The talk of the off-season thus far other than the team being for sale has been the much talked about possibility of dealing Anthony Randolph. Rumors have floated around all off-season about Randolph being dealt in an effort by the Warriors to move up in the 2010 NBA Draft. The most fancied rumor has Randolph and the 6th pick in the draft heading to Minnesota in return for Kevin Love and the #4 pick.
The much talked about rumor has been exactly that as neither team has gone on record to discuss the potential deal. Warriors GM Larry Riley said yesterday he wasn’t looking to deal Randolph and the only way he would was in return for a great player.
However, sources indicate the rumor is actually more than that as the deal to send Anthony Randolph to the Minnesota Timberwolves is very real. The Warriors are looking to move up in the draft in an effort to select DeMarcus Cousins from the University of Kentucky. Cousins has undergone a significant transformation since declaring his entry in the NBA Draft and has impressed scouts continually along the way in combines and workouts. With Cousins projected to go in the top 5 in the draft and the Warriors holding the 6th pick; the Warriors are willing to part with Randolph in order to position themselves to select Cousins.
Experts have pegged the top 3 in the draft to play out as such on Thursday- John Wall to Washington, Evan Turner to Philadelphia, Derick Favors to New Jersey. Which leaves DeMarcus Cousins still on the board at the 4th pick and the position where the Warriors want to jump up and grab him. Bringing in Cousins would likely mean Andris Biedrins will be dealt as the Warriors are comfortable with Ronny Turiaf as the back-up center. A possible deal involving Biedrins could see him heading to Detroit in exchange for Tayshaun Prince. Prince can give the Warriors something they don’t have on the roster which is a defensive minded, athletic small forward who can play in their system.
Randolph has no desire to leave the Warriors as he has said he wants to be part of the core which turns the Warriors around and gives the most loyal fan-base in the NBA a winning product on the court. Randolph completely healed from last season’s injury has been progressively working out for months now and bulked up to 230lbs. with the goal of getting up to 240lbs. by the time training camp rolls around.
One of the factors holding up a potential deal is the the team being in the process of being sold. Sources say potential new ownership groups have made it known that any deal involving Randolph would trigger a decrease in value of the franchise as Randolph is key building block of the future. It seems as if Larry Riley and current management are itching at making a final move before new ownership takes over which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Riley has long known his future as GM with the Warriors is non-existent as when new ownership takes over he’ll be let go. The same can be said about team President Robert Rowell who will also be let go under new ownership.
It’ll be an interesting week leading up to the draft as we wait and see what happens with the Warriors as trading Randolph has the potential to be franchise changer either in a positive or negative way which makes the decision to make such a move much more difficult.