Player Top 10, Day 3: Small Forwards

Here we are on Day 3 of my Player Ranking Week! Enjoy my list of the top 10 NBA Small Forwards.

#10- Luol Deng-CHI

Luol Deng is a first and foremost, a great defender. He has guard the top small forwards in the league consistently and make it a hard night for the guys on this list who play against him. Deng is also solid from around the 3-point line and has a very nice mid-range game. He rebounds well for a small forward, grabbing around 7 boards a game last season and playoffs. There were some trade rumors surrounding him around the draft, but nothing happened and he should have big season.

#9- Ersan Ilyasova-MIL

I am well aware that Ilyasova played mostly power forward last season, but with Dalembert, Udoh, Henson, Gooden, Przybilla, and Sanders already clogging up the big man rotation in Milwaukee, Ersan will be playing small forward for the next few years. He is a tough defender and fantastic rebounder who had a big season averaging 13 points and 9 boards. With Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis dishing the ball to him, he is looking to have another big season.

#8- Gerald Wallace-BRK

Gerald Wallace is a defensive beast, he can block shots and he defends the opposing team’s best offensive player night in and night out. He is also an underrated passer who averaged 3 assists a game last season. I think the he was largely overpaid this off season by Brooklyn, but it is hard to find a guy that can average 13pts,7boards,3asts,and 1blk, as well as play killer defense.  Brooklyn’s starters are scary this year.

#7- Danilo Galinari-DEN

I think that this ranking may be too high for Galinari, but as a Golden State guy, I love guys who can shoot you out of the gym. Danilo can do that, but unfortunately he had rough last season. Danilo missed 35% of the games last season and never got into a rhythm. I think he will have a big year if he can stay on the court.

#6- Rudy Gay-MEM

One thing about these position rankings is this top 6 is clearly better than the other on the list, and it starts here with Ruy Gay. Gay averaged 19pts, 6boards, and 2 assists last season and he is always a threat to throw down a highlight reel dunk on you. He rebounded very well from an injury plagued season in 2010-11 with a year where he appeared in 65 of the 66 games. Look for more from Gay this year with the Grizzles back in the hunt.

#5- Paul Pierce-BOS

Father time may not be looking to kindly on Paul Pierce, but there no other player in the league has the heart and love for playing basketball like Paul Pierce. In my opinion, he is one of the top 5 clutch shooters of all-time because you know if the Celtic are down 1 or 2 with a few seconds to go, Paul Pierce wants the ball and always delivers. The Celtics have revamped their roster and look very good going into the season. Pierce and KG have 1 or 2 more year left in the tank to go after another title.

#4- Danny Granger-IND

I hate to love Danny Granger because he is one of the biggest assholes in the league. He is always in someone’s face or talking too much trash (Example: East Semis vs Miami). With that said, the man can play. He averaged 19pts, 5boards, 2asts, and played great defense. He also was leader for that young Pacer team that gave Miami a run for their money. Look for bigger things from Granger this season.

#3- Carmelo Anthony-NYK

Melo is definitely the root of some chemistry issues for the Knicks, but he one the best scorer in the NBA. He averaged 23 points per game last season, while grabbing 6 boards and 4 assists. The Knicks don’t need Linsanity when they have Melo and Amare ready to take games over. If Melo can improve his defense and work out his chemistry issues with his teammates, the Knicks will be a title contender this season.

#2- Kevin Durant-OKC

Kevin Durant showed in Olympics that he and LeBron are just in a league of their own. Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the league and he is becoming of the best defense players as well. There are no holes in his game and his 28pts, 8board, 4ast, 1blk, and 1stl numbers from last season back it up. He is league’s 2nd best player behind the man sitting at the #1 spot on this list.

#1- LeBron James-MIA

Well well well, look who we have here… LeBron. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, as well as the world. He is scary good in every aspect of the game. Here are his numbers for last season including the playoffs: 95 games played, 29 points- 9 rebounds- 6 assists- 2 steals, and 1 block per game. The man is a beast and he is hungry for more rings. There is no debate around the league that LeBron is the best SF and the best player. It will be interesting however to see if the Heat will transition him to the power forward position because there have been rumors they will be doing that this season. We will have to wait and see if he will win “not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6…” championships as he so famously proclaimed when joining Miami.

Thanks for reading! Come back tomorrow for Day 4,  Power Forwards!

Different Thoughts on Draft Day Trades

I am sure that all of you have heard that the various trains of thought regarding the Warriors targets for a draft day, and I am here to give you some fresh trade ideas and possible targets. We all have heard the names Andre Igoudala, Rudy Gay, Nicolas Batum, Josh Smith, and Pau Gasol as possible trade targets for the Warriors. We have also heard about the Warriors wanting to move up to #2 to get Michael Kidd-Gilchrist… I think that those targets are pipe dreams and false hopes for Warriors fans. The Warriors do not have  the assets nor the cap space to handle a deal for those players. Here are a few names I want you think about:

Paul Milsap, Joel Anthony, Luol Deng, and Tayshaun Prince

All of those guys are on teams that want something that the Warriors can offer them and that provide a much needed role for the Warriors. I will breakdown how these players fit with the Warriors, and how a trade for them can benefit the Warriors.

Paul Milsap -PF- Utah Jazz

Paul Milsap is a magnificent low post presence. He can score down low, rebound at a high rate, and defend big better than any player on the current Warriors roster. Utah currently has Derrick Favors, a back-up PF, who they want to give more of an opportunity thus making Milsap expendable. Utah is also looking to get into the lottery to select a point guard, likely Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall. This is where Utah and Golden State can meet in the middle. Here is my proposed deal:

GSW receives: Paul Milsap, Raja Bell

UTA  receives: Richard Jefferson, #7,52 Picks

In this deal, the Warriors would be getting two great backup players who bring veteran leadership and premier defense and are on the last year of their contracts. This would only cost the Warriors the #7 pick in all reality. Richard Jefferson has 2years and $21.21 million left on his deal, so alleviating that deal from their cap space would be worth giving up on the #7 selection. This deal would leave the Warriors $10 million under the luxury this year to re-sign Brandon Rush or Dominic McGuire and sign a backup Center or Point Guard. And would give the Warriors around $17 million in cap space next year address free agents Steph Curry and Paul Milsap. This would be a great move for the Warriors.

Joel Anthony -C- Miami Heat

This deal is similar to the last because it involves the Warriors bringing in a defensive 3rd big. Also, because Miami is looking to move up into the lottery to select a Point Guard or Center. Here is the deal:

GSW receives: Joel Anthony, #27 Pick

MIA  receives: Andris Biedrins, #7,52 Picks

This deal is more simple to explain: the pros are picking up a defensive 3rd big man and dumping Biedrins’ ugly contract. The cons would be losing the #7 Pick. I think that this is great because Anthony has 3yrs and $11.35 mil left on his deal and never makes more than $3.8 million and the fact that we would be receiving a late first rounder only helps. It gives the Warriors roughly $5 million in cap space this year and around $15-17 million in cap space next year with only Curry to worry about bringing back. A home run deal in my opinion.

Luol Deng -SF- Chicago 

Luol Deng is the exact mold of the kind of SF that the Warriors need. He is a great perimeter defender, the kind of guy you can put on the opponents best offensive player, and he is a guy you don’t have to make plays for him to score. I have him ranked as a top 5 SF in the NBA, and would make the Warriors a big playoff contender instantly. Chicago is looking to get into the lottery, possibly to get Harrison Barnes who they interviewed at the combine in Chicago, and this deal would give them an opportunity to do just that.

GSW receives: Luol Deng, #29 Pick

CHI   receives: Richard Jefferson, #7,35 Picks

This deal would make Deng the starter and allow the Warriors to slide Dorell Wright into the backup role. This deal doesn’t help our cap situation out much, but the Warriors would still have picks #29,30, and 52 to address backup Shooting Guard and Center needs. I like the deal because it gives the team a top 6 or 7 starting lineup that may lead them to the playoffs.

Tayshaun Prince -SF- Detroit 

Tayshaun Prince also give the Warriors an upgrade at SF in both defense and leadership. I think this deal gives the Warriors a bit of cap relief and dependable SF for the next few years with a modest contract of 3yrs and $21.71 million. The deal is:

GSW receives: Tayshaun Prince #9,39 Picks

DET  receives: Ricahrd Jefferson #7,30,52 Picks

The draft picks are what would make this deal happen. The Warriors would back from 7 to 9, and from 30 to 39, but it would be worth it to upgrade from Jefferson to Prince. And this deal still gives the Warriors a lottery pick to possibly select a back up Shooting Guard or Power Forward that they don’t have to reach on.

The main point of these trades is too improve the roster, expand cap space, and dump bad contracts.  Let me know if you agree with these trade targets or my opinions about the Warriors needs in general.