The rise of Reggie Williams has put a little twist in the future outlook of the Warriors’ roster. Not a dramatic change, I don’t think. But his presence certainly makes it interesting.
No doubt, the Warriors need changes. Several, big changes, in my opinion. I am not completely sold on the injuries as the reason for the terrible season. Sure, they’ve had a lot. But I didn’t think this was a playoff team even if healthy. So unless scrapping for an eighth seed is the goal, the Warriors need significant roster changes. So I’m gonna play GM for a moment.
PG Stephen Curry – No way they can let him go. He is face-of-the-franchise material. I know he doesn’t have the athleticism of players who usually get that title, but I’d take his hoop IQ over speed, his outside shot over hops, his passing over size and strength. Those kind of intangibles are too valuable. You have seen guys who are super athletic but don’t have those intangibles, and they don’t work well. But you have seen players without all the physical attributes, but they survive with high school and IQ (Nash, Billups – who is big and strong, but not known for quickness or hops, at least not at the peak of his career). This dude is way more of a floor general than I thought he would be, and he can score. That is a rare combination. Plus, you don’t have to worry about him off the court. Even if they get Kentucky’s John Wall, I still think Curry stays.
SG/SF Reggie Williams – Amazing how this dude just got here and already he’s a keeper. They have him under contract for dirt cheap next year. Whatever you could get for him (by throwing him as filler in a trade) won’t be worth not seeing if this guy is the real deal. Because of his passing, he could wind up even better than Kelenna Azubuike.
SHOULD STAY, BUT …
G Monta Ellis – Right now, he is the Warriors’ best player. He is the opponent’s top priority. He is the most dynamic. Ideally, a guy like that, you want to keep around. Two things, however, make him a candidate for departure: his $44 million remaining over the next four years and his compatiblity with Curry. (I am more convinced he and Curry can play together, though not totally). Plus, I still think he, other than Curry (who is off the table), is the most enticing figure the Warriors have on the roster. If you move Monta, you had better not miss. The kid is an All-NBA caliber player in the making. The only way you save face in trading him is that you came out good in the deal.
PF Anthony Randolph – He is still a budding talent, though he is less of a lock than one might’ve thought. He has too many skills and so much intensity. Under the right coach, he can flourish. If it takes him to get a proven big man, I can understand that. But he had better be proven. Otherwise, it is really risky to move him.
SG Anthony Morrow – His stock has dropped of late, no matter what the coaches say publicly. He still has the potential to be a really good player. He has a special talent, so the Warriors would be wise to try to take advantage of that. He’s got a lot of work to do this summer, and he will do it. He’s that dude. He’s made strides this season. But the Warriors also need to do more to help him along, instead of waiting for him to grow certain skills.
C Ronny Turiaf – He is cheap and productive, though he doesn’t give you big minutes. He would be much better if he could rebound, and stay off the injury report, but for $4 million, you can’t be greedy. His passing and midrange jumper are valuable assets to the Warriors style of play. With that said, the Warriors need a low-post scorer and a beast on the boards. If it takes him to get that, I’d be willing to give him up.
SF Kelenna Azubuike – If he doesn’t opt out, which from talking to him I don’t think he will, he would be a cheap and reliable player (provided he recovers from his knee injury). He can score in two ways the Warriors need — getting to the rim and sticking the 3 — and he rebounds and defends. That is a lot for $3 million. If it takes him to fill a big hole, I wouldn’t be mad. But otherwise, he’s a keeper.
F Anthony Tolliver – He has played well enough to stick around next year. Good rebounder. Excellent energy off the bench. Needs to work on his shot, but he can make some. Not a bad reserve to have, and for cheap (which the Warriors need). But if he’s played well enough to be included in a deal that benefits the Warriors, I wouldn’t mind that.
SHOULD AT LEAST SEE WHAT THEY COULD GET
PF Brandan Wright – I really like this dude’s game, at least what I saw in training camp. Still, it’s time for the Warriors to make a decision on one of these guys. I don’t think you’re set a PF with him and Randolph. They are too similar in body type and defensive ability. If you are going to run with two PFs, they need to be contrasting for change of pace. I could see Randolph and Brandon Bass as a tandem. Not sure how much value Wright has, considering his injuries. But you could at least see. I wouldn’t have a problem with him coming back at all. But that means another season “evaluating.”
G C.J. Watson – He is perfect guard off the bench for the Warriors. He can play two positions, and he can score. He has gotten better at getting to the basket and finishing. But he’s too valuable for the up-and-down minutes he gets with the Warriors. Plenty teams need a good back-up point guard, more than the Warriors who have Ellis and Curry pretty much sharing PG. Watson plays mostly SG with the Warriors anyway. He is more valuable to a team desperate for a capable back-up point.
MUST BE TRADED
F Corey Maggette – He is a beast on offense. His scoring efficiency is off the charts. But he is simply not what the Warriors need. They need a small forward who is a playmaker. They need the SF to be one of those do-it-all type of players, second-PG-on-the-floor type of guys. Maggette is not that. Warriors also need a defensive stopper at the 3, because their SGs are too small to defend the elite SFs or big SGs in the league. That is not Maggette’s game. He is a scoring machine and good rebounder. The Warriors are paying a lot of money ($10M a year) for something they don’t need so much – scoring. Plus, for his sake, he needs to go. He’s at his peak and he doesn’t have many years left. Unfortunately, his contract will be hard to move.
C Andris Biedrins – Not just because he had a bad year, but because the Warriors can’t afford to pay what he’s making for what he’s offering. At his best, he’s a rebounding finisher who can run the floor and guard (certain) bigs. They can’t bank on him becoming a low-post presence. But they sorely need one. Moving Maggette and Biedrins gives them the chance to get more bang for their buck.
PF Vladimir Radmanovic – Anthony Tolliver has made him unnecesary. His value to the Warriors is as a $6M expiring contract.
ROSTER FILLER: WON’T MISS ‘EM, DON’T MIND ‘EM …
F Devean George – His locker room presence has been good, and he can give you spot minutes. And he’ll be cheap. But he won’t play a significant role.
C Chris Hunter – Nice size and some skill. Good to keep around. But you can find that in other places.