NBA mailbag: On losing to keep the pick

NBA mailbag: On losing to keep the pick
April 5, 2012, 4:21 pm
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The mailmans been gone You criticized fans rooting for tanking (akaplayer development). What do you suggest we root for instead? 10th or 9th?Chris, Bay Area.Steinmetz: I dont believe I criticized fans whowant the team to lose. My main point was that the whole thing is weak, from thegames having little to no consequence, to fans rooting against the team, to theforsaking of this season with the promise of gold next year.I also think there may be an unrealistic expectation of thekind of player the Warriors could end up with in the 2012 draft assuming, ofcourse, they keep their pick.If after the lottery the Warriors wind up with the No. 1pick through the No. 7 pick, they will keep it. If they end up with the No. 8pick or worse, it goes to Utah.The way the Warriors are going, they very well may end upkeeping their pick, which is still likely to be in the No. 5 through No. 7range. But the list of difference-makers doesnt run that deep.Once you get past the top two or three picks, depending,there doesnt seem to be an immediate impact player available. That doesntmean the Warriors might not get a solid player there. But as far as making theplayoffs next year, its doubtful the player they draft will affect thatsignificantly.I can understand why some fans might want the team to lose,thereby increasing the likelihood of the Warriors getting to keep their pick.And not only that, increasing the likelihood that the pick could getbetter.But its still all just a roll of the dice, and in themeantime this season was thrown away.And the reality is much of next season will depend on thehealth of Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut, two players who will be coming offseason-ending injuries.Can the Warriors be better next year, maybe even make theplayoffs? Yes, that can happen. But its also very possible that next yearisnt a playoff season and the fans were sold a bill of goods that it wouldbe.Since you've clearly shown your lack of confidencein any pick after the first few, what type of player are you looking for?--Luie,Oakland.Steinmetz: I think the Warriors still have toaddress a few issues. First, I think they need a backup guard, and probably morespecifically a point guard.The backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is youngand inconsistent. The Warriors are going to have to find a little morestability back there, and it would help if they could acquire a legitimatepoint guard so they could move Curry to the two guard when necessary.In any event, its unrealistic to believe Curry and Thompsonwill each play 35-plus minutes.The Warriors are also going to need a competent backup atthe fourfive position. David Lee and Andrew Bogut might form a nice frontcourttandem, but they need a defensive-minded big man and it would really help ifthat player were athletic.And speaking of athleticism, the Warriors are going to needmore of it. If you look at their starting five Curry, Thompson, Wright, Leeand Bogut its missing athleticism and thats going to have to beaddressed.Do you see any takers for Andris Biedrins andRichard Jefferson? We could use another ball rack. --Michael, Niagara Falls,Ontario.Steinmetz: Not sure why you would lump those twoplayers together, but theyre at different levels right now. I can certainlyunderstand if the fans have no hope anymore for Biedrins.The bottom line is he simply cant be counted on to provideanything positive moving forward. Can the Warriors move him? Only if hes partof a bigger package and keep in mind if hes included than the package is worsethan if he werent included.As for Jefferson, I think there is a very good chance hesthe starting small forward next season. It just doesnt seem like Mark Jacksonis a huge Dorell Wright fan.Jefferson isnt the athlete he once was, but he still canpitch in.What does Dorell Wright do other than shooting 3's(debatable), to deserve more minutes than Dominic McGuire?--Paul, Parts Unknown.Steinmetz: Wright is a more well-rounded playerthan McGuire, but that doesnt mean Wright has had a good season. Wrightaveraged 16 points per game last season, a number McGuire could neveraverage.Now, McGuire is a better defender, no doubt. But McGuire ismore of a specialist in my book.