What the fans want: Jackson out, Jerry Sloan in.
What the owners want: Jackson out, Steve Kerr in.
What will happen: Jackson returns.
Why: Somehow, Mark Jackson has developed a reputation throughout the fan base as more of a speaker than a coach. These claims are largely unfounded, as Jackson pressed the right buttons on his starting lineup all season long, stretching his assets as far as they would go. Career seasons for Thompson, Green, and Curry, oodles of healthy minutes from Bogut and O'Neal, quiet production from Iguodala and Lee... Clearly, the record reflects that if Jackson was given a talented player, he got the most out of him this season. Fans grew restless waiting for him to turn water into wine, but the strikes against Jackson all seemed to stem around a less loaded bench that failed to live up to it's predecessors' success. Such a failure could be equally attributable to the GM as much as the coach. It's not unreasonable to believe that if the Warriors had rebuilt their bench as vigorously as their starting lineup, Jackson would have coached his way into the 2nd or 3rd round of the playoffs. Combined with the unwavering loyalty of "his guys" and the fact that Lacob may not want to shell out additional money to experiment on a new coach while paying Jackson - not to mention the confusion of the national crowd (and the backlash that would occur if Jackson were allowed to be successful elsewhere) - and you've got an obvious mulligan for MJax. The smart money says that Lacob will likely wait for Jackson to expire before he replaces him. Curry has personally gone to bat for Jackson in the media. If this ownership acts as characteristically savvy as they have since their arrival, they'll know better than to irritate their young star leading their budding contender.
What the fans want: Barnes dealt, Kevin Love brought in.
What the owners want: Lee dealt, assets relegated to Thompson.
What will happen: Veteran takes pay cut to add punch to a scoreless B-Squad... Possibly Paul Pierce.
Why: Pierce is a California native whose heard from fellow LA local, Baron Davis, just how feverish the Oracle crowd gets for it's team. Pierce is not exactly enjoying his twilight career; bouncing from a crumbled Celtic dynasty to a relocated Nets franchise in chaotic flux. Assuming Jermaine O'Neal hangs it up, Pierce would be an ideal bench fit as both the wiley veteran pumping up the kids and the off-the-bench scorer the Warriors missed all year long. Golden State wants to learn how to get to the line more and how to win in the playoffs. Pierce can help them with both, not to mention he'd enjoy a bounce back year consuming all the open 3's Barnes turned down this year playing alongside Thompson and Curry. If Pierce signs, the antennas on a midseason Harrison Barnes trade should really raise up. At this junction, Barnes doesn't appear to have much trade value left; certainly nothing that would net a useful bench player. One more player to keep an eye on: former Warrior favorite, Brandon Rush, who was in attendance for Warriors playoff games in Oakland.
THE BIG SITUATION
What the fans want: Kevin Love, Kevin Love, and more Kevin Love.
What the owners want: Stand pat, knowing Ezeli's return will help.
What will happen: Best case scenario: Jermaine. Worst case scenario: D-Leaguers and scrubs.
Why: After committing an extension to Bogut, the Warriors are now in $30 million a year to their starting bigs, with very few takers for the oft-injured Bogut and even less for the laughably overpaid Lee. Draymond Green, a tweener last year, seemed to put a stamp on the backup 4 spot this season and Festus Ezeli impressed heavily in 2013. Odds are, the Warriors softball extension talks with O'Neal until a big goes down in training camp, preferring to allocate Jermaine, Jordan Crawford, and Steve Blake's money to a brand new bench backcourt, since Barnes can man the backup 3 and the Warriors are without a draft pick. Eyes are on Nemanja Nedovic to contribute backup point guard minutes if he ever learns to defend... And this will allow the Warriors to spend decent cash on a backup 2, who should no doubt improve their fortunes once they rest the Splash Brothers. Paul Pierce would be ideal, but don't be surprised to see the Warriors kick tired on Kyle Lowry, Luol Deng, or Lance Stephenson... Though they'll very likely be out-priced on all 3. However, with all the attention on Lowry, Deng, & Stephenson, don't be surprised to see the Warriors go fishing under the radar for several undervalued bench alternatives; a list that might include Rodney Stucky, Thabo Sefolosha, and Danny Granger.
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GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
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This Warrior team is good and can improve. Let's see how the front office manages these moving parts.
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Here is the Crackerz take. Note, I will not be considing who is or isn’t our coach in this post (as Jackson just being ask changes it all). I’ve said enough on the other thread. So this is just focusing on the current team and management.
You look at the roster, and all the main guys are back for next year (in fact, besides Thompson, all are under contract for at least the next 2 years).
So if you are management, you assess whether this roster is good enough (when healthy) to win it all. Iggy, Lee, and Bogut will probably continue to decline at a small rate (or get hurt). Thompson will continue to become a more complete player, along with Curry becoming a smarter player. And Barnes is a mystery for me. I think if he is used right, he can be special. I've seen bursts of it. But then it goes into hiding. Draymond will be better next year, Spraights is also under contract for another year, and hopefully Festus returns healthy.
So here are a few ways of looking at it.
1. Keep everyone and find a guard that can give you quality bench minutes. MLE is estimated at $5.3 mill. You can go with a point guard who can bring instant energy and shoot, such as Patty Mills, Jerryd Bayless, or even Shevin Mack (who is restricted, but cheaper than the first two). You can also go the gambling route and get a two guard like Rodney Stuckey or Jodie Meeks, but I don't think either are worth the risk (plus, these are two players who think they are better than what they really are). A third option at guard might be Mario Chalmers, who won't be returning to Miami, due to Norris Cole guaranteed over 2 million, and the likely resigning on the big 3. Chalmers currently earns 4 million. Very unlikely as I can see chalmers accepting a short term deal for less money if it guarantees him a starting spot to set him up for a bigger payday later. Ideally, CJ Watson would be a free agent; he would fit perfectly off out bench (but he is not).
2. Trade for Love (or another big name). Obviously, this one is much more tougher and more of a gamble. We saw that keeping the team brought 51 wins. But it won't bring a championship. So if management wants to make a splash, we will see this warrior team either rise or fall. Lets examine Love as that's the popular name. In order to trade for Love, you need to also assess Minnesota’s needs. Minnesota is a team with a deep bench, but lacking that main second punch. This is a team in dire need of a sg or sf that could defend (Martin can score, but that's about it) So Trading for Love means trading Klay. Lee would also be trade because that is Love’s position. Therefore, so far, Love for Lee, Thompson. Now Minnesota is also pg heavy and sf heavy, so getting role players such as Shved, Barea, Budinger, or Brewer are all options.
Minnesota only trades under two conditions: if they know Love wont resign with them and if they can get two starters for him.
So a lineup of Rubio, Klay, Brewer, Lee, Petrovic and Martin being that six man (that same role Crawford has in Clipperland). That’s a pretty solid top 6. Plus having Barea (or Shved), a healthy Shabazz Muhammad, and promising big man Gorgui Dieng, this can be a solid Minnesota team.
Warriors roster would look like this: Curry, Iggy, Barnes, Love, Bogut. Draymond being 6th man. The warriors would need to address a guard in free agency that can get quality minutes (Barea or Shved is probably not enough). Festus returns and Spreights is under contract.
My conclusion to this is that the warriors would be taking a massive gamble on this trade. Bogut and Iggy are on the wrong side of 30 and it is assuming too much of Barnes (who is the ultimate question mark). However, with Green’s stellar play and if Barnes can make great strides, AND assuming everyone is healthy come playoff time, it could be a great team in the playoffs. But they would need to address bench via free agency. It is too weak.
Ulitimately, as much I would want Love, I just do not know if trading for him will put us to the top. But it is a gamble that might need to be done.
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