ESPN Insider Article Request Fixing Woeful Warriors and Wizards by John Hollinger

Discussion in 'Sports & Training' started by da703trailblaza, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. da703trailblaza

    da703trailblaza

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  2. swizzc

    swizzc

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    Only because you are a Wiz fan I'll post this. If you were a Warriors fan, I wouldn't do it. [​IMG]


    Updated: December 18, 2009, 2:06 PM ET

    Fixing woeful Warriors and Wizards

    PER Diem: Dec. 18, 2009



    Comment Email Print [​IMG] By John Hollinger
    ESPN.com
    Archive

    [​IMG]Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Wizards and Warriors have been major disappointments. Is it time to blow up their rosters?

    For the league's three "W" teams, 2009-10 hasn't produced many W's. The Warriors, Wizards and Wolves are a combined 18-56, with allthree falling short of what already were fairly modest expectations this season.

    While the Wolves can be partly excused -- they pretty much expected to be this bad -- the same can't be said of Golden State and Washington. When thetwo clubs meet tonight on ESPN, it will be a showdown of two of the league's most disappointing teams. In fact, it would be more appropriate if the gamewere on TNT, as the biggest question for both teams is if and when to break out the dynamite and blow up their rosters.

    In Golden State, it appears the decision may have already been made. The Warriors have made everybody on their roster available in trade discussions, evenyoung pieces like Anthony Randolph and Stephen Curry. Of course, further trades wouldn't satisfy Bay Area fans -- with just oneplayoff appearance in the past 15 years, they're hoping the next rebuilding project starts with owner Chris Cohan's selling the team and continues withthe exit of team president Robert Rowell and the front office, all the way down to coach Don Nelson.

    Let's set aside, however, the horrific organizational dysfunction that seems likely to plague the team until it does a full-scale fumigation of thefront office. Regardless of who is in charge, the Warriors must address the more immediate question of who the team is going to put on the floor.

    [+] Enlarge[​IMG]
    Rocky Widner/Getty ImagesGolden State's Randolph is young, talented and ... on the block.

    At 7-18, it's clear that this season's group isn't going anywhere in the hypercompetitive West, but the Warriors still have a lot of talent onthe roster. At his best, Monta Ellis is an electrifying scorer, leading all guards inpoints in the paint while averaging 24 ppg. Forward Corey Maggette takes flak for hiscontract but has one of the league's highest per-minute scoring rates and shoots a solid percentage. Randolph is one of the game's most intriguingtalents, combining point-forward skills with Camby-esque length at the defensive end. And center Andris Biedrins, who has played only four games this season, is a talented 23-year-old centerwith a 60.5 percent career shooting mark.

    Those four players, along with the ridiculously accurate Anthony Morrow (46.9percent career mark on 3-pointers) and rookie Curry, would seem to form a solid foundation going forward. Throw in oft-injured but undeniably talentedpower forward Brandan Wright and it's a seven-man core. It's a flawednucleus, but it's something the Warriors can build around if they choose to. Given the franchise's history of eating its young, that's an openquestion, of course, but play along for a minute.

    The problem is getting the type of players Golden State needs to surround that nucleus: a wing defender, a physical post presence and a true point guard.For instance, right now Ellis is playing point guard and going one-on-five constantly, and on most nights the troops barely try on D. Filling in the gaps withthe role players mentioned above would provide the Warriors with a more balanced team, regardless of who coached them.

    It's possible to make those maneuvers, too. The Warriors have $10 million in expiring contracts in the form of Raja Bell and SpeedyClaxton, who could be packaged for a player who can help them next season -- taking on a salary of that size shouldn't trigger the luxury tax. GoldenState can also package point guard C.J. Watson as a sweetener, perhaps to getsomebody to take the final year of Vladimir Radmanovic's deal at $6.8million.

    The Warriors have other assets too -- players who have value but are redundant on this roster. In addition to Radmanovic, the two most notable are forwardKelenna Azubuike and center Ronny Turiaf. Azubuike was going gangbusters until a season-ending knee injury, whileTuriaf's high-energy shot-blocking would have more value on a team that had physical post players to help with the dirty work. Both players have manageablecontracts and should be able to fetch better-fitting pieces in a trade.

    Of course, the making of the trades is part of the problem. Under Nelson, Rowell and longtime Nelson crony Larry Riley (the new general manager), GoldenState has been smitten by scoring ability and pretty much ignored everything else. Nelson seems to almost relish the excuse of not having a physical center andseeks out every opportunity to play the smallest lineup humanly possible, while the Warriors can't help but throw themselves at the first Jamal Crawford or Maggette who comes across their radar.

    As a result, the Warriors are pretty much in the same place we find themselves in every season: with too many one-on-one scorers and far too little ofanything else. They have the assets to remedy the situation; they've just never shown any willingness to do so.

    Wizards fans might rightly argue, however, that Golden State is in much better shape than their team. The Warriors will have cap room in 2010 and haveseveral quality young players to build the team around. Washington, on the other hand, is in far more dire straits going forward. The Wizards essentially wentall-in over the past summer to try to join the Eastern Conference's elite, a questionable premise in light of the fact they won only 19 games last season.Now Washington finds itself at 7-16 after a series of heartbreaking losses, and with the team well over the luxury-tax threshold, many are wondering ifit's time to reassess and start over.

    Design A Play For The Wizards


    [​IMG] Think you've got what it takes to coach an NBA team? Send us your best inbounds play and the Wizards could use it during a game. Inbounds Contest [​IMG]

    It won't be easy. The Wizards have two major negatives facing them in rebuilding that the Warriors don't. First, they have one genuinely horriblecontract in Gilbert Arenas' six-year, $111 million deal that still has fourseasons to go after this one. Yes, the Warriors have a couple doozies on their roster, too, but nothing of this magnitude. Arenas is giving themmidlevel-caliber production at a superstar price, and it will be virtually impossible to trade him given his history of knee problems and middling productionthis season. Not even the Warriors would take the bait on that.

    Second, Washington's young players aren't as highly regarded as Golden State's. While two of them have undeniable talent -- JaVale McGee and NickYoung -- any discussion with scouts about that pair leads to extended bouts of eye-rolling. McGee is one of the most athletic centers in the league butbarely seems to know the rules at times, much less the best ways to take advantage of his physical gifts. Young's mental approach hasn't won many fans,either; in his third season he still relies almost entirely on outleaping opponents for midrange jumpers.

    I didn't include Andray Blatche in the "young" players because the23-year-old forward is in his fifth season, but he'll be a key piece of any rebuilding in D.C. I say that for one simple reason: He'll be promoted tothe starting lineup if the Wizards use their most playable card, trading power forward Antawn Jamison.

    A 33-year-old veteran, Jamison has been very reliable in terms of durability and production over the past half-decade. If Washington moves into tear-downmode, Jamison might be the first player for the Wizards to move, given his contract, which has two more years after this one at a cost of $28 million. TheWizards could provide themselves with some much-needed cap flexibility in future seasons by dispensing with their obligation to Jamison; if they structured adeal wisely enough and offloaded enough salary flotsam at the trade deadline (the expiring deals of Mike Miller, RandyFoye, Brendan Haywood or Mike James, for instance), they could even get under the luxury tax for 2009-10.

    Washington should also look into finding a new home for 29-year-old Caron Butler;dealing him for an expiring contract could shave another $10 million from next season's bill. That might be done more easily, however, if Butler would makesome shots. He's having his worst season since his second one in Miami, shooting only 41.4 percent from the floor and shedding four points from his40-minute scoring average.

    Regardless, it's going to be a long way back up for the Wizards if they start down this road. Otherwise, it's a veteran team, with the decision totrade the No. 5 pick in the draft for Mike Miller and Randy Foye only exacerbating the Wizards' increasingly tilted age profile. Washington would belooking at a lineup going forward of Arenas, Blatche, a high draft pick and not a whole lot else. The Wizards would have enough cap space to entice a freeagent, but probably not a good enough roster to get anybody truly impactful to commit.

    Given such an unappealing scenario, it's not surprising that the Warriors have been more enthusiastic than the Wizards in embracing the idea ofrebuilding. Washington seems likely to ride things out as long as possible with the current crew before waving the white flag, especially given the handyexcuse that injuries have prevented the Wizards from having a full roster this season. Of course, that's been their rallying cry for years now, and everytime it gets a little less credible.

    The fact is that both the Warriors and Wizards need to go in a new direction. And as misguided and dysfunctional as they may be, the Warriors are muchbetter positioned to emerge quickly from a rebuilding mode than the Wizards are. Regardless of when and if these two franchises choose to blow things up, onething is clear: For the foreseeable future, the only W's these teams are going to be seeing regularly are on the front of their uniforms.


    • One quick programming note before signing off: PER Diem won't appear next week, as we take the Christmas holiday to recharge our batteries for theweeks beyond.

    • Finally, a little extra for those of you in Utah and southern Idaho: I'll be joining Jazz radio play-by-play man David Locke on Friday's broadcastof the Hawks-Jazz game in Atlanta. It should be fun, and you can listen on KFAN 1320 in Salt Lake City or affiliated stations in other towns in the region.
     
  3. bangdak

    bangdak

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    Pretty accurate for the most part, although they didnt really tell us how exactly they would "fix" their problems.
     
  4. al3xis

    al3xis

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  5. i nasmatic i

    i nasmatic i

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    If I were the Wizards, I would start over and trade Jamison and Butler for young players, draft picks and expirings.

    Got to live with Arenas and his contract for the next four years [​IMG][​IMG].
     
  6. laced up jordans

    laced up jordans

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    As long as Don Nelson and crew are still there, the Warriors won't do *@$%
     
  7. bangdak

    bangdak

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    they never should have traded that 5th pick.

    it was a sort of understandable that they wanted to go out, but you can really see its biting them in the $%! now, although rubio isnt playing.
     
  8. da703trailblaza

    da703trailblaza

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    Title was extremely misleading. There aren't any real solutions offered. I still have no regrets over the trade this summer, none of the available talentwould have made a difference, we don't need a guard we need big men. Who was available? Jordan Hill? [​IMG]
     
  9. bangdak

    bangdak

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    ^[​IMG][​IMG] i remember there were quite a few offers for butler+5th pick, although passing on it was reasonable at the time.


    but mike miller + randy foye for that 5th pick? rubio in overseas > that.
    and, flynn would have been good in this. 0 would move over to the 2, (thats what i always saw him as anyway) butler to the 3, tawn 4, haywood at the 5.
    its a lot better then whats out there right now, thats for sure.
     
  10. doublejs07

    doublejs07

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    Could have had Amar'e, but EG said no....it would have been Butler + #5....

    hindsight is 20/20, but anyone with an objective eye could have told you this team with the big 3 has ALWAYS been more "pretender" than"cotender." Hopefully when Leonsis takes over he'll have an approach to re-building this team like he did with the Caps. Blow the whole thingup, endure a couple of rough years, and re-build through the draft....it won't be pretty, but this current squad (even when healthy) isn't going to do*@#@, so I am all for dumping contracts etc....
     
  11. da703trailblaza

    da703trailblaza

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    Ideally I would have Jamison at the three now I'm more willing to trade Butler than I was previously (I used to think he was our best player). A legitpoint, Gil at the two, Jamison at the three, a big man at four (or Blatche) and Haywood at the five is a solid but not great line up. I'd say we couldcontend in the east.

    Plus I don't think Amare' as good as he is fits our needs, we need a low post banger who can grab rebounds.
     
  12. bangdak

    bangdak

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    ^um, no.


    tawn is getting old, and you just dont keep your oldest player when you're rebuilding. amare might have fit well at the 4 (his natural) next to haywood.who knows.
    the thing is, no player has a real high value because everyone knows nothing is working out for them. they have an good amount of expirings and foye as theircombo guard off the bench, so if they can trade tawn+butler for draft picks, it might work out.

    maybe hit up toronto for something like tawn+butler for bosh+draftpick or jose. they'll be relectutant to let bosh go, but its better then losing him fornothing in FA.