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Looking on the Bright Side 2

The Warriors not making the playoffs isn’t all bad. They would’ve lost to the Lakers in the first round anyway (I wouldn’t have been surprised if Kobe’s boys disposed
of the Baron’s boys in five), and the sting of losing to the hated Lakers assuredly would have been much sharper than not making the playoffs. Warrior fans should still be numb to the embarrassment of being a lottery team, but can you imagine the irritation of hearing Lakers fans gloat over a postseason series win?
To be sure, there are other bonuses to this season:

• The Warriors will be adding a lottery pick to a 49-win team. How often does that happen? Worst-case scenario, they draft at No. 14, where they can nab UCLA PF Kevin Love or Kansas PF Darrell Arthur. Better-case scenario, they use the pick and a current player (Harrington? Pietrus? Jackson?) for a proven producer, ideally a power forward who can defend and rebound and score inside – routinely. Best-case scenario, they win the lottery and draft Michael Beasley

• Month came into his own, which means the gamble of trading J-Rich worked. The Warriors have an above average two guard, a budding young forward and a $10 million trade exception.

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• Andres Biedrins stock dropped, at the very worst did not rise. The Warriors gambled by not locking him up this past offseason, but Biedrins – though really good – did not seem to do enough to blow his salary way up. He’ll get paid, but the Warriors may get him for a good price.

• Baron still has a reason to be hungry. The popular opinion is that Baron was motivated by his desire for a contract extension. He will likely get it. But being an All-Star snub, missing the postseason and watching fellow point guards get lionized throughout the playoffs should bring him back next season with a chip on his shoulder. He plays better with something to prove.

Marcus Thompson

  • Baller

    It was a good year for the W’s. Even though there are no playoff appearance this year, the future looks good and we are looking forward to it.

    Hopefully, they are able to retain their key players in the off season.

    Thank you for a great season!!

  • commish

    Marcus, you are right as far as looking at the silver lining and I agree. But what about the underlying problem of Nelson’s system and penchant for small ball, his unwillingness to play rookies in combination of overplaying two to three vets, and his lack of emphasis on playing defense. Beans and Monta, along with our other player obligations, will take us up to and perhaps beyond the cap next season so I don’t see any significant FA on the horizon. And what makes you believe we will use the TPE when everyone knew we desperately needed to use it to gain a playoff spot let alone make it out of the first round. You didn’t have to be a basketball genuis to know we needed some “bigs” or a least a beast like Artest to help defend and pound the boards on both ends. I’m not saying Artest would have been ideal because he likes to shoot too much and we know that is one need we don’t have–guys who like to shoot too much! Which goes to another point: when Jax is the second option on your offense, that in itself is cause for pause. I’m rambling, but bottom line, let’s hope Nellie turns down his option and let’s Get Smart for a change.

  • Ray

    Your comment for a PF, I thought that was addressed last year when we traded J-Rich and got BW. Now, we would draft a PF again, and so what do we do with BW. If the chance comes to get a Michael Beasley, would a 14th Pick, BW and a Baron Davis get it done. Then we sign an Agent Zero in Free Agency. How does that plan sound? And if we keep BW, we need to find out how good is he. When do we find that out.

  • Remi Mo

    Commish

    If Nellie doesn’t come back, who do they get?
    Will another coach do as well as they’ve done
    since the Dunleavy trade?

    If they go back to a traditional coach, don’t
    you think they will have to start from scratch
    since this team was built for small ball?

    If they do that there will be no play-offs for at
    least 4 years. Or maybe 13.

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    Thanks for a great year of blogging Marcus — and I agree that listening to gloating Lakers fans would have been unbearable — the Ws have no one who can guard big athletic forwards like Lamar Odom, Carlos Boozer, and Elton Brand. Al plays more like a small forward in a power forward’s body. Until they improve their rebounding and post-scoring, they’re not going to contend.

  • JustPuked

    Marcus- Thanks for another great post. You and Geoff have been great as a team. I hope you’re able to keep it up during the off-season.

    #2 Commish- It’s live up to and past the Draft. Mullin still has plenty of time to cash it in. If he doesn’t, then we can all start throwing rotten tomatoes.

    #3 Ray- Wright is a forward. Period. He’s used to the post but has the athleticism to play the 3. Potentially a guy that can guard 2-5 in limited runs and should be able to score enough to stay on the court. That kind of Shawn Marion type versatility means it doesn’t really matter if he plays the 3 or the 4. If Beasley is available we’d be foolish to not grab him. Dubs still need more front court depth and a centerpiece post like Beasley or FA possibilities (some with opt outs) like Brand/Maggette/Jamison/Marion would fit well with Wright.

  • EJ

    AGENT ZERO!

  • manhattanproj

    beasley is 6’9″, so he is still an “undersized” pf in the nba. not sure how much he would help in post defense and rebounding. he has good offensive post game, better than any current players. but dont think he would drastically improve the w’s given the price to get him if w’s dont win the lottery.

    dont see any problems drafting another PF. w’s need frontcourt depth. the only legit 4/5 are biedrins and wright. it makes sense to draft a love or arthur. and wright is definitely a 4. he’s not marion type. he can’t guard 2 or 3.

    the best senario is kevin love falls to the w’s in the first round. and brandon rush falls to 2nd round. resign pietrus and buke.

    blog question: why did barbosa only got a 5 yr 33 mil max extension and ellis demands more than that? their style of play is pretty similar. and i dont think ellis is head and shoulder above barbosa. does it have to do with their draft position? barbosa a late 1st round and ellis a 2nd round? (2nd round picks doesnt have a cap?)

  • JustPuked

    #8 Manhattanproj – You usually have a good grasp on players but in this case you’re selling Wright short (or too big). He has the lateral quickness to play 3′s in the league. Nellie specifically set him up to defend the wing/point in pick ‘n rolls by having him switch off the post up player and guard the wing/point. He still needs to get used to defending shooters (shot blocking, spacing) from out in space instead of just in the paint but he’ll get there. He’s no Tayshauan and Marion is probably a little too versatile to be compared to Wright but the type, the Kirilenko-ish comparison is valid. It’s always fools goals to compare players anyway but I’m sure you get my drift. He’s light, quick, long and with enough lateral quickness to do damage at the 4 AND 3.

  • commish

    I want to also thank Marcus and Geoff for the blogs they posted and giving us an opportunity to have some fun with the Dubs (although lately hasn’t been much fun has it?).

    Just briefly, I am advocating for Nellie to step aside as he did in Dallas and let Keith Smart coach the team.

    And B. Wright just isn’t big or strong enough (yet) to take on the Boozers and Brands of the league. I was hoping Lasme might have been that guy but evidently not. I say our biggest weaknesses are at 4 and a backup and servicable 5. We need to get bigger and stronger, not smaller and faster as Nellie likes.

    Oh,yes I’ll wait til the draft before I complain more about the TPE, even though we all knew we’d need to use it before the draft deadline to solidify our team and make the playoffs. Sorry I’ve got so little confidence in Mulson right now.

  • Ewok

    Ellis being compared with Barbosa.

    I would have to say Ellis has the upside for one simple reason, Age.

    For one, we have yet to see Ellis peak as a player. No one knows how good he is going to be, which he already is, which makes him an exciting player to watch in the league.

    As for Barbosa, We already know what he brings in the Table and therefore, What you see, is What you get.

    As for their athleticsm, Ellis has turned into a big time impact player and more consistent at that while Barbosa is athletic but not as consistent as an impact player.

    Although Barbosa does create an impact, I think he is not as consistent as Ellis at this point of their careers.

    While Barbosa remains in the equilibrium of good players, Ellis is simply on the rise.

    Ellis brings excitement, period.

  • Andrew

    barbosa can hit the three..ellis cant…yet

  • Bob

    NO TV??? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! You have to be kidding me, the final game of the year is not televised. :sad:

  • Steve in Concord

    Biedrins won’t be that cheap to resign. He has numbers similar to Tyson Chander, who is due to make almost 11 million in 2008, despite playing about 33% fewer minutes than Chandler. Unless Beans has a very poor game tonite he will be tops in field goal percentage for this season.

  • manhattanproj

    i know man. but it was orginally schedule to televise through espn but canceled after losing to the nuggets. obvious reasons as there will be no drama.

    ewok, let me ask you this, how much do you think ellis will improve his game? it amazes me how much ppl get carry away with a player’s athleticism. and age has nothing to do with a player’s ability to develop. there isn’t a set correlation. steve nash is arguably better today than he was in his dallas days. and how much better is pietrus now vs. his rookie or 2nd year?

    ellis is going to ellis. he’s always going to shoot first and pass 2nd. his pg and playmaking skills isnt going to be nash or chris paul like next season, the season after, or ever. his handle will never be as smooth as AI and his body won’t develop into arenas like. yes, he’s going to add a 3 point shot and his mid range game is going to be more consistent.

    i just dont see ellis taking his PG and playmaking game
    to another level. that’s his weakness right now and biggest room for growth. i just dont see that happening. so what you see now is probably a conservative 85% ellis.

    and really, barbosa has never been a full time starter along side nash. or full time starter period. so think about what he can do in ellis’ role?

    so if ellis is going to cost more than 7 or 8 mil a year. i’ll take barbosa any day.

    and really excitement has nothing to do with winning basketball games. look at the spurs. just you know!

  • manhattanproj

    just read something from geoff and got me thinking:

    geoff mentions that memphis may go after ellis, hard. maybe mullin should consider a sign and trade deal depending on how the numbers work. ellis for mike miller, rudy gay, and kyle lowry. throw in another player or use the trade exception to make it work. will memphis part with gay? who knows, maybe they love ellis that much.

    davis, jackson, gay, PF(wright? or al) and andris. with miller,lowry, and possibly pietrus off the bench. think about that!

    certainly a much more traditonal team, add more length to the perimeter, yet loses very little in the up tempo game. this also helps baron as he’ll be guarding opposing PG rather than SG.

    may be a pipe dream but it certainly improves the team more than signing ellis to a mega deal.

    gay is a developing talent. with more consistency to his outside shot, he’ll be a heck of a player.

  • JustPuked

    #16 Rudy Gay, Mike Miller AND Lowry all for Monta Ellis? Um…I thought you weren’t that high on Ellis? I know Memphis gave away Gasol for glass beads but huh? How does Ellis go from not quite the value of Barbosa to as valuable as two starters and a back up point? BTW if you think Ellis isn’t much of a defender watch Miller and Gay. The trade would be great for the Warriors but come’on, that wouldn’t even fly through trade checker.

  • Petaluman

    I’m not really worried about Memphis – the Gasol trade suggests they’re trying to contract their payroll and go into re-build mode. Do you really think they dumped Pau for virtually nothing so they could spend their savings on Monta?

    His best chance of getting a big offer is from a team looking for a boost in merchandise sales. With the current state of his game, he’s like AI in that his value on the court is not as great as his value in the store. Of course, that team also has to have plenty of unused salary cap, which eliminates almost all of them. The new CBA is putting a squeeze on player pay.

  • manhattanproj

    let me get something straight. i think w’s should pay ellis around what barbosa is getting now, ~6-8 mil/yr max. not lower value than leandro. ellis is certainly not worth franchise money. so dont quite me wrong.

    ellis is from around memphis and he is an exciting player to watch. those attributes will drawn fans to the arena, which is why ellis is a draw to memphis. and memphis is one of the handful of teams that can offer max money to ellis.

    do i think ellis can be a franchise player and lead his team to wins? no. but there are alot of ppl, like alot of you guys, that get enamor with “potential” and athleticism.

    memphis certainly wouldnt mind trading miller and lowry. the question is whether they will part way with gay? they might or they might not depending on who they draft.

    gay can be an above average defender. he has the size and the lateral quickness. i think he has more star potential then monta.

  • JustPuked

    I’m cool with that assessment. Monta also can be an above average defender. He has the lateral quickness in abundance. Like Gay, he needs to learn how to apply himself. But I disagree with your bottom line; I think Monta has higher star potential. But reasonable minds will differ no?

    What a fun off season this will be!

  • manhattanproj

    justpuked, here’s something to think about:

    with monta, a team will always need a big PG. if you’re lucky, you can get a guy like baron davis, jason kidd or derrick rose. if not, you get a guy like eric snow. monta limits what a team can do in terms of personnel. if you have a chris paul or devin harris on your team, you can’t put them on the court with monta.

    with gay, you can pretty much pair him with your best 1,2,4 and 5. no matchup problems.

  • petaluman

    I do think that Nelson will continue to try converting Monta into a PG. In the pre-season, there was actually talk of using him there until he took the hard fall that cost him too much development time.

    He ended up starting at SG because he’s too good to use only as a back-up PG, and as pointed out, can usually trade defensive assignments with Baron. Only time will tell if he can make the transition to the 1 spot, so hopefully we’ll have BD for at least another year.

  • Geoff Lepper

    ManhattanProj: Regarding why Monta won’t settle for Barbosa money — because Monta’s way more important to his team than Barbosa is to the Suns. You could argue that every member of Phoenix’ starting five — Nash, Bell, Hill, Amare, Shaq — is more indispensible than Barbosa.

    You plug an “average” player in place of Barbosa, and I still think Phoenix is a 50-win team. You plug an “average” player in place of Monta this season, and the Warriors are back to 38-44-ville.

    – Geoff

  • Geoff Lepper

    Also: I think you’d be lucky to get the Grizzlies to consider Rudy Gay plus anything for Monta. Remember, Gay has two more seasons on the (relative) cheap: $2.6 million in ’08-’09 and $3.3 million in ’09-’10. Monta’s going to make way more than that. So if I’m Memphis GM Chris Wallace — who has gotten notoriously gun-shy in the face of withering criticism for the Pau ripoff — the deal would be Rudy and contract albatross Brian Cardinal for Monta, at the very least.

    – Geoff

  • Ewok

    How much Ellis will improve his game?

    Only in his third year, and only 21 years old at that, and is already an Impact Player!

    I remember his first year he was just a role player and most of what was noticed of him was just his athleticsm. Nevertheless, the impression was breathless and promising.

    His Second year, or Let me put it this way, Can we honestly say We would not have made the playoffs and beat Dallas without Monta? His second year he was averaging double digits in scoring and is dictating the tempo. He developed his floater as his speed has always been his weapon.

    His third year around, Just hear what his teammates have to say about the kid… The guy has become an impact player no doubt. One of our “go to” players, a fixture in the team core. Look at his stats.. and look how the team has improved this year, notably those numerous times he carried the team on his shoulder.

    Barbosa couldn’t even figure out how play with Shaq and Stoudamire, his scoring is inconsistent. But he is a good player in the same breath Troy Hudson was during his prime.

    Sure Barbosa is not the full time starter in the team. So What’s that got to do with Ellis?

    Barbosa has been around a lot longer to know the system.. In this league, It’s never personal that one’s job is taken by another… It’s just a job. After all this years, Barbosa seems satisfied with his role.

    Monta is simply unbelievable. No College experience and only 21 years of age. Its great he is sorrounded by great veterans as well.

    Of course his game is not perfect.

    He has his tendencies to play erratic. But so does Diddy. Tim Hardaway was also erratic on a frequent basis, yet he was very effective in a lot of areas. That’s why he is an All Star.

    Does he have a shoot first and pass later mentality? Yes! He is a gunner! He has the talent to do that, and most of all, That is his role. He is licensed to do that as Nellie wants him to go for it.

    He is not a point guard whose task is to get everyone involved (although he is being converted to one), Should he be compared with Nash at this point? I think its a bit awkward and unfair.

    He should be compared with AI. Yet, AI and Nash themselves has great words for this kid.

    How much will he improve more? Sure he will to a great extent. Soon as he learns how to create his own shot (ala Iverson), Spot the open Man, Soon as he becomes mature as leader, and as soon as he develops his treys, The guy will go far and he has the atheticsm to do that along with his tender age.

    We have yet to see the best this kid can bring to the Table. I hope Barbosa finally becomes a factor for the Suns in this playoffs.

    Monta is here for a long time.

  • manhattanproj

    if ellis commands franchise money, i think mullin should definitely see what it takes to trade ellis for gay. or maybe ellis for iguodala.

    with davis possibly gone after next season, ellis’ weaknesses are going to be exposed. signing ellis to a long term, big money deal is asking for trouble. the same mistake w’s made with antawn jamison. ellis will not and does not have the ability to lead a team to win. much like jamison. they’re just not franchise player.

    geoff, on the same token, if you put barbosa on the w’s team, do you think the w’s still be a 48 win team? i think so. that’s why anything more than 6-8mil/yr would be a huge financial mistake.

  • manhattanproj

    #25 ewok:

    not to disrepect or anything, but your post is just hilarious, man. it’s like listening to elementary and middle school kids talk about basketball. i’m just assuming you are older than that or maybe not.

    anyway here’s something to think about: Handle, PG skills, vision, and playmaking abilities are not something you can just develop because you want to or because you get older in age.

    iverson has those coming into the league. he has the whole package. he’s a scorer but he can also be a playmaker.

    comparing ellis with iverson is just flat out wrong and wishful thinking. other than scoring, ellis doesnt come close to touching iverson in other aspects. and frankly, i think ellis never will.

  • Ewok

    manhattanproj

    No problem dude. Conflicts in opinion actually brings out the facts that lead to reality, for as long as both parties can handle the “truth.” I know I can.

    Talking about Skills.

    Leadership skills, point guard traits, court vision are not something you develop in time and experience, BUT it can be accomodated to a certain extent if the desire is there. Last time I heard, Mike Dunleavy was actually admired as a point guard. Desire.

    Does Monta have the tools to become a point? Well he is already playing point and not that bad at all.

    Magic, during his heydays as a Laker in a championship game also played as a center when Kareem went down with an Injury. They won the championship. Desire.

    I never doubted Iverson’s hype although I’ve always believed Greatness does not need introduction. He really has that talent that goes with it. I just didnt like his attitude, but that’s something else.

    Iverson had College Experience. Mentored by a very well known coach and a very respectable college in the sport of Basketball.

    Monta came out of High School.. In Memphis! That’s the difference.

    Iverson came as a great package because he has a great talent harnessed by his training in college.

    But he never wanted to play point, which eventually led to Larry Hughes becoming a Warrior. No Desire to be a point. Period. At least no. 8 is flexible.

    Monta came out of High School… In Memphis! Now, that is most surprising.

    Yet the two have a great words for each other’s game.

    Comparing the two doesnt necessarily mean Monta is better. But doing so indicates how fast and how far Monta has progressed. Already an Impact player.

    Comparing the two Isn’t flat out wrong.

    But Saying Ellis is Iverson is.(I wonder who said it).

    It’s about the progress of a young player. The impact a 21 year old has generated in the league… and his role in the Warriors line up.

    “Wishful Thinking,” “Doesn’t come close to touching Iverson,” and so forth.. These are opinionated but judgemental statements. I can only let time answer that.

    It’s not really hard for the public to imagine What Monta will be like in two to three more years… I wonder some people find it hard though… I really wonder.

    By the way, no disrespect but my utmost respect, “We” find your posts the same way. Amusing, Exhilarating and interesting.

    You must be a big fan, I can tell.

    Thank you very much for sharing me your post.