Warriors

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.

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.

Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.

On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.

While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.

James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.

At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.

There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.

Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.

Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.

Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?

And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?

On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.

There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.

But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.

And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.