Golden State Warriors: NBA Draft Team Needs
2007-08 Record: 48-34; 3rd Pacific
Draft Picks: 14, 49
Key Free Agents
G Monta Ellis (restricted)
F Matt Barnes
C Andris Biedrins (restricted)
F Mickael Pietrus
G Baron Davis (early termination)
How they got here and what they need
A year after rewarding long-suffering Warriors fans with an upset of top seed Dallas and a game effort against Utah in the playoffs, Golden State fell two games short of squeaking back into the playoffs. Now comes one of the more important off-seasons in recent years for the franchise, as they could stand to lose quite a few players to free agency. The most important would be Baron Davis, who can opt out of his contract if he so chooses. What he does could affect the thought process of the other free agents on the roster, but I don't see Monta Ellis being allowed to leave without a fight.
As for needs in the draft, Golden State needs to improve on the defensive end of the floor. But teaching defense has never been much of a concern for Don Nelson, so don't expect that to be the priority at pick 14. Given the number of possible departures on the perimeter, another versatile body could be used there, preferably a guy who's willing to run up and down the floor and display a variety of skills.
Who they take
Given the Warriors style of play, I think they'll draft Italy's Danilo Gallinari with this pick. Both Don and son Donny Nelson like the international style of play and have been active in scouting Europe for some time. Look for the versatile Gallinari, who can handle the ball despite being 6-8, to fit well in their system.
Draft History (since 2000)
2007: Marco Belinelli (18), Jermareo Davidson (36), Stephane Lasme (46)
2006: Patrick O'Bryant (9), Kosta Perovic (38)
2005: Ike Diogu (9), Chris Taft (42)
2004: Andris Biedrins (11)
2003: Mickael Pietrus (11), Derrick Zimmerman (40)
2002: Mike Dunleavy (3), Steve Logan (30)
2001: Jason Richardson (5), Troy Murphy (14), Gilbert Arenas (31)
2000: Chris Porter (55)