Warriors looking for big man with No. 18 draft pick

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:40 am
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Warriors looking for big man with No. 18 draft pick
Golden State seeks a player with size who can also face the basket
By Geoff Lepper
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

Article Launched: 06/24/2007 03:00:51 AM PDT
In the NBA draft, no one is a slam dunk.

OAKLAND -- When the Dallas Mavericks' general manager talked to reporters about the No. 18 pick in the 1997 NBA draft, he waxed particularly poetic about the young overseas talent he had just acquired, a player with the size of a power forward and the skill set of a shooting guard.
"He'll probably be the best-running big man in the NBA," Don Nelson said. "I haven't seen a 7-footer run the floor like he does."

You might think Nelson was talking about Dirk Nowitzki, the German forward who would go on to become a perennial All-Star and eventually the Most Valuable Player of the NBA. But Nowitzki wouldn't come along to change the face of the Mavericks for another year.

No, Nelson's decade-old praise was being heaped on Chris Anstey, an Australian import who lasted 155 games before being unceremoniously dumped from the NBA's orbit.

Anstey's U.S. career is long forgotten, but his story remains a cautionary tale for teams trying to locate a quality big man in the latter stages of the NBA draft. This year, one of those teams is Golden State; the Warriors hold the No. 18 pick, plus two second-round selections, in Thursday night's talent bazaar.

As Nelson and Warriors executive vice president Chris Mullin sift through dozens of candidates for those three spots, they're hoping to find something better than Anstey available on the big-and-tall rack when they get on the clock the first time around. Assuming the Warriors don't move up via a trade, this will be their lowest

initial draft position since 2000, when their first-round pick was shipped to Orlando in the final piece of the Chris Webber-Anfernee Hardaway deal from 1993.
"There's a few guys with size there at No. 18, probably," Mullin said. "There only needs to be one. It's kind of like seeing that expensive house: You only need one buyer. That's all you need."

No team needs it more than the Warriors, as the team itself admitted after being spanked in the Western Conference semifinals by a Utah Jazz team that was bigger, stronger and completely unfazed by Golden State's small-ball attack.

But with the Warriors' style of play, some big men are more equal than others. A classic post-up center like 7-foot-1, 244-pound Washington freshman Spencer Hawes wouldn't be the greatest fit -- plus, he's almost certainly going to be selected long before the Warriors pick.

"Size and guys that are going to be effective and play, it becomes a combination," said Mullin, who noted that any big man the Warriors chase must be able to face the basket, in the mold of Nowitzki, rather than gumming up the works inside. "At one end, you're playing with size. At the other end, you're putting the burden on (the opposing center) to get out to him (defensively). The combination of that is probably more important than just one or the other. You play a big guy that on offense plays in the paint, you're helping that (opposing center) out."

If the Warriors decide to chip away at the nucleus of their first playoff team in 13 years, they could move up in pursuit of Chinese mystery Yi Jianlian (7-0, 246 pounds), whose camp has indicated Golden State would be one of several preferred destinations.

"We'll look at all different avenues, all different scenarios," Mullin said.

"(Making a trade) depends on what it would do to our existing team. What are you left with? That's the key."

Without a trade, there are possibilities such as Colorado State junior Jason Smith (7-0, 233), Duke sophomore Josh McRoberts (6-10, 240) and -- although he's projected in most mock drafts closer to the end of the first round -- Nevada senior Nick Fazekas (6-11, 225).

Smith would seem to be a perfect fit for the Warriors, most often compared to Nowitzki in his manner of play on the perimeter. McRoberts has slipped steadily in mock drafts thanks to an underwhelming second season with the Blue Devils. And Fazekas, while possessing the best shot of the three, has a reputation of being less athletic than an NBA team might desire.

Of course, sometimes one bad facet like that can skew the way a player is seen. Take the case of Paul Millsap, the undersized 6-8 forward who slid to 47 th in last year's draft -- getting passed over at No. 36 by the Warriors -- despite winning three straight NCAA rebounding titles, then helped the Jazz knocked Golden State out of the playoffs to cap a successful rookie season.

"Everyone has something (wrong): Too small, too slow, can't jump, whatever that might be. Can the other aspects of his game make that up?" Mullin asked. "At some level, you can get too critical, to a degree."

Contact Geoff Lepper at glepper@cctimes.com
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:49 am
Sounds like Mullin wants another shooter and it is highly probable he will trade to get Yi. Strange that he is blind to the fact that the team needs a rebounder and defender at PF, the weakness that caused the team to be brutalised against the Jazz
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:08 am
Mullin hasn't said a single thing (and that's the right move). It's all speculation by Lepper.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:08 am
TMC wrote:Mullin hasn't said a single thing (and that's the right move). It's all speculation by Lepper.



So you think the dialogue that is supposedly from Mullin is false?
Going by the statements of wanting a big player that can shoot and runs (compared to a dirk Nowitzki), Mullin is looking for a player like Yi, therefore not solving the team needs
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:26 am
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:Mullin hasn't said a single thing (and that's the right move). It's all speculation by Lepper.



So you think the dialogue that is supposedly from Mullin is false?


No. Let me translate each quote to standard english... :wink:

"There's a few guys with size there at No. 18, probably," Mullin said. "There only needs to be one. It's kind of like seeing that expensive house: You only need one buyer. That's all you need."


I know We need size. We want to draft size. But only if there's someone available that can help us.



"Size and guys that are going to be effective and play, it becomes a combination," said Mullin, who noted that any big man the Warriors chase must be able to face the basket, in the mold of Nowitzki, rather than gumming up the works inside. "At one end, you're playing with size. At the other end, you're putting the burden on (the opposing center) to get out to him (defensively). The combination of that is probably more important than just one or the other. You play a big guy that on offense plays in the paint, you're helping that (opposing center) out."


We won't draft another Foyle. We can get that kind of players in the second round. The guy we're going to draft will have to deliver on both sides of the court.


"We'll look at all different avenues, all different scenarios," Mullin said.


We don't neccesarily have to draft for size or for a specific kind of player. Actually, we do not have to keep the pick.


"(Making a trade) depends on what it would do to our existing team. What are you left with? That's the key."


We won't trade for the sake of doing it. Only if it makes sense.


"Everyone has something (wrong): Too small, too slow, can't jump, whatever that might be. Can the other aspects of his game make that up?" Mullin asked. "At some level, you can get too critical, to a degree."


We still don't know what we're gonna do on draft day.


That's what I read behind each sentence. In other words, he hasn't said a single thing about his plans for the upcoming draft.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:00 pm
With all these media hyped rumors going on, Mullin has been very quiet with any trade talks. All he's said is that he's glad Nellie is at his side helping him with the draft. I just hope Nelson and Mullin are planning to make the correct move at the correct time.

Even though I hate to say it, if we're ever going to pay up Baron, Monta, Beans, and maybe Barnes, Jrich we'll most likely have to go. But if we're trading up to get Yi, I'll be pissed. If we're trading up to get Horford... well let's just say that's a different story.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:01 am
This is how I see it:

"There's a few guys with size there at No. 18, probably," Mullin said. "There only needs to be one. It's kind of like seeing that expensive house: You only need one buyer. That's all you need."

[i]

There are many big guys and we just need to get one


"Size and guys that are going to be effective and play, it becomes a combination," said Mullin, who noted that any big man the Warriors chase must be able to face the basket, in the mold of Nowitzki, rather than gumming up the works inside. "At one end, you're playing with size. At the other end, you're putting the burden on (the opposing center) to get out to him (defensively). The combination of that is probably more important than just one or the other. You play a big guy that on offense plays in the paint, you're helping that (opposing center) out."

[i]

We want a shooter, not much of a post player and post defender.

Also, he mentions Center, not PF, something I find strange as Biedrins is the Center


"We'll look at all different avenues, all different scenarios," Mullin said.

[i]

We may get what ever is left, if it is what we want, trade the pick for the type of player we want or even trade up to get the type of player we want


"(Making a trade) depends on what it would do to our existing team. What are you left with? That's the key."

[i]

We don't want to trade half the team or much of the existing talent just to get that big man


"Everyone has something (wrong): Too small, too slow, can't jump, whatever that might be. Can the other aspects of his game make that up?" Mullin asked. "At some level, you can get too critical, to a degree."
[i]

We do not expect to get a perfect player and might not even get what we want
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:07 pm
I think the "teens" range have players full of athleticism. Honestly, I don't mind Thaddeus Young. I'm not high on Jason Smith as much, but he's very intriguing.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:52 am
If available, Rudy Fernandez would be a great value pick at #18, although he doesn't fill a need for us. But if the idea is to trade J-Rich or Monta to get inside help, I wouldn't be surprised if we go that route.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:58 am
TMC wrote:If available, Rudy Fernandez would be a great value pick at #18, although he doesn't fill a need for us. But if the idea is to trade J-Rich or Monta to get inside help, I wouldn't be surprised if we go that route.



If either JRich or Monta are to be traded then yes, this would not be a bad idea but one of them would have to be traded for a big because if it falls through and neither is traded, just another SG picked up
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:29 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:Mullin hasn't said a single thing (and that's the right move). It's all speculation by Lepper.



So you think the dialogue that is supposedly from Mullin is false?


No. Let me translate each quote to standard english... :wink:

"There's a few guys with size there at No. 18, probably," Mullin said. "There only needs to be one. It's kind of like seeing that expensive house: You only need one buyer. That's all you need."


I know We need size. We want to draft size. But only if there's someone available that can help us.



"Size and guys that are going to be effective and play, it becomes a combination," said Mullin, who noted that any big man the Warriors chase must be able to face the basket, in the mold of Nowitzki, rather than gumming up the works inside. "At one end, you're playing with size. At the other end, you're putting the burden on (the opposing center) to get out to him (defensively). The combination of that is probably more important than just one or the other. You play a big guy that on offense plays in the paint, you're helping that (opposing center) out."


We won't draft another Foyle. We can get that kind of players in the second round. The guy we're going to draft will have to deliver on both sides of the court.


"We'll look at all different avenues, all different scenarios," Mullin said.


We don't neccesarily have to draft for size or for a specific kind of player. Actually, we do not have to keep the pick.


"(Making a trade) depends on what it would do to our existing team. What are you left with? That's the key."


We won't trade for the sake of doing it. Only if it makes sense.


"Everyone has something (wrong): Too small, too slow, can't jump, whatever that might be. Can the other aspects of his game make that up?" Mullin asked. "At some level, you can get too critical, to a degree."


We still don't know what we're gonna do on draft day.


That's what I read behind each sentence. In other words, he hasn't said a single thing about his plans for the upcoming draft.

Good translations, TMC... I'd only argue the final one.

I don't it's that Mullin doesn't know what he's going to do on draft day; rather, I think he was aluding to taking a player with big talent and issues. A high-risk, high-reward guy. Its almost like he's saying, "Hey, we've all got our issues... the only thing that matters is whether or not the kid can play, so we're going to take the most talented guy left on the board."

At #18, why not swing for the fences? If you come up short, nobody will think less of you since you're hoving around the middle of the draft. And if you do pick out a gem, he'll be out of the most talented draft class since 2003. It's a win/win for Mully to take a risk.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:41 pm
Definately is a situation where Mullin can't really lose as #18 is not expected to get a star
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