When Peter Gruber and Joe Lacob bought the Warriors, it was a wait and see kind of deal in my mind. Being a Warriors fan over the past few decades you rarely know what direction they are going or if they even have a plan to begin with. It feels like the new owners DO have a game plan that we are finally seeing put together. Not a whole lot happened last year aside from them trading for David Lee during the off-season. At the end of this year, I figured I’d give them at least one more season to figure out how the NBA worked and what it takes to build a winner, then I’d start getting critical. I was pretty sure they weren’t planning on making big changes to the team since we are pretty close to the cap and won’t have money to sign a bunch of free agents heading into the lockout, but much sooner than I expected they made some big moves that really impressed me. They didn’t make a lot of moves that effect the on-court players, but in the front office we’ve been significantly strengthened, and seems to have some stability for the first time in god knows how long. All the moves led up to today where they bought a D-League team, the Dakota Wizards, and capped off an impressive pre-lockout flurry of moves that shook up our whole front office, and made Warriors fans like myself believe that the owners aren’t the cheap bastard we used to have.
Their first major move was hiring on Jerry West as our main consultant. I’m sure he didn’t come to Oakland cheap. It ultimately gave the organization instant credibility, and an amazing sound board to bounce ideas off. Their second move was hiring Mark Jackson to man the bench. Not positive if he’s going to be a great coach, but he seems like he’d be great at teaching Curry and Ellis how to manage games better, and be consummate professionals. I hope he’s the next Doc Rivers, but you never really can tell. I mean if you gave Doc Rivers the W’s roster, would he be able to bring them to glory? Probably not… Shortly after hiring Jackson, they acquired a top assistant in Mike Malone, who they somehow outbid the Lakers on. Does that mean he didn’t get along with Mike Brown during his time in Cleveland? I dunno, I guess you’d have to ask him.
Fast forward to the draft last week. It’s been awhile since we had a draft that didn’t have one mind boggling decision in it. Our picks made sense. Our previous owner would sell our picks for cash from time to time, which is why this years draft was so surprising. They actually bought the rights to Jeremy Tyler the 39th pick for $2M (a huge project that could be nothing or could be an All-Star), but the fact that they were spending money instead of just trying to make money during the draft was amazing to this longtime Warriors fan.
Today it was reported that they bought the D-League franchise, the Dakota Wizards. It seems like a great move, because the Warriors seem to be calling up D-Leaguers more than any other team, and have been very successful in doing so! They are now one of only four teams that have a “farm system”. Seems like a perfect place to let Tyler develop into a player, right? It will also keep Jeremy Lin busy instead of riding the bench in Oakland. Now they can sign players that they just want to look at. With access to their own team in the D-League that team can be run with the same concepts as the pro team, which will help them immensely when players are called up to the NBA because of injury or a player X sucking. They also can groom coaches whether they are assistants or head coaches. The team won’t be moving to Northern California until after the upcoming season, and if the Kings move, maybe
Arco PowerBalance Pavilion wouldn’t be a bad site for the team!