Our (my) dream of a Golden State Warriors locker room inhabited by Nate Robinson and Stephen Jackson at the same time has been crushed. Instead, the Warriors dealt Jackson to the San Antonio Spurs for Richard Jefferson and a conditional first round pick. What are the conditions? No one’s informed anyone in the media yet, but according to Marcus Thompson, “Warriors are confident they will get the pick. ’90% chance’ one team source said.”
Jackson only has one more year left on his deal, while Jefferson (who’s averaging less than 10 ppg for the first time since 2001-02, his rookie season) has two more years left if you count his player option in 2013 for a shade over $11 million. And for a declining player like Jefferson, that player option is sure to be exercised.
So did the Warriors make a good move or were they fleeced by the Spurs? Here are the positives and negatives.
Positive: Golden State has a “90% chance” of getting into the first round, a feat they were desperate to achieve since it’s somewhat doubtful they’ll be able to tank hard enough to move from the 11th-worst record in the league into the bottom seven, especially with Portland making trades like Marcus Camby for Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn, two first round busts.
Negative: The Spurs currently have the 4th-best record in the league — even in a deep draft it’s pretty hard to hit a home run with pick No. 27.
Positive: The Warriors have two picks in the second round, so there’s a possibility they can make a deal and get a higher first round selection.
Negative: Trading up in a draft like this … easier said than done.
Positive: A motivated Jackson might have detracted from the Warriors’ tanking efforts (isn’t pro sports fun?).
Negative: Jefferson’s a more expensive, less effective version of Brandon Rush, has $21 million in guaranteed money coming to him and moves from a perennial winner to NBA purgatory. If he puts effort into anything other than stat-padding, it’ll be a surprise.
In all, the Warriors dealt Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown for Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson and a late first round pick. Here’s what the roster should look like next season, not counting future draft picks and/or free agents:
PG: Stephen Curry, Charles Jenkins
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Dorell Wright, Jefferson
PF: David Lee
C: Bogut, Andris Biedrins, Jeremy Tyler
Rush, Dominic McGuire, Robinson and Chris Wright are free agents, and the Warriors will probably look at bringing back at least one of those guys, perhaps more. Dorell Wright is also a candidate to be traded, since even though Wright denied saying he wanted to be included in the Monta/Ekpe trade, those types of rumors are often followed by the player getting his (rumored) wish. Biedrins probably wants out too, but it’s hard to imagine another team granting his wish with two more years and $18 million remaining on his contract.