2008 NBA Preview: #21 Golden State Warriors

Offseason Movement: The team elected not to pursue free agent Baron Davis and struck out on the Elton Brand sweepstakes. They did sign Corey Maggette to a big contract and also acquired Marcus Williams from the Nets for a conditional first round draft pick.
Keep Your Eye On: Monta Ellis, G
With Davis gone, this is Ellis’ team now. His reign got off to an inauspicious beginning when he hurt his ankle while riding a moped around Mississippi and then lied to the team about it. He will have to mature quickly, because the Warriors need a leader, but it’s not clear when Ellis will be able to return to action. For their part, the Warriors have suspended him for 30 games for lying about the injury, but he probably won’t be ready to play by the end of the suspension, so it just amounts to a gigantic fine.
The Big Question: Is Don Nelson the right guy to lead a rebuilding project?
Nelson always seems to have one foot out the door, so it’s unclear if he has the commitment or the patience to coach this team for much longer. They lost a great player in Baron Davis, acquired a good player in Corey Maggette, and will miss Monta Ellis for at least part of the regular season, so all else being equal, it’s more likely than not that the Warriors will take a step back this season. I think that the next time Golden State makes the playoffs, there will be a different coach steering the ship.
Outlook: In Maggette, Biedrins, Stephen Jackson, Al Harringon and Brandan Wright, the team does have a number of talented players, but they lack a star to bring everything together. Ellis is supposed to be that guy, but since he’ll be sidelined for a while, the aforementioned players will have to raise their games for the Warriors to be in the playoff hunt in the talented West.

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