Monday, September 12, 2005

Offseason Overview: Golden State Warriors

The Warriors sure seem like the kind of team that every one is going to pick as an upset to make the playoffs, and then just won’t follow through on their potential. They’ve got one of the most explosive backcourts in the country, and a troop of young forwards with a bunch of different skill sets. But hey, that’s what happens when you’ve got lottery picks for like 20 years in a row. Will this year be any different? It all depends on …

The Stud: Baron Davis, PG

Perhaps no non-Wizard has been the subject of more discussion here at FBB than Baron Davis has over the past few years. We’ve both owned him. We’ve both loved him. We’ve both hated him. The original FBB was titled “Beware Upside”, and Baron might as well have been our mascot. He puts up terrific numbers in points, assists, steals, and threes, and he’s even improved his free-throw shooting. But the injuries come every year. If he played 82 games consistently, he’s a first round pick. But the reality is, he doesn’t come close. If you’re really high on him, take him early-mid second. He could win you a championship there – or lose you one.

The Support: Jason Richardson, SG
You know, this backcourt sure looks a whole like the Gilbert Arenas/Larry Hughes backcourt last year here in DC. Richardson continued to improve his game last year, putting up career highs in points, threes, FG%, assists, and steals. Plus, he’s a huge asset in rebounds for a guard. After T-Mac and Kobe are off the board, he should be considered right up there with Ray Allen.

The Supporting Support: Troy Murphy, PF
Murphy rebounded very well last year – both literally and figuratively. He returned from an injury-plagued 2002 to put up a double-double with career highs almost across the board. He added nearly a three-pointer per game to his fantasy arsenal, and is going to be worth a mid-round draft pick this year.

The Sleeper: Andres Biedrins, F/C
Biedrins didn’t really turn any heads last year, but he’s got all the makings of a fantasy sleeper this year. He’s a block machine, is a pretty strong rebounder, and – on top of all that – he’s got center eligibility, which drastically increases his value. If he’s able to take away minutes from Adonal Foyle with a strong showing in training camp, he’ll be worth a late-round flyer.

The Slacker: Mike Dunleavy, SF
The Warriors have made it no secret that they haven’t been thrilled with the play of Dunleavy, as he’s been on the trade block as long as we can remember. He’s always on and off the waiver wire, and with good reason. He’s incredibly inconsistent, and just hasn’t lived up to his potential. Now entering his fourth year, it might be that last year was as good as it gets. If that’s the case, spend your late-round draft picks on players with more upside. Yeah, I said it – upside.

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