Wednesday , Jun , 20 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Golden State Warriors 2007 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – The Golden State Warriors are back in business. Golden
State, which had the longest playoff drought in the NBA, returned to the
postseason for the first time since 1994, when it was led by Chris Mullin,
Latrell Sprewell and Chris Webber.

The Warriors, who finished 42-40 in 2006-07 and were the eighth seed in the
playoffs, stunned the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in six games, 4-2, in the
opening round of the postseason, but fell in five to the Utah Jazz in the
Western Conference semifinals.

Veteran head coach Don Nelson returned to the bench for Golden State this
past season. Nelson, who was general of the Warriors for six-plus seasons
beginning in 1988, compiled a 277-260 record with the squad before resigning
halfway through the 1994-95 season.

Nelson’s unorthodox system started to work when the franchise pulled off a
blockbuster trade. On January 17th, Golden State acquired swingman Stephen
Jackson, forwards Al Harrington and Josh Powell and guard Sarunas Jasikevicius
from the Indiana Pacers for Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Ike Diogu and
Keith McLeod.

The athletic Harrington, who played center and power forward for the
Warriors, and Jackson gave Nelson the flexibility with his rotation that he
lacked. Two-time All-Star guard Baron Davis led the team in scoring (20.1 ppg)
and assists (8.1 apg) during the regular season, while the NBA’s Most Improved
Player Monta Ellis averaged 16.5 points, 3.2 boards and 4.1 assists per game
in just his second season in the league.

Add high-flying Jason Richardson, Matt Barnes, Andris Biedrins, and Mickael
Pietrus to the mix, and the Warriors have a solid roster that is capable of
winning enough games to earn a playoff berth.

The Warriors have the 18th overall pick in round one, and two selections in
the second round. They could use some help on the glass and a guard to backup
Davis.

Derrick Byars of Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech’s Javaris Crittenton, Ohio State’s
Daequan Cook and USC’s Gabe Pruitt are all names that could be called when the
Warriors pick. There should be plenty of talent that fits what Golden State is
looking for at No. 18.

Key Player(s): Matt Barnes (Forward), Andris Biedrins (Center), Baron Davis
(Guard), Monta Ellis (Guard), Al Harrington (Center/Forward), Stephen Jackson
(Forward/Guard), Mickael Pietrus (Guard), Jason Richardson (Guard).

Team Needs: Rebounding and a backup point guard.

Draft picks: 1st round (18th overall), 2nd round (36th overall), 2nd round
(46th overall).

GSW