By Marcus Thompson
Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 9:19 am in Uncategorized.
The draft’s heavy hitters are now expected to come through downtown Oakland. So far, Golden State’s workouts have been filled with second-rounders and a few options at No. 30. But now that the Warriors have the No. 7 overall pick, you can expect the notables to come through.
General manager Bob Myers said a few agents were waiting to see how the draft order played out. But now, Myers said he expects his phone to ring off the hook. Landing at No. 7 opens up a huge window of options of the Warriors. Myers said he hopes to workout every player he can.
“We’ll get in as many people as we can,” Myers said. “I see no reason not to. Put them against each other the best you can. Hopefully they’ll come. I think they will.”
Myers said the depth is at the forward spot, and that is where the Warriors’ greatest needs are, so many of the top options are now on the board. Here is a look at 5 players the Warriors could take. The question is do they go for need, best player available or the player they fell in love with most.
Position: Small forward
Size: 6-foot-8, 223 pounds
Stats: 17.1 points, 44 percent shooting, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Strengths: He combines good size and athleticism. He’s a scorer who proved to be a shot-maker in college. He can shoot it pretty well and has NBA range, though he’s better in spot-up and catch-and-shoot situations.
Weaknesses: Barnes is not the kind of small forward the Warriors typically like since he’s not good at creating shots for others. He’s not the point-forward type and he tends to stick on the perimeter. Despite his size, he’s not especially physical either – which doesn’t bode well for his defense.
Fit with Warriors: He’s considered the second-best small forward, a position the Warriors need to upgrade. And he’s an NBA-ready scorer. But the Warriors need someone who can create shots for others, and that’s not Barnes’ game. He doesn’t significantly boost the team’s athleticism either. He’s a good value pick, and probably the best player available, but he’s not exactly what they need to put with the four other starters. Would be good off the bench early in his career though.
Position: Small forward/Power forward
Size: 6-foot-11, 221 pounds
Stats: 13.5 points, 50 percent shooting, 7.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Strengths: A load of potential, thanks to his size, athleticism and youth. He’s long, covering a lot of ground. He can shoot a little bit and can play both forward positions depending on his supporting cast.
Weaknesses: He confessed his “motor” needed to improve, which is why he stayed at Baylor for a year. On top of that, his skill set is raw, making him a high-risk pick. He just doesn’t have the feel for the game you’d like.
Fit with Warriors: He would definitely be an injection of athleticism and size. He has the potential to be a good defender, something the Warriors also need. But Golden State, according to sources, isn’t high on him. He has too many question marks. Considering the Warriors need to make the playoffs next season, they can’t afford to draft someone so high-risk as Perry Jones.
Position: Power forward/Center
Size: 6-foot-9, 280 pounds
Stats: 17.5 points, 51.9 percent shooting, 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Strengths: He’s a big guy who knows how to use his size. But he also has great footwork, soft hands and deft touch, which makes him one of the best low-post scorers in the draft. Also a pretty good passer, especially out of post-up situations. He’s shown signs of a developing jumper, also.
Weaknesses: He’s not a great athlete and he’s one whose weight will be an issue. He has problems producing against long, athletic types. His game befits a center, especially since he can’t stretch the floor. But he’s undersized as a center.
Fit with Warriors: He doesn’t really fit unless he’s coming off the bench. Golden State is set at the positions he can play, so the chances of him being a difference maker for the Warriors are slim. Plus, the Warriors don’t really need a subpar athlete, though Sullinger could provide some inside scoring. He’d be aa good if somehow Andrew Bogut isn’t healthy. But the Warriors can afford to spend the No. 7 pick on a precaution.
Position: Shooting guard
Size: 6-foot-5, 185 pounds
Stats: 17.7 points, 47.8 percent shooting, 4.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Strengths: For a shooting guard, he has good size. He’s long as a holiday weekend and has enough athleticism to get anywhere he wants on the court. He’s a natural scorer who shoots it really well if he’s not forcing shots. His sophomore season allowed him to develop more as a ball-handler, playmaker, which will benefit him in the pros.
Weaknesses: He needs to get stronger and smarter. He’s not good at getting to the free throw line and he needs work at creating offense for others. He has the tools to be a good defender, but didn’t seem interested in defense at times. But part of that can be attributed to the load he carried on offense.
Fit with the Warriors: Lamb is basically a duplicate of Klay Thompson, though not as good a shooter. Lamb seems to be the better playmaker, but the difference isn’t big enough for him to replace Thompson. The only way Golden State could use Lamb is if they feel Thompson can slide over to small forward. But even then, Thompson is not the kind of small forward the Warriors really need, so they’d still be left wanting. Selecting Lamb would be simply a value pick.
Position: Small forward/Power forward
Size: 6-foot-9, 249 pounds
Stats: 12.3 points, 50 percent shooting, 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Strengths: The former high school point guard is highly skilled. He can handle, penetrate and pass like a small forward. But in his sophomore season at Kentucky he showed he can produce inside. Has nice footwork, is calm under pressure and has the physicality to finish strong. He has the size, length, athleticism and toughness to be a force on defense.
Weaknesses: He’s a bit of a tweener because he’s talented enough and flawed enough at both positions to not really know where he belongs. His jumper needs a lot of work and he’s been known to disappear. Can get out of control at times. Not as explosive as you’d like.
Fit with Warriors: He’s probably the best fit for small forward other than his college teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He’s has the athleticism, the body and some of the skills they want. But the transition to small forward in the NBA (from power forward at Kentucky) is going to come with its bumps and bruises. But he comes with some risk, thanks to his questionable motor and lack of definitive position. He would be much more ideal if the Warriors could nab him later in the draft. If he’s available between 17 and 25, which some mock drafts believe he will be, Golden State may be able to use their remaining three picks to get high enough to nab him. That would be a steal and much more value than taking him at No. 7.