The Warriors had a successful draft. New general manager, Bob Myers was able to get his guy in Harrison Barnes and was able to beef up his bench with his late draft picks. With the addition of Andrew Bogut and hopefully healthy Stephen Curry, the Warriors could be a playoff contender in the Western Conference sooner rather than later.
Lets take a look at their projected starting lineup:
Point Guard: Stephen Curry
When healthy, Curry is one of the best point guards in the league. Not only can he score (17.5 Career Average), but he showed flashes of great passing last season despite playing in just 26 games. In saying that, I wouldn’t look too much into his production from last year, as every time he stepped onto the floor it was just a matter of time before he twisted his extremely fragile ankles, but I would base his possible production for 2012-2013 off what he did in his first two seasons; about (18 PPG), and (6 Assists per game).
The key is going to be for Curry to stay healthy, obviously. He has some new toys to play with in Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, so the sky is the limit for this up and coming Warriors squad, but Curry is the key to their success.
Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson
Filling Monta Ellis’s shoes is no easy task, but Thompson has the skill to be better than Ellis in the long run. He boasts a bigger frame, is a better pure shooter, and even though he’s not as athletic and quick as the former Warrior, he’s sneaky quick.
Thompson finished off the 2012 camgian by averaging nearly 19 points in 16 April games. And don’t be surprised if he consistently puts up big scoring numbers nightly, as he will be one of the go to scorers without Ellis on the roster.
Small Forward: Harrison Barnes
I would be shocked if Dorell Wright won the starting job over Barnes, but anything is possible with Mark Jackson running the show. Whether or not the former Tar Heel starts or is the first man off the bench, he’s going to be a great addition to the Warriors squad. His lengthy 6’11 frame and above average size (6’8) for a small forward is going to make it tough for opposing defenders to contain him offensively.
Many scouts criticize Barnes because has the tendency to settle for too many jump shots, given his above average wingspan and size he should be able to score in the paint more than he showed at North Carolina. However, that’s something that Mark Jackson and the rest of the coaching staff will work be working with him on from day one. It’s not like he can’t be a slasher, it’s rather that he just hasn’t mastered that part of the game just yet. However, his silky smooth stroke will give Curry yet another option to drive and kick to.
Power Forward: David Lee
Without a doubt, Lee was the Warriors’ MVP last season. Not only was he the prime scorer and rebounder, but he played in 57 out of the Warriors 62 games.
The addition of Andrew Bogut is going to do wonders for Lee, however. Last year Lee had to play out of position in at the center position, and Andris Biedrins was essentially a non-factor when he was on the floor. Bogut, a legitimate and proven center, will give Lee the ability to play at his natural power forward spot which will benefit the entire team.
Center: Andrew Bogut
Bogut didn’t get much love last year after he was the centerpiece in the Monta Ellis deal, but Warriors’ fans are going to fall in love with this guy right from the get go. He does all the dirty work, rebounds, has some decent post moves, and is a great teammate.
The key for Bogut, like Curry will be to stay out of the suit. Granted, some of his injuries have been freak accidents, but he still has to stay healthy. In only two seasons he has played in more than 75 games and played in just 12 last year.