smart go, change the image of your team and anyone else that doesn't fit with what the new owners want to do and start looking for the right coach for the future.
Hopefully a coach who knows a thing or two about playing defense.
7. The NBA Is Facing a Lockout
As of June 30, 2011, the current CBA contract expires, meaning there could be a lockout. The anticipation of this as well, as well as dwindling attendance, is turning this trade season into a sellers market.
Especially since we have no idea how high or most likely low the salaries will be going, it is too risky to take on any new guaranteed contracts especially when David Stern said the NBA could be losing $350 million this year.
The Warriors have the league's eighth highest money in guaranteed contracts at $228,935,779, all of which gives them the 20th best record in the NBA and they should be looking to take on more salary? On what planet does that make sense?
A trade would mean they would have to pay that much more in luxury tax, and who knows what that number would be like with no CBA deal in place.
The housing market seems safer than adding any salary in the NBA right now, so if they are able, they should try to unload any moneys they can.
6. The Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry Dilemma
Sure if they're both on they are next to unstoppable, but even when that happens they still have to worry about the other team scoring. As many points as these two can put up, they give up just about as much.
Having two players start in your backcourt at 6'3 and both of whom are not a point guard, it's maybe time to sell one of them off for a stronger defender.
They are fun to watch, but it would be a lot more fun if they were winning.
Adding another high volume shooter like a Danny Granger might be counterproductive as well, there just aren't enough shots to go around, even in their offense. Speaking of no defense...
5. The Warriors Have No One Who Can Play Defense
Dorell Wright was signed in the off-season to be a defense stopper. Really, he was.
Now he got a taste of how the Warriors approach the game, started shooting, and now he along with everyone else either on the team forgot how to play defense or they just don't care.
He was a great signing, don't get me wrong, but when the guy you brought in to be a defensive stopper has been the exact opposite, it's time to change your philosophy.
I don't think any player they acquire would be good enough to turn things around in two short months.
4. They Have No Post Presence
Only the Warriors can spend $80 million on a power forward and still lack a post presence. David Lee started the season off well, but his season averages are down across the board.
Except for his turnovers, which he is managing to average his career high. The last few years the Eastern conference didn't have many elite post players, and with the Knicks lacking any kind of scorers the last few years, Lee took advantage of that and put up big enough numbers to land an $80 million deal.
Now facing tougher competition and on a team with dynamic scorers, he is getting lost in the shuffle. He is also averaging two rebounds less per game than he did last year, which is really troubling considering the amount of shots the Warriors miss.
Andris Biedrins is also a lost puppy, he is making $11 million and averaging 5.9 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 36 percent from the line, Shaq's not even that bad.
How can he play any crucial minutes when that's his free-throw percentage? I don't even need a punch line to see how comically bad his deal is, his numbers do the talking.
If they can find any team to take on either of these guys, I say do it.
3. They Are 4.5 Games Out of a Playoff Spot
That doesn't seem that bad until you realize that there are four teams ahead of them for that final playoff spot.
Even if they gamble and make a deal for a high priced player they still have to leapfrog four other teams for the chance to play the Spurs in the first round.
Portland lost three of their of the best players (that's including Greg Oden) and they are still ahead of the Warriors by 4.5 games.
With Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby coming back, would any one player that is available to the Warriors help them enough to catch them or any of the teams?
Not unless Carmelo changes his mind about coming here, still...
2. They Have No Bench
Another reason why the Warriors seem like they should make a trade is so that they can move Dorell Wright to the bench. That would give them what, a seven-man rotation?
In the final two months the Warriors would have to use every bit of energy they had, not to mention play Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry 40-plus minutes a night just to make it to the playoffs.
Imagine what kind of shape their bodies would be in when they would have to play a well-rested Spurs or Lakers team.
They just are not deep enough to where trading for one or even two players would give them a deep enough bench to give enough rest to their marquee names while still giving themselves a chance to win.
There are too many pieces missing that nothing they could do before the deadline would be enough to make them a contender.
1. They Shouldn't Rush Into Anything They Might Regret
Joe Lacob and company took over too late into the season to really make a difference this year. I don't think there is one player available to the Warriors, that's makes you say: "Yes" with him they are a contender.
So why take on any additional salary? They don't seem like they have a direction right now, so it would be a great time trade guys to save money.
The Warriors should play younger guys like Ekpe Udoh, and take the rest of the season to see if Ellis and Curry can really co-exist and turn their team into a winner (I still say one of them needs to go, but I have certainly been wrong before).
Take this time to adjust to being an NBA owner and to really evaluate what it would take to build Golden State into a winner. Think about what direction you want this team to move in and make some deals that will benefit in the long run.
This type of stuff doesn't happen overnight, well unless one can recruit LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play with you.