By Justin Taylor
Adding Deng for anything more than a pick and a bad contract would be counter productive
Everyone knows the names (Gay, Igoudala, Deng, Batum, Mbah a Moute; maybe I’m the only one there; or trading up for MKG) being thrown around by now and if this were Major League Baseball we would just call for the owner to spend some money to make it happen but it’s not. Having one great player is better than three good ones but are any of these guys great? Hell no. Instead, we should be pursuing the hell out of Brandon Roy to round out the rotation, health be damned. Bob Myers (his former agent) came out this week and openly stated they’re kicking the tires on that possibility.
I’ve been saying for a while now (and by a while I mean about three weeks since my last flip flop on the subject) that we should use the picks, draft the best players available, accumulate more young assets and prepare for a real blockbuster at the deadline if another trade is in the cards. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and try to win a fantasy championship on paper. The question I’m asking is whether a small forward is really more important then all of our other needs combined? If they can get Deng for the pick and a bad contract like Jefferson or Biedrins it will improve the team and give them an asset in a big deal but paying more than that will work against them and makes it an illogical deal for the Bulls.
For those of you out there that haven’t wasted a ton of time analyzing the roster, coming up with mock draft picks and creating fake trade scenarios I’ll break it all down and isolate the real needs for 2012-13 for you.
In Stephen Curry we have a naturally gifted basketball player and Olympic gold medalist who isn’t a pure point guard but will be the biggest catalyst for future success. The only problem is that we’ve seen him on billboards and commercials more then we’ve seen him on the court over the last couple years. If that wasn’t enough cause for concern the only player we have to back up the perpetually injured point guard is Charles Jenkins who still very young and is not a natural point either. I’ve liked Jenkins since the day we drafted him but that doesn’t mean that I want all of my eggs in his basket if and when Curry goes down.
Klay Thompson just needs to keep improving and working on some go to facial expressions
Klay Thompson had a tremendous rookie year that ended with him on the All Rookie first team. The only part of his game where we didn’t see development was a go to facial expression. Our future at the two guard spot looks very bright and I’m happy he will go into camp as the starter. Our only option to back him up will be Brandon Rush once he’s resigned and if Thompson experiences a sophomore slump, fails to meet the increased expectations or gets hurt we’ve got issues. It’s one thing to get unlimited shots and minutes on a shitty team that’s going nowhere but this team has actual postseason aspirations, not just hot air playoff guarantees. You know who the best back up is if he stumbles or one of these guys gets hurt? Charles Jenkins! You know, the only guy backing up the point guard spot?
While David Lee may not be everyone’s cup of tea and may be slightly overpaid (today he is slightly overpaid, three years from now when all of his contract raises have kicked in he will be vastly overcompensated) but you know exactly what you’re getting out of him every night. He has problems on defense and on offense against the longer defenders but he is going to work his ass off and give you 35-40 really good to above average minutes day in day out.
Jeremy Tyler gave about what you’d expect from a kid his age with his inconsistent play and his slippery hands that could earn him a sponsorship from Pennzoil. Just like Klay he got big minutes on a D league caliber team, we have no idea how he’ll handle the responsibility of being the first big off the bench on an NBA squad. The only other option is the unsigned, blue-collar lunchbox toting Dominic McGuire. He defends four positions, knows his role and strives to outwork his man on defense so there should be no question here. It needs to be done.
It’s been so long since we’ve had a legitimate center it still doesn’t feel real. Of course, there is a chance that it won’t be real to start the season or ever for that matter. A 4/5 combination of Bogut and Lee looks fantastic on paper but if either of them gets hurt we’re in deep shit. How many examples of 7 footers are there of guys who were never the same once the feet and ankles start to break down. I know it was a freak injury but I’m a Warrior fan that runs a website called Trapped In Golden State so you’re damn right I’m nervous.
Andris Biedrins might just need to bring back the "spike" to get some of his game back
Andris Biedrins is slated to play with no competition for the reserve 5 spot as long as he’s on the roster (or maybe even start if Bogut isn’t ready). I know the thought makes you cringe but I think I’ve figured out the whole AB15 Disorder. As soon as Biedrins hair went limp so did his game. The disease has a few strains and the closest cousin to the AB15 Disorder is the AK47 Complex. If we could just get a little bit of that old Goose with the gallons of product propping up that spiky hairdo it could pay dividends. If anyone else has an explanation for what happened I can’t wait to hear it because I’ve never seen a guy fall off a bigger cliff between the ages of 24 and 26. Does he have a drinking problem? Is he on drugs? Did a hot Eastern European girl break his heart? Is his family in Latvia being held hostage by the Russian mob demanding he suck to tank games? I’ll believe anything at this point.
The only way to give ourselves more options in the front court is to spend one or more of our draft picks on guys like Andrew Nicholson, Drew Gordon, Kevin Jones or Fab Melo at the bottom of round 1 or the top of round 2. That can’t happen if we trade all of our picks for a veteran small forward or to move up in the draft to get one but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just to recap before we move on to the “real” problem: I just rattled off four quality starters, one legitimate NBA 6th man, one versatile forward who hasn’t been signed yet, one promising but green combo guard, one inconsistent young big man with greasy hands and an overpaid 7 foot head case of epic proportions. That’s four positions and six guys you think you can count on. If you don’t have a problem with those numbers I’ll just get on with the biggest perceived issue.
Dorrell Wright is the guy that makes the small forward issue look bigger than it is. Part of me thinks the only reason Coach Jackson started him and Biedrins as long as he did was that he was secretly embracing the tank. He reminded me of a young Mike Dunleavy hiding out four feet behind the three-point line. Making all those threes two years ago may have blinded us to his lack of aggression and indecisive play but this year he looked timid as a Girl Scout selling cookies out there. It’s not like he’s suffering from the AB15 disease but he clearly regressed. This team needs an attitude adjustment that starts with the removal of any soft or indifferent dispositions. My (unsought) advice is to dump him regardless of any draft or free agency maneuvers. If he can’t be included in any deals to bring in help this year he should be shopped for a pick next year since Utah will own our first rounder. It will be addition by subtraction for team chemistry in this Golden State Worrier’s eyes.
Bringing back McGuire is more important than anyone is letting on
I’m arguing that the only place on the roster without a clear need is small forward. Even with the incumbent starter out of the mix it’s the only position that has any true depth. Having Rush (even though he’s the primary sub at shooting guard), McGuire (the real priority), Dick Jefferson and the human pogo stick Chris Wright means it’s the one spot with no potential all star but it’s also the only area where we have three legitimate NBA players and a wild card. We shouldn’t be looking to draft a three let alone trade for one unless some other incompetent GM’s allow MKG to fall in our lap. Getting Roy may create a bit of a logjam but he allows you to utilize the lottery pick on the best player available without worrying about needs since Roy could give you a few minutes of relief at the one, two AND three. 15 to 20 minutes a night for Jefferson, McGuire and Roy with the scraps to C. Wright keeps everyone healthy, aggressive and fresh.
Last week I posted an article with nothing but (what I consider) realistic trade proposals. I didn’t want to include any more hypothetical deals today but I’ve got one more. Would Phoenix accept Dorrell Wright and two second round picks for their training staff? What if we throw in Bob Fitzgerald, a wad of Joe Lacob’s cash and a 50% off Groupon for the Rocket Boat at Pier 39 since Suns owner Robert Sarver is so famously cheap? Every single prediction regarding this team has to be prefaced with a capital IF and it’s making the offseason feel long already. IF Curry and Bogut stay healthy. IF Thompson, Jenkins and Tyler continue to develop. IF David Lee continues to justify his hefty paycheck. IF the uncertainties go our way for once and they don’t overspend to make a desperate move for a low level all star this team will still make the playoffs. They will continue to improve, they will keep some semblance of financial flexibility and they will have a number of tradable assets if a real superstar hits the market.