The Golden State Warriors have solidified themselves as one of the top teams in the NBA.
After a 47-35 regular season finish last season, they headed into the postseason as the sixth seed and took down the third-seeded Denver Nuggets. Their playoff run ended against the veteran San Antonio Spurs in six games during the second round, but it was one hell of a ride.
Now, after acquiring highly coveted free agent swingman Andre Iguodala and signing role players like Toney Douglas, Jermaine O’Neal, and Marreese Speights, the Warriors look to be in prime position to make a run at the NBA title.
Their roster is loaded at the moment, but people always want to speculate roster moves that could possibly happen. And one of those has been the removal of David Lee.
Earlier in the offseason, it was reported that the Warriors tried to trade Lee for Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani, but they were turned down. Also reported was that Golden State offered Lee in a package with swingman Brandon Rush for LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, but that deal was also rejected.
The first question that one must think is, why?
Lee played beautifully last season, as he averaged 18.5 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per game, while also dishing out 3.5 assists per contest. Lee became the Warriors’ first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997, and it seems shocking to trade a guy who means so much to the team.
But Golden State’s front management has proven to be unafraid of making bold moves, which was shown when they shipped off fan-favorite Monta Ellis for injury-riddled center Andrew Bogut from the Milwaukee Bucks. But that trade worked out perfectly, as Stephen Curry was able to dominate without sharing reps with Ellis, and Bogut has played great while on the court.
Lee has been a key component to Golden State’s success recently, and he should not be traded. Sure, if its front office were able to compose a move that would benefit the team while also shedding salary cap space and/or adding draft picks, then I would have no problem with them pulling the trigger.
But at the end of the day, Lee is one of the best offensive power forwards in the NBA, and the Warriors need him going forward. He may struggle defensively at times, but he is well worth keeping.
Golden State’s core is so strong, and its team chemistry is what has been able to bring them so high up, it would be a travesty to see it get broken up.
But then again, sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.