This rumored KG trade for Brandan Wright, Monta Ellis, and pretty much the rest of the future of the Warriors franchise reminded me of a friend in college who had "You and What Army" in latin tattooed across the width of his skinny 165 pound, white, Redondo Beach-raised, shoulder blades. Yeah, it can look and sound good on paper (or skin in my friend's case after god knows how many shots of tequila), but is it really going to get you where you want to go? The Warriors were a few breaks from getting into the Western Conference Finals this year, played as good of basketball as anyone in the NBA for the last 30 games of the season, and knocked off the team that most people picked to win the Championship with relative ease. And the plan is to completely retool at this point and get rid of one of the lynchpins for all that success?
Three main problems with this plan. First, you have to buy low and sell high. Everyone is knocking JRich's defense, aggressiveness, shooting, etc right now, but the fact is that nobody except Warriors fans have watched him play until the last 4 months consistently. This is the first season that JRich had to deal with nagging injuries and it effected his play so people weren't seeing what Warriors fans have been watching over the past 5 years. So essentially the value we got for JRich is not what it would have been one year ago when he averaged 23 ppg or after an injury free season next year. So the last thing you do at this point is trade JRich or Ellis (who had rough playoffs and nobody got to see what HE did over the past year and a half), if anyone you trade Baron Davis who was arguably the best player in the playoffs last year, is a constant injury risk, at the absolute peak value he will ever be at moving forward, and he's not getting any younger.
Second, if you want to build a team to win a championship you need at least one year to gel. Look at all the recent Championship teams over the past 20 years, the only teams that got shoe-horned in were the Heat and arguable the Bulls the second year after Jordan's return. And even these teams needed to lose in tough situations to learn how to win it all so you are looking at earliest possible scenario this working out to improve the Warriors as 2009, probably more like 2010. By then, Baron Davis and KG will be on their last legs, meanwhile I can only imagine what Monta Ellis, JRich and the rest of the sacrificial Warriors' lambs will be doing for other teams in the league.
Third problem, other than Davis and KG, who else is going to make this a Championship team? SJax is definitely a piece of the puzzzle, but who else? Every other Championship team has had a number of proven veterans, up-and-coming players, and various character/role players that have helped out and the Warriors would be about 4 guns too short here. So what's the point in trading away essentially a Finals caliber team just to have a re-adjustment period where there isn't time to get everyone straight before it all falls down? If you're going to make a strategic move for a few years down the line, fine. But, if you're just going to play race the clock, sacrificing the future when the weapons aren't in place behind the top 2-3 guys, what's the point?
All I can say to wrap this up is I hope I'm dead wrong about everything I just said. Nothing would make me happier than looking back in 2 years or 10 years and saying, "damn, that column was crap. Thank God Mullin is running this team and not me. Even Stephen A. Smith saw this from a better view than I did. Hallelujah!" Only time will tell...