By Justin Taylor
The NBA silly season is officially hitting a fever pitch this week and I don't think anyone can remember the last time the Warriors had this many options heading into the draft. There are so many scenarios to consider between picks, trades and free agents that it has been making my head hurt. In years past we’d be sitting around wondering how the front office would crap the bed then spin it to make it sound like they turned over every stone, followed every lead and in the end they got their guy. I still remember how upset I was the day we picked Todd Fuller over Kobe and then again the following year when we picked Adonal Foyle over Tracy McGrady. Those were dark days that led to some of the worst seasons in franchise history. It really wasn’t that long ago but that just isn’t the environment we live in anymore. Now we can all sit back, relax and let the Logo do what the Logo does best.
Back then when we were (even bigger) laughingstocks, we all probably saw Gary Radnich give his take on KRON 4 News on draft night then read as Ray Ratto slammed it in the Chronicle the next morning (or the Examiner in the afternoon). If you wanted to personally complain you could have called Ralph Barbieri at SportsPhone 68 or wrote a letter to a paper or magazine that had about zero chance of getting published. But if you really wanted to make your point you could simply stop buying tickets (which is still be the best way to cast a negative vote to this day).
Times have changed, plain and simple. Nowadays any average schmuck can let management know what they think of the job they’re doing by starting a website for a small fee (we’ll call it trappedingoldenstate.com in this case). You can also set up a social network of similarly tortured fans on Facebook (a good example would be http://www.facebook.com/TrappedInGoldenState) or you can tap into the most immediate source of news and snide remarks mankind has ever known on Twitter (@trappdngoldenst would be another spot where your opinions wouldn’t fall on deaf ears). That’s before you even log into WarriorsWorld.net or GoldenStateofMind.com to connect with thousands of other fans weighing in as the draft is still developing.
Many league executives and coaches may like to think that since they’re the ones sailing the ship that they don’t need to listen to the passengers and they may be right. At the same it’s hard to find a better reason why more and more execs and coaches are walking the proverbial plank faster then you can say amnesty clause since the dawn of the Social Networking Soapbox Age.
With so many decisions to make and so many ways for fans and media to contest, support, mock or a Molotov cocktail of all three the reaction promises to come like an avalanche as soon as they’re made. As I get ready draft day I’ve got my mock draft, my trade scenarios, my Facebook and my Twitter locked, loaded. With all that being said is there anything that can be done on Thursday that won’t draw any negative vibes on the interwebs? I’m going to trot out my top 6 scenarios we might see tomorrow in order of how much I’d like to see them happen. Post your thoughts in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter leading up to or during the draft with your thoughts, most ridiculous draft day fashion jokes and reactions.
1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist falls into our laps and everyone rejoices. Who will take issue with this chain of events? Even if he doesn’t become an all star he fits a long term need, our style of play and the mentality/personality that we want our entire team to undertake. It may take a long time but he has a ceiling of Scottie Pippen and a base of Tony Allen or Luc Mbah a Moute. So even if he’s a “bust” you have a solid rotation player but the upside is that you get an all star at the one position you need one.
2. With MKG off the board Damian Lillard slips past Portland and we bring the local kid home from his school in the boondocks for good. He provides excellent depth at the point whether Curry plays or is on the shelf with his glass ankle. He will also provide easy looks to Steph and Klay for stretches of each game when they are sporting be one of the most lethal small lineups in the league. This may just be my personal preference as option two since I’m quite sure if we take him with Drummond still on the board there will be hell to pay in some minds (but I don’t think anyone will return their season tickets for next year).
3. I’m not a huge Harrison Barnes fan; in fact, I’m just not a fan. It has more to do with his attitude and his “brand” then it does his game but you’d have to take him if he slips. It’s half because of his game fitting a need and being the “best available” (debatable) and half because like Drummond he carries a certain amount of weight if we’re building for a trade at the deadline this season.
4. Drafting Andre Drummond for me is a value proposition only. Teams are always willing to take a chance in building up or redeeming a big man with physical tools like his. Bigs with questionable motors and debatable love for the game rarely pan out but it’s hard to argue with the value he brings. I see a poor mans Joe Barely Cares but what do I know? I’d like to see them flip him in a bigger deal before he ever plays a game so he can’t tarnish the trade asset that may be at its all time sell high point. This is yet another point that I am in the minority but that is the beauty of the internet, haters will always exist.
5. There have been a number of trade down possibilities and if we can stay in the lottery while adding an immediate contributor like Mbah a Moute (or even Ekpe Udoh which was floated out as well) I’m in! We’d have to get a hell of a player to go any lower than the 14th pick (where the Bucks pick currently sits after a trade with Houston) but I’m listening. I’d actually put this scenario ahead of the Drummond pick but I made that selection with a bigger deal in mind.
6. I’m still trying to decide if I’d want Dion Waiters more then a Drummond bait and switch or a Milwaukee trade down. I like him and I’m pretty sure he’d look really good being a primary scorer on the second unit but I just don’t know enough about him. He averaged less than 13 points per game on a talented squad but part of that was due to their Watch the Paint Dry Offense and partly due to a clash with Jim Boeheim. Here’s to hoping Reverend Jackson can reign him in and extract every drop of potential out of him if that is the pick.
I’m so happy that I don’t need to read another mock draft and can slow down on my fake trade scenarios for a while at least. Happy Draft Day everyone! Hope to see all of you on Facebook and Twitter to chat as it all goes down...