Maybe it’s the intense, dry, brain boiling heat of Las Vegas, or the conversation with outside basketball observers, but I feel a bit better than I did last week about the AR trade.

Trading young athletic forward Carlos Rogers, Anthony Randolph along with Kelena Azabuike, and fan favorite Ronny Turiaf to New York for all-star power forward David Lee, sent Warriors fans into a tail spin. This is a trade that angers fans because of ‘potential.’  Many feel that Randolph has more upside than David Lee.  This is a subjective and hopeful feeling that is fostered by the Warriors every time they draft a player and he has any kind of success.  As fans of a team that has made the playoffs once in the last 16 years, you have to allow yourself to hope. Hope can turn into tickets,  jerseys, and unrealistic player expectations.

Hope in the face of suffering is why I have 4 autographed Larry Hughes jerseys, why the arena was packed on draft night, and why the Warriors continue to draw some of the best attendance in the league.  If you scramble your roster every single year, you can always talk about how things are different.  There is always hope when there is change….if you market it correctly.  Change allows the Warriors sell tickets every year based on hope and potential. When a player they hyped as having amazing franchise turnaround capabilities gets traded for anyone short of a top 10 player, the fans have a violent reaction.

Face it, the Anthony Randolph trade is actually good for the Warriors.  Yes, it leaves me with yet another outdated autographed player jersey, but maybe the Warriors will let me trade it for a David Lee jersey. AR had potential, but it is a crap shoot if he ever realizes it.  His first year he wasn’t motivated, and needed a fire lit under him to get it together.  He bounced back with a great summer league, and a decent start to the season, but he was still a tweener without any solid back to the basket moves, an inconsistent jump shot and no real position.  AR is a project that may or may not pay off and a lot of that is dependent on his desire to work, improve, get better.

David Lee is an all star power forward who plays in an up-tempo system  and can be expected to put up similar numbers here in Golden State.  He works on his game, and tries hard every night.  He has character, maturity, and a high basketball IQ.  Warriors fans would have loved to have AR aspire to be a more athletic version of David Lee.

Lee has 40 lbs on AR, plays closer to the basket, generated a higher FG% in his first 2 years, is a better foul shooter,  rebounder,  and has shown improvement every year.  Lee plays a position that we haven’t had a solid starter in for decades.  The Warriors now have a pairing with Curry / Lee that could rival the Nash / Stoudemire combo that ran up and down courts in the west for years.  1 all star and 1 future all-star playing their actual positions, under Don Nelson, amazing.

Instead of rolling the dice on hope, we made a solid basketball move. It hurts, but it’s for the best.

5 Responses

  1. bubs

    Don’t you guys realize Lee is one of the worst post defenders in the league? Like, actually abysmal. There’s no doubt he’ll put up numbers, especially with Curry, but he is truly an abomination defensively. I hate to say it but I have a feeling this will be another one of those trades for GS, Randolph will have every chance to succeed in NY.

  2. Matt Mohr


    Thank you for actually evaluating this trade. I have been ripping every single writer on this website, but through all of the morons/idiots/middle school paper essays/pictures of bunnys, I think there is finally hope. The warriors obviously have had a terrible history in terms of trades and drafting (traded: Chris webber, gilbert arenas, antwan jamison, jason richardson, corey maggete…ect.) so this leaves a little bit of worry for any fan, but i see way more upside to this trade than down. The bottom line is the “potential” we traded away could easily flop, especially in the high-pressure situation that new york brings. On the other side it could bite us in the butt just like it has over the years. Out of the three though, Anthony Randolph would have NEVER succeeded in the bay, and I dont really care for buke or turriaf.

    But enough analyzing,

    Cheers to you my friend if we ever cross paths i would love to buy you a beer and



    If this is one of the other authors using Del as a cover name I hope you enjoy stealing my brilliance for your incompetence

  3. Ary

    Right on man. Yeah, it stings, but waiting for Randolph to mature and realize his true potential is, like you said, a crap shoot. I also see Lee as a less athletic version of Amare. The player I was most sad to see leave was Ronny. We now have to find a replacement big man who can bang and defend in the post and protect the rim. Sorry, Andres just doesn’t fill that void.

    Thanks for the article. It was much needed.

  4. Stefan

    Check out my thoughts on the sale of the Warriors and an offseason version of Charles Oakley Rankings

  5. Johnny California

    Well spoken! I cant agree more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!