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Draft Week: Warriors Hoping for Help

The Warriors would love nothing more than to trade up in the draft and lock up one of these elite talents. Problem is, nobody wants to trade down to No. 6 in a five-player draft. And if they do, they want the No. 6 and the Warriors’ right arm (namely Stephen Curry or Anthony Randolph), which is too much to give up for a prospect.

So, the Warriors can’t move up to get the guy in this draft who I think is the best fit: Evan Turner, who is the versatile and skilled small forward (or shooting guard) who has the size and playmaking ability they need to round out their perimeter. Nor will they be able to get the beast they need inside in Derrick Favors, who is a rebounding machine and would instantly become the biggest physical presence on the Warriors frontline. Nor can they get the guy they want in Wesley Johnson, who would give them a legit SF (not a SG playing out of position) who significantly raises the athleticism on the wing.

So, they wait, and hope. For Cousins, who just might have the biggest immediate impact in the draft.

I don’t think the Warriors options at No. 6 impressive. After the top five — Wall, Turner, Cousins, Favors and Johnson — are a bunch of pretty good prospects who are long shots for being special and will need particular situations and fortune to be really good. Given the state of the Warriors’ franchise, they need difference makers, not role players. They need ballers, not specialized players. (To be sure, I’m not completely sold on Johnson)

To a man, I don’t think the Warriors are excited about anyone outside the top 5, either. How do the Warriors’ feel about Greg Monroe? He’s 6-11, 247-pounds and all they can talk about is his passing. That’s like lauding a point guard for his rebounding. The Warriors already have Ronny Turiaf. Why would a big man who can pass and knock down the elbow jumper get their blood pumping? Monroe can do more than that, assuredly, and he has the tools to develop into more. But he’s going to have to get in line, behind the 80 other young guys they’re already developing.

Who else is there: Aminu from Wake Forest? Udoh from Baylor? Davis from North Carolina? They’ll all ride the bench behind Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright, and maybe lose minutes to Anthony Tolliver.

The only hope in this draft is if one of the top five falls to the Warriors. Otherwise, the Warriors will be bringing sand to the beach, and relying on a free agent/trade market to produce the talent upgrade they desperately need. Relying on a trade during a looming ownership change is hardly ideal.

Getting a difference maker in the draft would not only give the Warriors a much-needed talent upgrade, but it singles out who they can shop as trade bait. If they get a big man, they can afford to give up Biedrins or Turiaf. If they get a difference-maker at PF, moving Randolph becomes a much easier pill to swallow. But if the guy they get isn’t better than anybody they currently have, they haven’t done much to get better.

It doesn’t look good for the Warriors’ getting fortunate, either. Most of the scenarios play out so that the Warriors are left praying Sacramento does them a favor.

Any scenario that sees Favors and Cousins go in the top four, and it’s sand at the beach for the Warriors. Those two in the top four means Sacramento has a chance at either Turner or Johnson. The Kings need a SF badly, especially with Nocioni gone. No way either of those two get by Sacramento.

After Wall, Turner has been the expected No. 2. If that happens, Sacramento – which needs a SF – will likely miss out on both of the two elite SFs (Turner and Johnson) in this draft. That leaves them with two choices: take one of the big men available, or do something crazy like reach down to fill their need. With Dalembert and Jason Thompson in tow, the Kings don’t need a big man, it still figures they’d take the best available player. I seriously doubt Aminu jumps that high, which leaves the choice between Cousins and Monroe.

And that is the Warriors’ best hope, that Sac wants Monroe.

Marcus Thompson

  • J Canseco

    The only good news right now is Cohan selling.

  • Hook Mitchell

    At #6 Cousins would be ideal.

  • http://dailysportslink.com Daily Sports Link

    I think the scenario you laid is exactly what will happen. Slim chance that Sacramento takes Aminu or Monroe, but I’m not buying that for a second. Sacramento won’t pass up the chance for an elite 1-2 combo with Evans and Cousins.

  • WeBelieve!

    Wasn’t it true, Cousins didn’t want to work out with the Warriors? He didn’t want to have ANYTHING to do with this sorry franchise? I guess that’s a perfect fit then

  • http://www.ispithotfire.com Michael

    Hi Marcus,
    Great article. I agree completely. If they can’t get one of those top 5′s, they need to make a trade. Adding another young and talented guy to a team that is basically just young and talented does nothing. It just creates less minutes, and unfulfilled talent. Which is 25 wins, and another #6 pick in 2011.

    I echoed the same thoughts in my post: http://www.ispithotfire.com/2010/06/21/last-thoughts-before-the-nba-draft-2010/

  • A’s in 2010

    The Warriors need to offer $2M to Sacramento to swap places in the 1st round. Sitting back HOPING for a top 5 guy to fall ain’t gonna cut it. This could be the POB draft all over again, 1 pick away from Rudy Gay.

  • Bleep

    If it takes $1M to go up 12 inconsequential places in the second round (46 to 34), I’m sure it would take much more than $2M to go from 6 to 5.

  • A’s in 2010

    Minny traded #6(Roy) for #7(Foye)+$1M cash back in 2006.

  • haastheman

    Although the warriors may not be “excited” about anyone outside of the top five picks, that doesn’t mean we won’t get an impact player. Every year there are busts in the top 5, and every year there are players in the late first round who nobody saw coming. The key is to see them coming. I’ve always though that the last thing the warriors needed was another 19 or 20 year old kid running around the court trying to figure out who their suppossed to be guarding. I still believe the best thing for this team to do is package the pick with a player(hopefully monta) and get an established player. Monta was right, he and steph are not a good mix in the backcourt, and steph is the pg of the future.

    And maybe the warriors are just playing him down, but i like monroe, as much or more then i like favors and cousins. Monroe is more skilled, and fits our team better then the other two bigs out there.

  • Earl Monroe

    The team that will make a mistake will be Minnesota, David Kahn is not qualified.

  • Money

    The Warriors will always be the warriors. One player away from an impact. They had the second or third pick in the draft locked up until they went on a meaningless run after Nellie got his victorys. They will pick Cole Aldrich, another big, tall white guy

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Randolph and #6 to the Sixers for #2 (Evan Turner).
    Monta to Minnesota for Jefferson.
    Maggette to Milwaukee for Gadzuric and Charlie Bell.

    PG – Curry/vet PG (Steve Blake)
    SG – Evan Turner/Morrow/Bell
    SF – Azubuike/Williams/#44 pick
    PF – Jefferson/Wright/Tolliver
    C – Biedrins/Turiaf/Gadzuric

  • A’s in 2010

    David Kahn is a mess right now. Favors worked out for Minny(didn’t have to) and Kahn called Favors “out of shape”. Now his agent is ticked off. He let the entire world know he wants Wesley Johnson and that Cousins would be a bad fit with Love/Jefferson. But now New Jersey is seriously thinking about taking Wesley Johnson at #3. What happens then? Is Kahn stupid enough to pass on Cousins AND Favors at #4? I think he is.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-draftbuzz062210

  • CalBearEnthu

    I disagree. Marcus, I think you’ve missed the boat on Monroe. He may not ever be great, but he could develop into a very solid starter, both defensively and offensively. I bet if Cousins and Monroe are available, the Warriors will be picking Monroe and I’ll be happy when that happens.

  • Marcus Thompson

    CalBearEnthu & Haastheman,

    You could be right about Monroe. I haven’t seen that much of him. But talking to scouts and executives, what he’s good at just doesn’t seem like what the Warriors’ need. Part of reason Warriors like him is he can play the high post. To me, the Warriors don’t need another high post big man. Not to say he won’t be good. But can you confidently trade Biedrins because you have Monroe?

  • PJ

    All true Marcus – big drop off from 5 to 6. Still there is always a player or 2 who comes out of nowhere and truns out great. There’s also always a player or 2 who doesn’t live up to the hype. Wouldn’t mind hearing who you think those guys might be.

    Imo, the scenario that seems most likely is that Cousins goes to Sacramento. It also seems like Aminu and Monroe have fatal flaws and the Warriors should avoid drafting them. They will be repectable players but nothing more. There are a number of other choices at the six spot – Paul George, Luke Babbit,and Gordon Hayward. I think Paul George is the best player available at number 6. Why are none of the Bay Area papers writing about these guys, especially George. He seems like the obvious choice to me…

    My top ten:
    1. John Wall
    2. Derrick Favors
    3. Evan Turner
    4. Wesley Johnson
    5. DeMarcus Cousins

    6. Paul George
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERcmFdlrrXY&feature=related

    7. Luke Babbit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0_PCqoB0aI

    8. Gordon Hayward
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAyq_a2kZUw

    9. Patrick Patterson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAU2HxxbA4I

    10. Al-Fariq Aminu
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-h48-tEhgw

  • petaluman

    Marcus,

    What’s your take on the Rumor from Racine:

    http://www.journaltimes.com/sports/article_2c7bde90-7dbc-11df-9642-001cc4c002e0.html

    Corey Maggette (3 years, $31M) for Dan Gadzuric (expiring, $7.4M) and Charlie Bell (2 years, $8M)

    Do you think the Bucks would also insist on swapping some picks (they have 15, 37, and 47)?

  • DKnight007

    LOL….W’s better stay away from the slow footed, unathletic white stiffs! Aldrich would be a terrible pick at 6.

    The W’s pick should come down to Monroe or Cousins… if he slides.

    There is a chance Cousins slips to Warriors if Johnson is on the board when Sac picks.

  • DKnight007

    Udoh might be a solid pick also…athletic and versatile….

  • Marcus Thompson

    Petaluman,

    That the Warriors should jump on it. I’m told that offer was broached weeks ago and the Bucks backed out. trying to find out if it is back on the table now. Salmons met with team and decided to opt out, so Bucks need offense

  • TownLove

    I havent given up hope on landing Cousins. I think its a BIG possibility that the Kings go with Monroe. He is a Petrie guy. The same guy who traded for similar high-post passers in Webber and Divac.

    Worst case scenario Monroe isnt a BAD player and would provide some bulk up front.

  • DKnight007

    Marcus,

    Does it really matter what the W’s do?

    No matter what move they do or don’t make it will be the WRONG move! They have been making WRONG moves for years…years…and years….they one or two right moves once or twice every decade! LOL

  • Bleep

    It’ll be very sad if Sacramento scoops up Cousins. A much better fit than Monroe for the Warriors. We should have tanked properly!

  • haastheman

    Marcus,

    you can confidently trade biedrens cause you have Monroe, Wright, Turiaf, Randolph, the D leaguers and because he can’t hit a free throw to save his life. I just don’t see much Monroe can’t do, besides jump out the gym. I watched one of the kings workout of Monroe, Cousins, and Favors and thought Monroe was the most impressive. He’s got range to the arc, moves well, and played for G’town in the princeton offense.

    I think for this team to work we have to trade Monta or Biedrens. These two players have value(especially monta) and they play positions where we have a lot of depth. Bukie’s best position is probably the two, and we have morrow. We have too many players that don’t really have a position, that’s good when those players are bench players, but when they are starters, that’s a problem. Curry is the only player on the team who could be an all-star for years at his position.

  • Derek

    Cousins is from Mobile Alabama and has weight problems.

    Jamarcus Russell is from Mobile Alabama with weight problems.

    MaFadden, bumpkin bust, Washburn Bumpkin bust

    Country bumpkins don’t do well in the Bay Area

  • haastheman

    no matter where you’re from, the bay will chew you up and spit you out if you don’t have a solid head on your shoulders. That’s why we don’t need the #6 pick. no more 20 year old kids from outside of cali.