With the 11th pick in our 2011 Mock Draft, I get the honor of stepping into the mind of one of the great thinkers in basketball history, the logo himself, Jerry West, who has joined the front office of the Golden State Warriors. I also have the dangerous mission of stepping inside the mind of new Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson.
MOMMA THERE GOES THAT MAN!!
Sorry. I told you it was dangerous in there. Anyways, with a new coach and a new front office will likely come a bit of a new identity for the Golden State Warriors. The days of Don Nelson are far in the distant past and it’s very likely that Jerry West and Mark Jackson will want to mold a team that defends just a bit better than Warriors teams of recent lore. Did you know that last year was the first year in five that Golden State did not finish dead last in the NBA in points allowed per game? Last year they showed remarkable improvement and finished tied for 27th in PPA. They “only” allowed 105.7 PPG, down from the 112+ of the previous two seasons. Obviously though, there is quite a long way to go at that end of the floor.
As for the Warriors roster, the backcourt is set (for now) with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis, although trade rumors are swirling around Ellis. Dorell Wright had a breakout year averaging over 16 per game and starting all 82, and David Lee contributed almost a double double every night, averaging 16.5/9.8. If there is a hole for Golden State, it’s on the inside, where Andris Biedrins was a great disappointment. Last year’s 1st Round pick, Baylor’s Ekpe Udoh, showed some flashes late in the season, but he still needs a lot of time before he can be deemed ready to start or play a major role.
Looking at the big men currently on the board, nobody in this class stands out as someone that can plug the gap at the center position. With Jonas Valanciunas gone (you know we covet him, maybe we’ll have a chat with Michael Jordan John Karalis about a possible trade. Does Reggie Williams entice you?), none of the big men move me as the answer to our defensive deficiencies. Bismack Biyombo and Tristan Thompson are tempting, but I’ve already got an athletic, shot-blocking, young, unpolished power forward on my roster (see Udoh, Ekpe). With that, I’m going in a different direction. I desperately need defending and toughness, and luckily, there’s someone available that oozes those qualities.
With the 11th pick, the Golden State Warriors select… Chris Singleton, G/F, Florida State.
Singleton is the best wing defender in the draft alongside Kawhi Leonard and he would instantly become the best defender on the Golden State roster. I have Curry, Ellis, Lee, Wright, and scorers and shooters by the dozen, but I don’t have anyone that can guard the Kobes, Durants, LeBrons, or Melos of the league. Singleton is that guy. He was the heartbeat of a Florida State team that was arguably the best defensive team in the country. Additionally, he has the athleticism to get up and down the court in transition. We’re still going to push the ball and look to score a lot of points, but Chris Singleton can hopefully start to turn the page on an era in Golden State where the defensive effort goes from Rooke-Sophomore Challenge level to at least NBA All-Star game level. If I’m Mark Jackson, I need someone on the court that can impact the game outside of scoring the basketball.
Exactly. Thanks, Mark.
Photo via Daylife.com