ESPN’s Chad Ford ranked all the teams in the NBA on the moves (or lack of moves) they made at the trade deadline. At the top of the list, the Cleveland Cavaliers (I agree). At the bottom of the list, the Phoenix Suns (considering the lack of value they were going to get back for Amare Stoudemire, I don’t fault them for sitting this one out — they are a borderline playoff team, after all, why give away an all-star for next to nothing?).
Ford ranked the Warriors second-to-last on the list, criticizing the team’s management for making no moves when the roster so obviously calls for change.
Here’s what Ford wrote about the Warriors:
Positive spin: Oh boy. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. Stephen Curry has been awesome. Anthony Randolph looks like he has a bright future. Monta Ellis is a player, though he doesn’t fit great with Curry. Most importantly, we hear Warriors owner Chris Cohan might be finally willing to sell the team to someone who actually cares about winning.
Negative spin: The most dysfunctional team in the league (Jared’s note: apparently the Warriors have stolen that title from the Clippers now) didn’t really do anything to get better. The Warriors had offers for Ellis and even had teams interested in Corey Maggette. Instead, the Warriors turned it all down to continue down the path of mediocrity that the team has been mired in for most of the past 15 years.
I know that many Warriors fans think Ford (and John Hollinger and all of ESPN) carry a grudge against the Warriors or are unfairly judgemental about the team. I don’t think that’s true, I just think that national writers in general are critical of teams as bad as the Warriors. Regardless, I agree with Ford. I think the Warriors missed out on an opportunity. If there were legitimate offers for Ellis, Maggette or Biedrins, the Warriors should have pursued them and made the moves.
There’s only one question to ask: Are the Warriors a winning team with those three players eating up most of the cap space and making up three-fifths of the team’s starting lineup? If you believe that the team can become a winner with the current roster, then you are justified in thinking that the Warriors were right to stand pat at the deadline. But if you’re like me (and many others) who doubt that this roster can be a playoff or championship contender as it currently stands, then you should be disappointed in the team’s lack of trades.
Would it have been so bad if the Warriors had traded Maggette for an expiring contract? Are the Warriors a better team because of Maggette? I don’t think they are. I think if you plug in any reasonable player into the starting lineup and give him Maggette’s minutes, the Warriors are probably no better or worse than they are now. So why not rid yourself of that long contract, knowing that the money you’re paying Maggette isn’t generating wins? The same argument is true for Biedrins.
I can understand the rationale behind keeping Ellis. He sells tickets and his stats indicate that he is deserving of better trade offers than the Warriors received for him. But stats don’t always tell the whole story. In my opinion, Ellis’ presence is hindering the progress of Stephen Curry. Curry is far more important to the future of this team than Ellis, and if Ellis is getting in the way of Curry reaching his potential, that’s enough reason for me to trade him away. It’s the old addition-by-subtraction argument.
I’m disappointed the Warriors didn’t make any moves. By sitting on their hands, they sent out the message that the status quo is OK, that the product on the court is good enough. It’s not, which is why the Warriors’ lack of action is so discouraging.