Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Contrary to what Talking Points thinks Josh Smith is worth going after

I usually don't read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog all that much nor do I really care for it. On the other hand the other day his latest post on josh Smith was just off base. There are so many ways in which I believe Smith sill help the Warriors in the unlikely event he does sign. Quoting from his text I will debunk the points.

1. The Warriors are (at least) one excellent player short of sure-fire playoff contention… but I’m not at all sure that Smith is That Player.

In fact, I think the Warriors do not believe he is that player. Smith is only 22 and he does many good things (big-time shot-blocker, decent rebounder, OK passer, can run the floor and finish) but he’s a career 44.5% shooter and that is not exactly your definition of a low-post scorer

Well lets not forget the guy came straight from high school so therefore measuring his shooting stats as a negativity was never going to work. Though there have been exceptions playing against the best players in the world would leave anyone overwhelmed. Once he works on his low post game his shooting percentages will go up along with an improved shot selection. If you take into account his overall low post Shooting percentage is 59% the defintion of a low post scorer in my eyes.

For a team that seems directionless and doesn't know where it's going josh Smith would be the best fit of the offseason especially since every team in the West and East had at least one feared big man. Amith will continue to bulk up and add muscle as his body matures, allowing him to do a better job against the bigger PF's of the NBA. He finished 6th in Defensive player of the year and with his shotblocking it's only a gurantee he wins it one day.

Smith is probably not worth giving up Wright–whom the Warriors love, remember–and giving away Harrington–whom Mullin loves.

The Warriors believe Wright, who is two years younger, will end up doing many of the same things Smith does now, but more efficiently and definitely more inexpensively (for now).

And as I’ve typed often, Mullin isn’t giving Harrington away, even if Don Nelson would like him to. If Mullin is going to give up Wright and Harrington, he’s going to want someone he’s sure can get him into the playoffs and maybe win him a round

Wright is a railthin guy who going by his summer League performancces hasn't made any improvements to his game and will never gain enough weight to be able to take and dish out the punishment that Smith can. He reminds me of a younger version of Joe Smith. Unlike Hendrix he's not a good rebounder and is a finnese big man which the Warriors don't need. and goes to the line at a rate of 5.1 FTA per 48 min. as compared to Josh Smith's 7.8 FTA per 48.

Trading Harrington for Smith means you have a Playoff team that won't go very far but solidifies a core of youngsters that can defintely go places. Smith can play Defense and Rebound two things Harrington dissapointed at. It seems like whatever Don wants, Don gets (see O'Bryant, Dunleavy, Murphy, Diogu, etc.). If he doesn't like Harrington, Mullin shouldn't have any problems moving him based on his recent history. By the way, does Mullin know Smith's another lefty?

3. Smith’s contract would be huge–possibly larger than the 6-year, $66M deal the Warriors just gave Monta Ellis, and I believe it’s very important to Monta that he’s the highest-paid Warriors player.

VERY IMPORTANT to Monta. I cannot emphasize that one any more than I already have.

The Warriors carefully kept Corey Maggette’s F/A deal and Andris Biedrins’ RFA deal under Ellis’ deal. That was market rate (or in Maggette’s case, slightly above), but it also gave Mullin room to come on top of them both with Ellis’ deal

Did Monta ever indicate he wanted to be the Warriors highest paid player. Didn't seem so in my eyes. Because of his humble background you get the feeling Monta is just proud to be part of it all and because of that isn't egotisitcal. I very much doubt Ellis would start sobing if Smith got a higher contract. He would probably welcome the fact that unlike Maggette the Warriors finally have a low post player that puts them back in the Playoff mix. Asd for Maggette and Biedrins their deals were below Monta because it's quite simple. None of them deserve to be paid more then Monta Maggette is overpaid, but Biedrins is receiving a good deal from the Warriors perspective. Josh Smith on the other hand. younger, has better size for his position as a SF/PF, is bigger box-office draw, has a big impact on defense, rebounds, is an under-rated passer, and has shown improvement on his offensive game.

Monta should welcome the addition of Josh Smith, no matter what it takes to get him into a Warriors uniform. Together, they would make the Warriors the most exciting team in the NBA.

4. Smith’s deal, probably at more than $11M a year, would screw up the Warriors’ finances into the future–and again, they have carefully planned to give themselves room in the future.

We go back to that issue–is Smith That Player? Is he Brand, KG or a Young Baron? No, he’s not that good.

The Warriors are trying to set themselves up to have lots of young talent and have room next season to add one more big salary, if that’s the guy who coalesces everything, the way KG did for Boston and Steve Nash did for Phoenix a few years ago.

I’ll say it again: Josh Smith isn’t that guy, not when they’ve already spent $50M on Maggette, $54M on Biedrins, $17M on Ronny Turiaf and $66M on Ellis.

Just pure stupid. Smith is only 22 so to say he's not on the level of Brand or KG is ridiculous. In a few years he has every chance of becoming the next big man star. If Maggette wasn't overpaid the Warriors would possibly land one of the superstars when 2010 arises. As of now they will have to make do with going after Josh Smith the young talent that is perfect for the system. They won't be able to land LeBron, Kobe, or Wade in 2010 so why not go after an undervalued Josh Smith.

Oh and unlike Monta who has yet to really produce in crunch time Smith has produced as the best defensive team in the League the Boston Celtics found out

5. Smith doesn’t quite fit the Warriors’ system, either.

He could fit it, I guess. That’s not out of the question. But ideally, a Nellie big man either can shoot threes or can score at a high % on the low post or can stuff the other team’s monster big man.

I’m not sure Smith does any of those things. He’s not an on-ball smother guy–he likes to guard weaker offensive players and then come swooping in to swat the shots from the better players. He’s not a great jumpshooter, but he likes to shoot. Too much.

He put up 99 three-pointers last year and made 25. He also is a high-turnover guy–3 per game last year. That’s no good. (Harrington and Biedrins were both at 1.1 TOs/game last year. Ellis was 2.1) In a fast system, that, to me, equals a potential tall 39% shooter with 4.5 TOs a game.

Well to me Smiths versatility is what would make him fit in Nellieball. His length and shot blocking ability will make him a key piece in the chaotic defensive style meant to harass the opponents into mistakes that trigger transition buckets plus he could play 3 positions. His shooting percentage has increased the 4 years he's played in the NBA unlike harrington our best big shooting man During his first 7 years in the league, he shot a dismal 24.4% from 3 point land. In Smith's first 4 years, he is shooting 26.3% from three. Yes it needs plenty of work but he shot 59% in the low post and will ecel what the Warriors are good score in transition.

6. I don’t think Atlanta would accept the Wright/Harrington package, even if it’s sweetened.

The Hawks are dumb, but they’ve already lost RFA Josh Childress to a Greek team. They built a high level (for them) of excitement last season around Smith, Horford, Joe Johnson, Childress and a little bit of Mike Bibby.

It’d be awful if they lost both Childress and Smith, playing a RFA system in which almost nobody loses high-quality RFAs. You’re not supposed to lose RFAs that are stars. They lost one. They’re not going to lose Smith and it’ll take more than Brandan Wright–I think–to pry Smith loose.

Trading Wright, Harrington, Belinelli and Perovic means unlike the current Hawks you have a team that at least has a core of youngstersand has a vague idea of what they will do. Atlanta get rid of Speedy Claxton and Josh Smith. With Belinelli and perhaps Perovic for depth at Center would send them scrabbling for a pen. If they want, they can also have Watson to help at PG. With Smith wanting to leave Atlanta this would be an ideal time to trade him.

Tim Kawakami makes the mistake of thinking that Josh Smith is a finished product. This is far from the truth and to assert that a 22 year old, athletically gifted player with no college experience has essentially reached his full potential is short-sighted, irresponsible, and flat-out wrong. This is more of an acquisition for the future than it is for the present, but the Warriors are an even better team immediately with the addition of Smith. Hopefully, Mullin comes around to the same thinking.

No comments: