So it looks like Kevin Garnett is going to back off of his “I don’t want to go to Boston” stance, which killed the first deal Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge had in place. Garnett gets to play with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in the lowly Eastern Conference. Those three should have a field day.
So what does that mean for the Warriors? How can they address their huge void inside since Garnett is headed for Beantown?
The Warriors, one would think, need to address that weakness somehow, especially considering a league source told me they are opening the season (Oct. 30) on TNT against Utah. Carlos Boozer bullying the Warriors on national television to start the season certainly wouldn’t be a good opener for the Warriors.
There are quite a bit of options out there, though none are as exciting as Garnett, who seemed to be a perfect fit for the Warriors’ needs. The Warriors have a $10M trade exception to play with from the Jason Richardson deal, and perhaps a lottery pick they may not want (if you believe the rumors that the Warriors didn’t want Brandan Wright, but just wanted to use Charlotte’s No. 8 as a pawn to get KG). Which would you prefer?:
DREW GOODEN would be easy to get because he fits under the trade exception and the Cavaliers wouldn’t mind parting with him. He’ll bring some strength and physicality to the Warriors frontline. He showed during the playoffs that he can hit the baseline jumper. Whether he can thrive in the uptempo and give the Warriors offense down low is the question.
CHRIS WILCOX seems to have been built for the Warriors style of play. He may be much more dangerous if turned loose, let his athleticism take over, instead of the structured systems he’s been a part of. From everything I’ve been told, he doesn’t have a high basketball IQ and doesn’t have the offensive skills Nellie likes for his big men.
UDONIS HASLEM isn’t really a Nellie big man, though he does have a pretty nice midrange stroke. Still, the fact remains is that the Warriors need to defend the paint. They need help on the boards. They need someone with enough strength to move people around in the paint, not just be moved around. Haslem could fill that role, though he may not be a good fit next to Andris so he would have to come off the bench.
ZAZA PACHULIA, first off, is the one on the right. Secondly, he is a hustling big man who will mix it up in the paint. He’s got a little bit of offensive skills, but not nearly enough to tickle Nellie’s fancy. He could come in handy off the Warriors bench.
RASHEED WALLACE is supremely skilled, can shoot from the outside, a great low-post defender and he’s got the perfect temperment to put next to Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson — that way if the Warriors don’t win, the crowd will still be entertained, and Nellie can line his pockets with the fines from all their ejections. Wallace is expensive (two years, $25 millio left), but he is a champion.
STROMILE SWIFT doesn’t do it for me, but if there ever was a system he could be productive in, it’s the Warriors’ system. He is all athleticism, and that’s what the Warriors rely on. He’s a big man who can finish, and that’s one of the Warriors’ needs.
When CHARLIE VILLANUEVA is not partying with co-eds, or on the shelf with an injury, he’s a pretty good player. At 6-11, he’s got some size to go with his well-rounded skills. He won’t be much of a defensive presence, but he’s got something to work with on offense. The Bucks are overloaded at the four, so they might be willing to listen. Charlie is still on his rookie contract, so he’s cheap and the Warriors hold the option. If the Bucks aren’t willing to part with him, maybe they’d be willing to part with …
YI JIANLIAN could be the Warriors next target. If they don’t like Brandan Wright, they could make a move to get this headache off of Milwaukee’s management. I don’t buy the Bucks’ public stance that they’re keeping Yi. They have to do that to get the offers as high as possible.