Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Golden State Warriors 2013 Look Ahead


By Justin Taylor

How does the saying go again?  Fool me once shame on you, fool me 26 times shame on me?  Number 27 was getting so close heading towards the close of the 2012 season.  But NO!  Not this time.  Every year, like a lot of people, I become my own personal Steve Jobs selling a plan that is so easy it just works.  In the end all I’m doing is selling myself back up shit creek.  Anyone who’s thinking we’re “THIS CLOSE” needs to put the kool aid down and step away from the bottle.  For some reason I was letting optimism start rearing its ugly head back into my na├»ve and ignorant fanatic brain.  Isn’t hope the worst thing you can have as a Warrior fan after everything we’ve been through?  It’s like a cancer that only guarantees more heartbreak. 

Is this real reason for hope?

Curry and Bogut are getting healthy.  The rookies are getting invaluable minutes and developing nicely.  David Lee is finally going to be a power forward.  Tanking our way into the lottery will get us a piece that can actually contribute.  We’re going to get a full offseason to start gelling for real under Mark Jackson this time.  All of our losing is finally going to lead to some wins.  All of this was sound logic until you take one giant step back and remind yourself of the one most basic fundamental thing, these are the freaking Golden State Warriors we’re talking about.

The reality is our entire season will hinge on two creaky ankles.  No draft pick is going to make Curry, Thompson or Lee NBA caliber defenders. They could tank the rest of this season harder then an anvil landing on Wiley Coyote’s head and they’re still not getting an impact player out of the draft at #7.  By the grace of god Coach Jackson is getting a second chance to make a first impression.  Coach Malone (the guy who should be in charge) will be most likely getting his own gig somewhere else next year and Larry Riley will still be first mate to Joe Lacob on the Titanic.

 
Mark Jackson will have a lot to prove in his second year as coach

and David Lee will need to prove himself to be a leader.

Heading into the offseason we’re going with the patented “wait till next” year sales pitch whose copyrights came with the team in the sale to Joe Lacob. I’m getting more and more skeptical the closer we get to the 2013 season.  All I can see is the makings of yet another mediocre roster that is just ONE more piece from really competing for something.  Sure, we’re going to add a top 10 center and a top 10 point guard to the mix but do we have a top 10 leader or top 10 competitor on this team?  From what I can see, David Lee will be the voice and leader of this team.  I don’t see Curry taking on that role and didn’t see Bogut doing it during his time in Milwaukee.  If our new center comes in just trying to shake the rust off and fit in we’re doomed.  I know the guy cares but I hope I'm not the only one who got spooked when looking him up on Basketball-reference.com and saw his closest career comparison was Joe Barely Cares.

In 2011-12 we finally added an NBA caliber bench but the return of the most valuable and versatile members of that group (Rush and McGuire) are up in the air until further notice.  Charles Jenkins has shown he will be a player in this league, Jeremy Tyler has shown enough passion to overtake Andris Biedrins’ rotting corpse and Richard Jefferson isn’t road kill just yet.  You would figure this should be the easiest part of assembling an NBA team but for some reason it took us over a decade to do.

We are a couple of re-signings, a lottery pick and one major acquisition away from making waves in the west.  The first two shouldn’t be too difficult and aren’t as critical to our future success.  The third part shouldn’t be that big of deal either.  All we need is a small forward who can handle the ball and play point forward some, create shots for himself, create shots for others, rebound well and defend multiple positions. It’ll be a done deal if we get the 7th pick in the draft no?  There’s got to be one of those laying around somewhere right?  (I’ll get to Lamar Kardashian in the trade section below.)

Draft: Obviously a lottery pick that doesn’t belong to you doesn’t yield much.  Three second round picks (the San Antonio pick is like a high second rounder with guaranteed money attached) do not equal one top 10 pick.  Even though I’ve said that this year’s potential top 10 pick won’t be a difference maker at the seventh slot, the pick should be a lot better than what we’ll get next year if we’re healthy.  

Here are a few scenarios that could happen if the Warriors didn’t have about the same luck in the lottery that Kenny has on South Park: 

1. Move up to the top of the lottery to transform the franchise with Anthony Davis or really help the current core with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at #2. 

2. Land at number seven and hope Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond or Perry Jones slip a little to provide some depth but not much else.

3. Trade the number 27ish pick we actually own and two second rounder’s to get up as high as 14 and take a real PG (Kendall Marshall), a real rebounder (Jared Sullinger) a solid if unspectacular small forward (Terrance Jones) or a guy who can do a little of everything but is too afraid to fly to make it to out of state road games (Royce White).

Free Agency:  Impact free agents don’t want to come here even when we have cap room and WANT to over pay.  Next year Biedrins and Jefferson will be sinking on our cap like a pair of cement shoes but will be easier to move after the season.  Curry will also be eligible for an extension at the end of 2012-13 so the money we shed off the cap will mostly land in his pocket.  I do expect him to be healthy and play his ass off in order to force the Warriors to overpay for him over the next five years.  We can’t afford anyone worth mentioning but let’s check the list of the restricted and unrestricted free agent forwards who can do more than walk and chew gum.  There are no names that will fill our Scottie Pippen size needs even if we could afford one.

Dominic McGuire, Brandon Rush(R), Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Antawn Jamison (as if), Michael Beasley(R),  Anthony Randolph(R) (if you forget about the chewing gum part), Reggie Evans, Darrell Arthur(R), DeShawn Stevenson, Landry Fields(R), Ryan Anderson, Nicolas Batum (R), Jason Thompson, Tim Duncan, Josh Howard, CJ Miles, JJ Hickson, Courtney Lee. (R)=restricted

We still need someone on this roster whose main goal is to help everyone else play to their potential so I’m going to float out Jason Kidd’s name one more time.  Neither Steph nor Jenkins are natural point guards and this guy is the best teacher/mentor candidate they could possibly get on the cheap.  He’s ready to retire and it’s time he comes back to Oakland to get his just due and appreciation from the hometown fans.

Trades: Now that Monta is gone, we have our center and Lee remains untradeable guess who’s next…It’s time to play the “what can we get for Steph” game.  With so few options above you should start hearing a name like Rajon Rondo again.  Hopefully he plays well enough so guys like Deron Williams and Chris Paul aren’t mentioned as jokes.  I wont be surprised if we started doing the Dwight Howard pipe dream dance again and I will be shocked if we don’t hear the names Curry, Bogut and Howard in the same sentence in March. 

Mr. Kardashian mailed in this season in epic fashion.

In the past couple of days Lamar Odom’s name and cremated remains have been floating about. What are the chances that a guy who laid down for the defending champs is going to come to Oakland and play hard?  I’d consider it in a straight swap for Dorrell Wright’s passive play and reasonable contract but not much else.  For a guy who went from being known as “The Goods” to “The Candy Man” we might just be better off with Wright.  At least he doesn’t come saddled with a reality TV show and a Kardashian. 

Going into the offseason I see us as having a nice roster that will compete but is still a perimeter oriented team.  We’ll shoot our way past some good teams and out of games against some bad ones.  We have some presence on the inside for the first time ever it seems but we’ll still bog down when the game is on the line. They will be strapped for cash and the roster is pretty much set outside of marginal signings and a couple of crappy draft picks.  It is looking more and more like we’re going into 2013 with the rally cry of “that 8 seed is totally up for grabs in the West!” and later in the year, “we’re only one game out in the fight for the 8th seed!” It’s shaping up to be another year of killing the messengers Jim Barnett and Bob Fitzgerald.

If I’m off base let me know.  Are we happy with an 8 seed next year or should we expect more?  Do we have a shot at any free agents? Are the draft picks going to amount to anything?  Is it going to be another year of rumor mongering and wondering what types of names should be put into the trade machine?  These questions are the reasons I’m not falling for the banana in the tail pipe and why I expect to be Trapped in Golden State for yet another year whether I want to admit it or not.

35 comments:

  1. Justin, everything you have stated above makes total sense. My million dollar question is how do you swing a deal to get A.D. without having another meltdown to obtain his services? Can't really see this happening but all other comments make total sense so I await your response come tomorrow morning. The true cancer I see is on the defensive side. All seem to argue with me. Understanding winning basketball is difficult for most but I always felt we start by stopping others & using our D. play to initiate winning theory. Rebounding, court transition, high% shot selection,opponent foul troubles, ETC come from this thinking. Most viewers don't understand how the intangibles affect the game of winning. Fundamental basketball wins games. The one Fast Break series that illustrates the W's theory of play in 2011 was when we were 4 on 1 & 3 players head to the 3 point arc(& missed the shot) rather than fill the lanes for 1,2, or three points from the high %age area. Force the opponents hands! The winning teams do this! This game never changed since it's inception. Winning basketball isn't beautiful but who cares!! Winners get their fingernails dirty yet most here are down at the pedicure salon.
    The tank theory seems to be a legitimate way to land a player that could be a piece of fit for next seasons roster. So why so much controversy over attempting to play this angle? I've asked others to give me other positive scenario's to improve this franchise. No takers at Comcast/other locations. All come up with the idea that Utah will get the pick. If they do, so be it. What difference does it make? Nevertheless what good is winning. Until GS decides to play the game the way it needs to be played to win we will again sit next to the big screen listening to Jim & Bob discuss the days of the past. D wins games. The basketball/sports world revolves around it. If you can't stop your opponent you loose. Shoot the burglar before he robs your safe! And giving up triple digit #'s(As we do!) to your opponents spells doom. The best of all time played the D first! Am I wrong? Set this old man straight please. 37 years of misery spells out time for change. Hell I've been married for 34. Why my wife has never seen me happy during basketball season. I don't care if I have to change my total thinking of how to play the game. Fix my misery, please. I am just tired of the gut wrenching word "Mediocrity"(Loosing). I hate the word! When I played you either won or lost. Now the modern day thinking is: Win/Mediocrity/Loose. We fit right in the middle. A person once told me: "Always be in first or last, no one never remembers the rest". Let's see how many people ten years from now can recite the story of the 2011 season. I've had enough 2011's under my belt & wish to pocket a little more gold before I have to will my W's identification card to my grandson before I die! Great article. I will drop in daily for your brainstorms to correct this defunct franchise now called the GS Warriors. SF move? Like the return of the jersey's "The City". Now that really has a nice ring to it. Maybe championships could follow. Still I applaud Lacob for his move in the Ellis trade. No movement means the same ol thing here in the 2012 season. Walking across the highway can spell death. But what's the difference between death & the results since "75"? I see little difference. Always makes me laugh, people wish to devise a trade or obtain a player. Rather than that why don't we just play the game the right way? Guess that would be too easy. LOL Thanks Justin. Ciao

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  2. Thanks for the feed back SRG I agree 100% and that's why I'm trying to remind everyone who has hope for next year not to fall for the okie doke! Unless Mcguire is the starter 4/5 of our starting line up will be terrible defenders and if he does start then it 4 on 5 at the other end...whether we get the 7th pick or we trade to get a high teens pick it will not address that problem at all. So what else can we do? next year will be just as maddening as this year because people fully expect us to suck right now but how will they feel next year when any expectation they had of us being good are shattered...ATTENTION WARRIOR FANS: STAY AWAY FROM THE KOOL AID...REPEAT: STEP AWAY FROM THE KOOL AID...i really appreciate the hardcore Warrior fans that see through the bullshit and have come to Trapped in GOlden State to talk about it! thanks again, keep it coming...

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  3. Justin... Great write up... much better reading your "straight up, no chaser", style of writing. Its to the point, entertaining, and heaven forbid... makes sense. Keep up the good work... Maybe one day, we can sit back over some suds, post championship parade, and smile... THen again... that isht, only happens to Giants fans... Luckily, I'm one of those too!

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    1. Why sugar coat things. The snake will strike so prepare yourself early. Fix things. Stop procrastination. Repair for the enjoyable future. Would be nice to spout back at my so called Laker fan friends now who are alienating to the Clip's. LOL

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    2. I'll be at opening day tomorrow in the rain! then at oracle on monday watching another pathetic outing...Im glad my POV/niche is coming across as I intended it from the start cause you nailed it. All i need is one more parade before my time is up (since we've had a Giants and many 49ers) and until then I'll write from the perspective of the die hards for the die hards...I'm writing for those who care to rip my views as much as those who agree, but not for the media or the brass...no kool aid, no sugar coating here...pls call me out if you ever see that crap here!

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    3. LOL...i love that Laker fans are showing their true bandwagon colors...

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  4. Thanks for the timely response. Yes sometimes after being a true W's fan since their existence 50 years ago I get frustrated as all. Every year I suspend from a string with a pin poking at random balloons which pass in front of me. Never seems to make much difference until Lacob's bold move. Can this maybe be the beginning of another Garnett move as in Boston? I'm sure this is the philosophy behind the move as 5's are literally impossible to come by without some baggage. This is why I felt the Bogut idea was great. We eliminated the needless shooting of poor %age shots & replaced Ellis with a rounded player who can do quite a few things well. He fits into the winning scheme of basketball by defend then conquer. I ask all at Comcast how do you land Howard & then I sit next to the computer screen to view the wildest ideas you could possibly see. I know, baiting bloggers is not really fair but sometimes I need to smile. Execution,consistency,effort,group play,exhaustion,ETC are words which exemplify winning organizations. Intangibles create wins. Case in point I say to others. 49ers. SF won by controlling the intangibles. Lets not go any further today. You'll get me started.Thanks!

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    1. It's too late SRG, we've already started...lol...I'm all in on the trade but anybody that thinks that is the singular answer is setting themselves up for disappointment. Any shit management shovels on us to convince people of that will be thrown right back over their fence here.

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    2. Thanks Justin. TTYL

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  5. D.Lee has already proven himself as a leader in the recovery period following the Ellis trade and de-activation of Curry. the question more properly put would be, if he can do so for a winning team. Bogut in fact addressed this in a recent interview, citing the tasks ahead for himself, Curry, and Lee -- he said the forward has to show he can produce numbers for a winning team.

    If the team loses its way to a better chance at a high lottery pick, fine, but it is not likely to land in the bottom seven. They actually have a better chance of tying or overtaking Min in wins and decreasing the value of the pick that UT will own, barring a lottery miracle. That could be a positive outcome, if it's combined with UT failing to make the post season and keeping its own first round pick as a result. UT would have two first round picks and would probably trade one, because it has a youth-laden roster already.

    By trading away their sole expiring contract of any significance and absorbing the contract of Jefferson, the team is left with very little margin for error in any draft picks, trades, or free agent signings. We should count on a mixed bag of pleasant and unpleasant surprises in those areas between now and next Oct. Nor does the team have any identity established at present, making its future unfixed, unknown.

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  6. What would you be willing to give up for the late lottery Utah pick we all know Lacob wants? Outside of Lacobs cash i wouldn't want to part with anything other than wright (since obviously they don't want Andris or Jefferson) the pick isn't going to yield much right?

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    1. the draft positions and picks remain in flux for all teams right into the actual day of choosing players. L.Aldridge, B.Roy, K.Love to name but a few, were all acquired via draft day trades just after they even learned they where they were chosen. Regarding the UT pick or picks, there are still two major variables to be determined before draft day, their playoff status and the lottery drawing. Lacob has already made errors in miscalculating the value of players in a competitive market, and UT or any of the teams willing to trade a first round pick that's significantly better than the SA pick in hand (high 20s) might not be interested in anything Lacob wants to deal. So the brain trust might not get a clear picture of what their assets can buy until teams have already started dealing over the summer and the selection of players in the draft is underway. You're basically correct, not to count on another team placing much value on the players Lacob et. al want to deal away.

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  7. Justin,
    Next year's team will be a playoff team. All we need to do is bring back the current roster, and add a healthy Curry and Bogut. Count on it. It's hard being a W fan because you really don't expect much, but this team with Curry and Bogut has the pieces to win imo next year. And I predicted 29 wins for this season with a healthy Curry.

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  8. I hope you're right! I'm just not letting myself get too amped up until i see it on the court for more than 5 or 10 games...I'll take your prediction long before I'm going to let management talk me into it...

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  9. don't look now... but the dubs and, pistons, nets, and raptors are all tied in wins. just like how, if your measuring a success for a team trying to reach the playoffs, you can't 'unlose' a game, you can't 'unwin' a game either. basically, from here on out if the dubs lose out (understandable, the only two games against losing teams are minnie and NO, who have eric gordon back and are currently on a 3 game winning streak, beating teams much better than us). its feasible that the dubs could find themselves in a tie for 6th from the bottom. crazy how a couple upsets here and there and suddenly a pinhole of light is poking through the clouds.

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  10. And dont forget we shut David Lee down too so our chances of losing out got that much better...I'll be in the house for San Antonio and Lakers this week and it is so odd going to games now, I root like hell for the Dubs through three quarters then either shut my mouth or leave in the fourth so I don't piss of the people around me who may (for some reason) be rooting for a win...I don't think it's right but you want the kids to have a good time...what a crazy time, I'm rooting hard for NO, Detroit, Nets and Raptors for sure! Go Golden State Lottery Tankers!

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    1. i've seen someone's comment elsewhere on the 'net, and raptors play two of the other teams in this logjam... aka 2 more wins are being pegged on other teams. with basically a d-league squad (with thompson, a rookie, and rush and mcguire), i see us comfortably bottoming out.

      im not letting myself get my hopes up, but... ive also gone through wikipedia and compared the lottery results recorded through the years... the top 3 teams almost never all end up in the top 3 lottery spots...

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    2. you know our luck, if we don't get down to 6 we're most likely screwed...im turning blue i've been holding my breath so long! Maybe we're the team that moves up this year?!?! NAHHHHH.....

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    3. our lucks got to change sometime! i mean, we're in second place behind the clippers in terms of most lottery appearances by a franchise. and the clippers have won the lottery two times! and in the space of 3 years! and one of those times they were in 8th! i mean, c'mon!

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    4. We win the lottery during joe smith years, not best defender coming out since dwight howard years...

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    5. best defender in COLLEGE. he hasn't played a millisecond in an NBA game. nothings proven till its proven.
      and im not even asking for #1. all i want is MKG. why cant the universe throw us a bone once in a while.

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    6. BECAUSE WE'RE TRAPPED IN GOLDEN STATE! HAAAAAA! (get it?...)

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    7. ahaaaaa i see what you did there.

      well, jenkins certainly threw the final monkey wrench into this abysmal season. cant fault a player for playing hard, which is what hes paid to do, but... damn. couldnt even get a consolation prize for donating hours of my time to this charity of a basketball season?

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    8. I know right? He had my support already, he didn't need to go and do all that...I was planning on doing a Bill Simmons style running diary of the BIG game that would determine how many ping pong balls we get and now i'm a bit deflated on the idea...i don't even want to watch anymore to be honest, it's that or the NFL draft...as always, i'll be watching because I'm trapped for worse or for worse...

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  11. I sit in the fourth row most home games, so have a decent look at this team. I actually don't think it's a fight for the 8 seed kind of team at all - healthy, i see 50-53 win kind of talent with pieces that fit really well together.

    1) Ultimately, the NBA is about guys who can score. With Curry, Lee and Thompson, we have three guys who not only can score, but can all score together within a system. Thompson and curry shoot from range, move well without the ball and are fine giving up the ball for somebody else with a better shot. Lee is a MUCH more complete player this year than last year . He's smaller, but there is some Kevin McHale coming out. Last year, he was basically a dunker and a mid-range jumper shooter.

    2) Our bench. Nobody on the bench last year was better than anybody he came on for. Before the trade and injuries, we went six deep where i was pretty much fine with any starter coming off for anybody on the bench (udoh, rush, thompson mcguire, robinson, brown). That's pretty rare. Even after the trade, we still have four of those guys and only one of them is now starting.

    3) Rookies. We have three rookies who are contributing at an NBA level two of whom have each had multiple excellent games. Klay we know about, but jenkins has thrown games of 27-6, 18-12, 19-7. Tyler has looked intriguing

    4) Unlike previous years, our shooting percentage D is middle of the pack this year (18th, i think, but in a pretty tight band). We're 10th in steals, 7th in blocked shots, 11th in forcing turnovers. You look at those numbers and you have to give Jackson and Malone a bit of credit for creating a better defense. The refrain that we play bad defense just is not born out either in stats or in front of my eyes. We're at least OK right now and we seem to be getting better

    3) None of that comes out, because we have gotten utterly demolished in rebounding (the worst rebounding differential in the league by a wide margin). The perimeter defense with McGuire, Rush and Thompson is pretty good. Lee battles hard. But the problem is, we make them miss and then we give them another shot. A decent rebounder - and I stood next to Bogut yesterday and he moves like an athlete and is BIG - will make a huge difference to results. Let alone, letting us get a bit more aggressive on the perimeter, because there is some size in the back.

    5) The reality is that Kwame Brown might really have made a difference. Bizarre to think about, but remember we did beat Chicago, Miami, clippers, almost everybody in the mid-pack west and took OKC, Memphis and the Lakers to the mat almost every game we played them. Kwame doesn;t get hurt, no way we are last in the league in rebounding. You lose ten games by 3 or less, you think about second chance points more than any others.

    6) I think the best thing we could do with the pick would be to trade it together with RJ or Beans contract. I think we need to sign both rush and mcguire snd frankly one or the other of them should start (my preference would be mcguire). But i like those two for 30-40 minutes of the 3 slot every game. The kind of thing we need to fill in the roster - an athletic backup 4/5, can be picked up the AB/RJ+draft pick trade if we want a veteran or maybe even late in the first round. Somebody like Udoh, actually. If necessary move Dorrell as part of that trade if it would help upgrade what we got in return. Otherwise move Dorrell to coming off the bench as light-up six minute offense that can also check somebody.

    I think its a 50 win team if we keep rush and mcguire. I even see a role for Nate on a team like this - it would be great to have him back.. All of a sudden, it's a 10 deep team again and you can throw waves at people.

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  12. 1) My only question about the offense is really who penatrates to break down the defense in pressure situations.
    2) The bench is the most significant upgrade this year so let's all hope we can bring it back. Brown, Mcguire and Rush will be critical if next years bench wants to meet or exceed this years.
    3) I like thompson and jenkins but the jury is out on tyler...He'll definitely need seasoning so hopefully the team commits to developing his potential. My biggest question for his future is his hands. Is it me or does he have serious problems securing the ball?
    4 & 5) I do believe that we will improve dramatically on defense simply due to our improvement in rebounding and having a guy that will change some shots for one...
    6) I guess it all depends on draft slot and available talent. Dorrell can go if it helps us move the Biedrins or Jefferson contracts (for absolutely nothing as far as I'm concerned and what reality will bear for those ridiculous numbers) just to get the flexibility for those SF signings.

    Maybe I should have put in some more concrete predictions in the column. I do see the POTENTIAL for 48-53 wins for sure. A lot has to go right but it's definitely within reach. My biggest fear is that will get us between a 6-8 seed and then what? If we can't move those contracts and their is no prospect for dramatic improvement after that we may still be in the middle of the pack. I think that will be the topic of a column in the near future. I hate speculating that far in advance but I think we are going from bad to good but the question is what will it take to go from good to great?

    Thanks for reading and weighing in with all of your well thought out analysis! See you against the Lakers tomorrow!

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      1) Agree, we've lost the create off the dribble capability. I'm going to have to assume that Mark Jackson can coach an offense that runs through the high and low post. If we hold onto Robinson and keep his meds balanced right, i would see the potential for going with a robinson-curry-thompson-lee-bogut lineup at the end of games, with nate providing the dribble penetration. But i am not optimistic about keeping Nate.

      3) Agree on Tyler. "Intriguing" was the only adjective i could really come up with that expressed my ambiguous feeling. Whether its hands, baby fat or just kind of a lumbering quality, he's definitely not set the world on fire, but at the same time, you know that really young bigs are always projects. He has a nice touch, which is a good indicator and he doesn;t seem to. Best case scenario is probably somebody like a Dale Davis with better free throws.

      As to the "bad to good" vs "good to great" discussion, too early to tell. At a certain level, that becomes less about stacking up raw talent and more about chemistry and coaching. From what I've observed, its not out of the question that the permutation we aim to put out there next year could catch a lot of people by surprise. And like losing, winning can have a contagious effect

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    2. "doesn't seem to mind mixing it up in the paint" that was meant to say

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  13. Agreed, to early to tell...I'm just trying to figure out how the assets in place are going to yield a real star to make that jump...If the team plays well next season (and i expect WELL) then maybe a free agent wants to come here...probalem is that next offseason the money will be tied up in steph, biedrins, jefferson, lee and bogut...So now i'm looking to whos coming up three years...lol...this is pathetic, i know...BUT in three years, with our solid core secured, money coming off the books we will finally be able to POTENTIALLY sign a star out right and make a serious run at a title! BOOK IT! People want to call me out for not being mr. happy go lucky 2013 but the 8 seed doesnt heal any wounds for me...gives me something to cheer for but until we get over the REAL hump i'll be watching my back.

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  14. Gotta get either the jefferson or biedrins contract off the books by hook or crook. A high lottery pick would make that possible. Jefferson's is the easier to move, but conversely, he might actually be able to play and if we're going to hold a crappy contract, at least I'd like to get some production out of it. If Biedrins doesn't retire (or voluntarily show up at the dog food factory) a wright/biedrins/pick package for a pick or two a couple years out might be the best play.

    I'm less convinced of the "superstar" hypothesis, though recognize there is a lot of evidence against me. Top to bottom depth like pistons when they won a title, Dallas in the early cuban years, the Kings in their heyday, even Memphis today are probably the best model for the talent we have assembled. At any one time, there are no more than 10-15 tier 1 superstars in the league held by 6-10 teams. Be great to have one, but there are other ways to skin the cat.

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    1. I was actually careful to say star as opposed to superstar because i agree...Nowitzki and Webber were/are both better than anyone on our roster for sure though ...you don't need the best player in the league but you do need someone who can be counted on for SOMETHING every time down the floor...The Pistons epitomized the model but you couldn't have substituted anybody into that line up for Ben Wallace...We need someone with great talent but also aggression, tenacity, passion and ATTITUDE preferably at the three but i see that as a major missing piece right now...

      it would be a huge score if the could get those contracts off the books early without taking on more bad money and i don't know if it matters this season because the free agent pool is nothing special...my 3 year plan could become a two year plan if they can clear the dead money off the books and strike when the right player becomes available...curry and thompson are going to be competing for the softest backcourt in the league and if you could get full value for curry before he's due for a HUGE raise i'm all for it...many won't agree but i think Rondo is a significant upgrade...better defender, passer, penetrator and makes OTHER guys better, i still don't see that in curry but maybe without ellis he'll prove me wrong...

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  15. Agree on Curry for Rondo, don't agree that Thompson is soft. I think he's a keeper. Not dismally slow and 6'7" on the perimeter - he'll be fine. Failing a rondo-type trade, I'm willing to give Curry another shot - cannot deny he's had some truly scintillating performances in his three partial years. Where was nash after three years?

    You may disagree, but I'm starting to see what you are looking for in Lee, at least on the offensive end. Which is where you ever got it from Dirk or C-Webb.

    As for the backcourt, yeah not exactly jordan and harper back there, but its a legitimate threat to put up 6 points every two trips down the floor. Points are points and they can make up for a fair number of sins

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    1. I like Lee, he is a good piece and I don't look down on him for his shortcomings, he brings plenty to the table and will do it for a winner one day. He's just not gonna be "the straw the stirs the drink" to borrow from my man Reggie...Neither Baron nor Stack Jack are great but they made the pieces greater than the sum of the parts which is what it takes without THAT guy..

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    2. the straw THAT stirs the drink...you know what i meant...lol

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