I know the consensus among “draft experts” is that you always draft best player available. I agree for the most part, but that doesn’t mean you should adopt such a narrow perspective either. It’s OK to consider your team’s areas of strength and weakness — including by position — when judging which player to select.
With that in mind, if you were trying to improve this team through the draft in a specific way, attempting to address areas of weakness, which position do you think the Warriors are best situated and where do you think they need the most help?
Here’s a quick look at each position:
Point guard: The Warriors have ROY runner-up Stephen Curry at this position, and he is probably the team’s most solid starter. They might have use for a backup point guard, but that’s probably not a position you’re looking to fill with a top 10 pick. When you’re drafting as high as No. 6, you’re looking for a starter.
Shooting guard: Monta Ellis is obviously a talented player and as long as he’s on the team, he will play the majority of the minutes at this position. If the Warriors trade him, that would open up a lot of minutes. Backup shooting guard options are limited to a couple of forwards — Anthony Morrow and Reggie Williams.
Small forward: Corey Maggette, Anthony Morrow and Reggie Williams form a good tandem at this position. Each player has their weaknesses, however, so an upgrade at this position is certainly an option.
Power forward: Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright have all the potential in the world. If either of them ever put it all together, this position would be set for the next 10 seasons (barring injuries, which are a threat with these two). But, for all their potential, Randolph and Wright have only shown flashes of excellence. This position is by no means set in stone. It’s easy to imagine a player coming in and establish himself as a starter by outplaying Randolph and Wright.
Center: If I was writing this a year ago, I would have considered this to be the Warriors’ position of strength. Andris Biedrins was coming off a season in which he averaged about 11 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. He wasn’t a perfect center, but he was very good and young, with room to grow and improve. He took a major step back in 2010, though, and suddenly the center position looks very thin.
Analysis: I would rank the Warriors’ positions of need as follows, from strongest to weakest: 5. Point guard; 4. Shooting guard; 3. Small forward; 4. Power forward; 5. Center. I think if the Warriors drafted a player like DeMarcus Cousins, he would challenge Biedrins to start at center. At the very least, it would greatly improve the depth at that position. But if Cousins is off the board when the Warriors pick, do they reach for a big man who might be less talented (Greg Monroe, Ed Davis, Cole Aldrich) or do they draft best player available at a position of strength (Wesley Johnson or Al-Farouq Aminu)? Or do they try and move up a few spots to make sure they get Cousins or Derrick Favors?
What do you think? How would you rank the Warriors’ positions? And do you want the Warriors to target a big man or draft a guard or small forward if the talent dictates it?