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.
• 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.