Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jumping on the Warriors Bandwagon

If you haven't heard, I am firmly on the Golden State Warriors bandwagon. Sort of like how I was on the Minnesota Timberwolves bandwagon after they signed Ricky Rubio. I like Harrison Barnes - he's probably the smoothest player in the game besides Ray Allen. Maybe throw Kevin Durant up there too. Any way you look at it, it's really good company atop the smoothness leaderboard.

And much like I was big into making fake trades for Minnesota last year, I'm currently entertaining myself by making fake trades for Golden State. The two biggest problems I see on the GSW roster are 3 years/$9 million per year for Andris Biedrins and 32-year-old Richard Jefferson. And it's not like either of those contracts is particularly egregious - they can both contribute to a team. But your third- and fourth-highest earners combine for 10.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists (that's both of them combined, not averaged) it's not a great way to spend your money. And then you factor in that the Warriors just drafted two small forwards to challenge Jefferson and one center to challenge Biedrins (and take over for Andrew Bogut when he gets hurt), and it appears that Wittman would definitely be open to listening to trades.

I especially think that Jefferson has value as a veteran swingman/serviceable defender. He brings a more well-rounded game to the table than guys like Ray Allen and Jason Terry (who are both going to sign 2 year, $12 million contracts) so $9 million isn't actually that bad. Or maybe I'm just talking myself into it.

Here is a trade to serve four purposes:

  1. Cut Golden State's payroll this season
  2. Cut Golden State's payroll after the 2014-15 season
  3. Not affect the team's chances of winning games this season
  4. Open the door for Harrison Barnes
Golden State Receives: SG Daniel Gibson
Cleveland Receives: SF Richard Jefferson

Why the Warriors say yes: they have Barnes and Dorrell Wright and Draymond Green at small forward. They're both younger, cheaper, and (most would say) better than RJeff. And Gibson costs less than half what Jefferson costs. If you're going to overpay a backup, it might as well be a cheaper guy for a position where injuries are potentially going to be a problem. 

Why the Cavaliers would say yes: Gibson had a terrible year last year, and the Cavs could use a veteran guy who's been to championships in high school and college and the Eastern Conference Finals. Yes, they have Tristan Thompson and Omri Casspi and Luke Walton but let's be honest; Jefferson is a better overall player than any of them. Plus, Thompson and Casspi are young and still developing (even though the consensus seems to be that Thompson has reached his peak already). 

Probability of this trade happening: 1%. Not likely. GSW seems content with Jefferson. 

All I'm trying to do is clear money from the books while maintaining the organization's ability to sell tickets and memorabilia and win basketball games. 

Oh, and also these guys:

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