It's been 365 days, one failed first round draft round pick, a new/old coach, a franchise-changing trade, and an improbable playoff run since last year's NBA draft, and guess what? The Warriors needs coming into today's 2007 NBA draft haven't changed one bit from last year.
They still need a big body down low that can board and command the paint, and they need a defensive stopper.
If this was any other year, we'd have followed that last sentence with a "yada-yada" or some other derisive indication of our recognition that Warriors draft days are excruciatingly painful exercises in futility. But the Warriors have a chance to build on last year's successes, and that building could and should start with a smart, targeted, realistic draft today.
To do that though, the Warriors are going to need to think big -- big players, big picture, big time.
Nellie will undoubtedly be doing both today. Hopefully all of Warrior Nation will have a nice buzz going when the number 18 pick in today's NBA draft is announced. Image from noisebot.com.
It has been obvious since day one of Nellie II that coach Don Nelson has taken the player personnel wheel from VP of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin. In last year's draft, Mullin showed yet again that he is not up to the task, picking an underclassman big man with the Warriors number nine pick, then hiring Nelson, a coach with a long, long, long track record of disdain for both rookies and big men. Nice call Shooter.
With the team's second round pick, Mullin passed on local hero Leon Powe and picked Kosta Perovic, a beanpole Euro who won't even be contractually eligible to play for the Dubs for another year. Good decision making there.
Nelson immediately came in and took an axe handle to rookie Patrick O'Bryant's confidence and possibly his career, banishing him to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA's Development League for most of the season. O'Bryant became the only first round draft pick ever to play in the D-League in his rookie season. So much for that pick.