I knew Skal Labissiere was going to be a bust coming into college, but I didn't think he'd be this bad. "Up and down" is extremely generous. He is going to be nothing in the NBA. I don't understand why Rico Gathers isn't higher- he is not undersized for a 4 and has tremendous strength and athleticism.
Warriors Overall Team Grade
Golden State actually had a solid draft for the second-straight year. Udoh fills a need for a shot blocker inside and should be ready to contribute right away. He may not have the upside that Monroe or Davis have but is a fairly safe pick at six. The Warriors used their 34th selection to get cash and another pick which they then dealt in the salary dump trade of Corey Maggette. (Grade: B)
6. Ekpe Udoh, F, Baylor
Udoh over Greg Monroe might backfire down the line, but kudos to Golden State for actually drafting a defensive-minded player for the first time since... well... in a LONG time. I like Udoh but am not sure he is a better prospect than Monroe or even Ed Davis. He will definitely give them a difference maker on the defensive end though which is what they need. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
2009-10 Season Summary:
The Warriors were, well for a lack of a better phrase, the typical Warriors. They scored a bunch of points but allowed even more, resulting in another horrid, losing season. Injuries once again took a toll on this team as they used an astounishing 49 different starting lineups, two more than the year before. Monta Ellis, Kelenna Azubuike, Andris Biedrins, Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright and Ronny Turiaf all missed significant time due to injury, forcing players like Reggie Williams, Anthony Tolliver and Chris Hunter into significant roles. Golden State also dealt away the unhappy yet talented Stephen Jackson who went on to flourish in Charlotte.
One of the bright spots was the play of rookie Stephen Curry who silenced all his doubters on whether or not his game would translate to the NBA level. Curry was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month three times and finished second to Tyreke Evans in the Rookie of the Year voting. He shot almost 44 percent from three-point range and formed a dynamic backcourt duo with Ellis who was originally skeptical of playing alongside the former Davidson Wildcat.
There is little wiggle room this offseason as the Warriors do not have a lot of cap space nor very tradable contracts. If they play their cards right, Golden State has a chance to be a player in free agency next summer.
Warriors sign PG Jannero Pargo to 2-year, $2.4 million deal
Warriors sign PG Jeremy Lin to 2-year deal
Warriors acquire 2011 second round pick from Bulls for PG C.J. Watson
Warriors sign SG Anthony Morrow to 3-year, $12 million deal; trade Morrow to Nets for trade exception
Warriors sign G/F Dorrell Wright to 3-year, $11 million deal
Warriors acquire F/C David Lee from Knicks for F Anthony Randolph, F/C Ronny Turiaf, and G/F Kelenna Azubuike
Warriors acquire C Dan Gadzuric and SG Charlie Bell for SF Corey Maggette and 44th pick in NBA Draft
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. A new trainer- The previously mentioned injuries have absolutely killed the Warriors the past two seasons. Whatever the reason may be, Golden State needs to get healthy which would give them some more consistency in determining a steady rotation of players and not have them searching the D-League for suitable replacements. Late in the season, the Warriors only suited up seven or eight healthy players for several games. You cannot win in the NBA if your team is not healthy and you don't have a regular rotation. In order for this to happen in the Bay, the Warriors need stay as far away from the injury bug as possible.
2. An introduction to defense- While the Warriors were second in the league in scoring, averaging more than 108 points per game, they also allowed more than 112 points per contest, good enough for dead last in the league. For some reason, this franchise still thinks they can win by putting players on the court who can score the basketball but play zero defense. Have they not learned? Sure their style is sexy, puts butts in seats, and is fun to watch, but please bring in one player who is more concerned about shutting down his opponent rather than hoisting up 30-foot jumpers.
3. Size- Don Nelson is known for going small quite a bit with Nellie Ball. Still, the Warriors need to find an inside force who can crash the glass and alter some shots inside. Golden State had a -9.7 rebounding margin last season, partly due to the numerous injuries in the frontcourt, and went from leading the league in blocked shots a year ago to finishing 25th this past season. Even when healthy, Nelson has never been a huge fan of Biedrins, and Wright and Randolph have been big disappointments not developing as the Warriors would have hoped. Drafting Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins with their probable top-five pick would be a good place to start.