Small forward not priority for Warriors

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Small forward not priority for Warriors

You cant be serious that backup point guardshooting guard and backup power forwardcenter is a bigger need than small forward. I usually think youre spot on but youre way off on this. Markie, Bay Area.Steinmetz: And Im really confused as to why. The way I see it, the Warriors have two competent small forwards: Dorell Wright and Richard Jefferson. You might not like the year Wright had in 2011-12 and you might think Jefferson is nearing the end, but the reality is youve got a couple of pros there.Could you upgrade? Of course you could. But, keep in mind that both Jefferson and Wright are under contract next year for close to 15 million combined and what are you going to do with them?And what kind of player do you want instead of them? A big scorer? Well, youve already got enough scorers and a team that is clearly better offensively than defensively. So, I just dont get why the small forward position is one of such import for some.You could almost make a case to downgrade there or go in the other direction like try to move Jefferson and make Dominic McGuire the starter.Now, the other half of the equation is why I think theres a higher priority on backup guard and backup big man. Simple, really. Your backcourt is made up of Stephen Curry, who was injured for almost all of last season, and Klay Thompson, entering his second year after an abbreviated rookie season.How can you not think that getting a legit player in the backcourt to support those guys isnt huge? I like Charles Jenkins, but Im not ready to anoint him backup point guard just yet not with Currys health in doubt.The same thinking applies to Bogut. Its not that I dont think hes capable of playing 74 games next year, its that if youre a GM you have to have a plan in place if he doesnt or cant.At this point, Im not ready for Andris Biedrins or Jeremy Tyler to be my first big man off the bench. And I just think thats the kind of thing thats a higher priority than trying to marginally upgrade the small forward position.RELATED: What free agents are out there for Warriors?
Do you like Sullinger? Carlos, San Jose.Steinmetz: When the question is asked as simply as that, it is actually difficult to answer. Do I like Sullinger? Well, I dont dislike him, how about if we start there?There are things I like about Sullinger: Hes skilled; hes smart; and hes a good passer. I really like big men with that kind of foundation. On the other hand, I dont see Sullinger as an NBA all-star, nor I do assume hell be a starter in the pros.I like that he rebounds at the college level because that often translates. But I dont think hes a dominant player, and Im not convinced hell be able to score with his back to the basket in the NBA.What intrigues me most about Sullinger on the Warriors would be having three really good passing big men along with Andrew Bogut and David Lee on the roster.But regardless, its not like Sullinger is going to come in and play 28 minutes a night in Year 1. Thats not going to happen. My expectations of Sullinger as a pro are relatively modest, so I dont have a really strong opinion of him one way or another.Im starting to board the Meyers Leonard bandwagon, though not quite there yet. Its a reach but do you think the Warriors would consider him at No. 7? Josh, San Francisco.Steinmetz: Yes, I think selecting Leonard at No. 7 is a little bit of a reach. However, why should that really matter? Lets say for a moment that the Warriors really like Leonard like him more than John Henson, like him more than Tyler Zeller, like him more than Sullinger, etc.If thats truly the case, then they should go ahead and draft him with the No. 7 pick. And they could, theoretically, do something like that, and call it a day.Theres also the possibility that the Warriors, assuming they like Leonard, could move back a few spots and try to give up the No. 7 pick for a later first-round pick and player.Thats a trickier move, but its the kind of thing savvy front offices pull off.You had Perry Jones III as a lottery pick a week ago in your mock draft, and now hes down at No. 19. Why the drop? Brent, Newark, Calif.Steinmetz: Its no secret that the knock on Jones III is he lacks motivation and he doesnt always play hard. That was a reputation that was out there before workouts.Jones III isnt a perfect player even with a great motor, as they say. And his motor is what everyone questions. The bottom line is that Jones III is a scary pick. Can he handle the competitiveness of the pro game? Can he physically hold up? How hungry is he?There are plenty of other more finished products in this draft than Jones III, and thats important.If youre a team like the Warriors, for example, and youve put so much into this draft pick, it would be quite a risky pick to select a player that some feel may never pan out or who might not have the drive to play in the league.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.