Warriors' Options for the Summer of 2009

by RT

Allow me to make something crystal clear; the Warriors will not make the NBA Finals in the next three years. There is no reason to think the Warriors are going to be better than the Lakers over that span of time (not to mention the Spurs, Nuggets and Hornets). As a result, before any moves are made the Warriors’ front office must ask themselves the following question, “Will this move make us the best we can be in 2012/2013?” With this thought in mind, let’s look at the three potential moves the Warriors could possibly make to maximize their ability to win the NBA Championship in 2013.

Move #1 – Do not do anything

The fact of the matter is that this team has a really good (not great) young nucleus. If they don’t make any other changes over the off-season, I promise you they win at least 5 more games next season if not 10. Why is everyone in such a hurry to make a trade? The Warriors have the unique opportunity to grow organically by building team chemistry through years of experience on the court. Besides a true IT player, the team has all the pieces to become a tough team to beat by the 2010/2011 season. They have veteran leadership in Stephan Jackson, length down low in Biedrins and Wright, solid bench players in Maggette and Turiaf and, most importantly, two potential IT players in Monta and Randolph. All of these guys are locked up through the 2010/2011 season which means the current team could develop together for three full seasons. There is no reason to think this group of players cannot develop into a formidable unit in two or three seasons. If Randolph or Monta become IT players the Warriors are a contender as early as the 2011/2012 season.

(Did I mention Stephen Curry is the ultimate wild card? I would argue the Warriors don’t even need him to turn into anything more that a sharp shooter to become legitimate playoff team by 2010/2011.)

Move #2 – Sign ZaZa Pachulia

The Warriors need to give Turiaf and Biedrins some help down low and the answer is to find a discount power forward that can play defense and rebound. ZaZa Pachulia is their guy. He is only 25 years old and he does not need the ball on offense to remain happy. Last year, he gave the Hawks 6.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg in 19 minutes a game! The only guy that average more rebounds than 5.7 per game last season on the Warriors was Biedrins. Throw him into the rotation with Turiaf, Wright and Biedrins and the front line could be set for at least the next three seasons.

(You also have to love that this guy looks like a bar room brawler)

Move #3 – Trade Brandan Wright for Marc Gasol

Everyone wins with this trade. The Grizzles get the long athletic power forward that is a perfect compliment for Hasheem Thabeet (who they actually think is good) and the Warriors get a 7’1” banger down low. Even though I like Wright’s game, he does not have the handles to play the three and we already have a long skinny left hander playing the 4 or 5 so Wright is redundant. Similar to Pachulia, Gasol is tough and is a great rebounder. Both teams win in this trade.

(The more I think about this trade, the more I love it. Not only does Gasol give the Warriors much needed toughness, but he also is the perfect foil for his brother, Pau. Who is going to guard Pau Gasol better than his younger brother?)

Questions I want answered by you, the reader

* Who would you rather have – Kevin Love or Marc Gasol?

* With 6 seconds left and you are down by 1, do you trust Amare to win the game for you?

* What rookie is more marketable than Stephan Curry?

* If you are going to trade one of your young players, doesn’t it make more sense to trade Monta?

* When is Cohan going to give Warriors season ticket holders the $3 mm he promised them last fall?

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RT Checks the Wire 6/30/09


* Repeat after me - "Mentioning Matt Cain in the same breathe as Tim Lincecum is insulting"

* Good article in about aging players and how 33 is the magic number for position players who don't take steroids. Is it possible that the Renteria could look worse than it did a day ago? The answer is YES.

* Chances of the Giants screwing up the Lincecum contract situation ... 95%.


* Why do the Warriors need Amare? Will someone please answer that question for me. I just don't get it.

* The best part of this article is this "C.J. Watson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Warriors have the right to match any offer he receives." Isn't this the next article on C.J. Watson ... The Warriors have decided not to match Oakland Tech's offer of $25,000 a year to C.J Watson to coach their boys basketball team.


* From the writer who said the Magic were going to win the Finals because Dwight Howard can dunk hard, here is his next great article ... the importance of women's soccer.


* Interesting story about Alex Smith

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Checking the Wire 6/29/09


I'm starting to worry about Kawakami, he's being too positive lately.

Tough news for one of the A's promising young starters. Looks like Tommy John for Josh Outman.

During this time of tainted sluggers and records, Gwen Knapp goes back to 61* and says that Cooperstown should induct Roger Maris.


If you missed it yesterday, Kawakami updated the Amare/Warriors situation and threw a new name into the mix, last year's #2 pick, Michael Beasley. Pure speculation on TK's part, but very interesting. RT is going to put together his own piece on the Warriors' trade options this offseason for tomorrow or Wednesday.


Matt Barrows eases your offseason 49ers needs with an in-depth look at the D-Line. Part 2. I know this is only his second season, but this is a make or break year for Balmer. He needs to be starting by the second half of the season or it's going to be tough to dodge the Bust label. First round picks are supposed to have the ability to get on the field quickly. Barrows mentions Balmer has been working out with justin Smith, so if he still can't make the starting lineup with a high motor mentor like Smith?


I went to Santa Cruz, which was foggy, instead of watching the US-Brazil Confed Cup final. Nuff said, right? Nope. Props to Ann Killion, though as she actually follows soccer.


The Bay Area/Country seemed amp'd for the NBA Draft/Trades involved on Thursday, but what about the NHL draft? Purdy says it was a bore for the Sharks, but the off season could get more exciting...

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Christmas Day for Warriors Fans, Part 2

by RT

(In Part 1, I discussed the players I like, dislike and strongly dislike in the 2009 NBA Draft.  In Part 2, I will discuss the top 5 players I would like to see the Warriors pick and why.)

Before we get to the top 5, let me further explain my philosophy on the NBA Draft. Every lottery team needs to ask themselves the following question before they make their selection – “Can I see this player turning into an IT player?” If the answer is “No” then you should not pick him. I hate the concept of picking based on need and not on potential stardom.  Some of the best players of all-time (Kobe, Garnett, Michael) have been passed on because a team “needed” a point guard or a center.  Until David Stern or one of his underlings is not running the NBA, there is no reason to select anyone who doesn’t have a high ceiling with a lottery pick.  With that being said, let’s take a look at what should be the top 5 players on the Warriors draft board. 

5. James Harden

How talent poor is the 2009 NBA Draft? I have James Harden in my Warriors top 5. I said in part 1, I think Harden is destined for the middle level exception. However, he does have a little Paul Pierce in him.  He can score from anywhere and only needs a little bit of space to get his shot off.  The biggest question is not his talent but his drive to be great.  In college, he played with the motivation of a stoned-sloth and allowed his immense amount of talent to separate him from other players.  The reality is that some guys are motivated by money and turn into completely different players once their pay check is tied to how many points they score.  While I don’t believe this to be the case with Harden, he does have a higher ceiling than anyone else besides our top four.

Why he works for the Warriors: Put it this way, he doesn’t fit in their immediate plans but if he starts to exhibit the potential many have pinned on him, the Warriors won’t need Azubuike.

(Did I mention this is a bad draft?) 

4. Earl Clark

Either Earl Clark or Terrence Williams will be seen as a steal 5 years from now.  I am leaning towards Clark because of his size and unique talent.  When the biggest question about a guy is his off the court problems, he is my guy.  Similar to DeMar DeRozan, he has a sky is the limit ceiling.  He can handle the ball, rebound and has a 7’2” wing span.  Clark is the definition of a high risk, high reward player.

Why he works for the Warriors: The two things the Warriors have going for them when it comes to dealing with young trouble makers is Nellie and Capt. Jack.  Nellie’s tough love seemed to motivate Randolph to work harder and I know it made him a better player.  If you are going to give Jackson a ridiculous extension, you might as well let him use his mentoring skills on a player like Clark.

3. Tyreke Evans

This guy is not a freakish athlete but he does possess all the skills that could make him a great player in the Association.  He can handle the ball, shoot over point guards and finish around the basketball.  I would consider him a more motivated James Harden that can handle the ball. If he can deal with the rigors of playing point guard in the NBA, he will create all kinds of match-up problems for opposing teams that do not have big point guards because of his size and strength.

Why he works for the Warriors: He is strong enough to guard an NBA shooting guard which should mitigate one of the Warriors biggest problems which is Monta Ellis on the defensive end.

2. DeMar DeRozan

There has been a lot of talk about how DeRozan did not put up the numbers that was expected of him when he was at USC.  While some attribute his low production to a lack of talent, I have a different take. He played on a very dysfunctional USC team that was full off selfish players that played with OJ Mayo jealousy the entire season. The last thing Daniel Hackett and Taj Gibson were going to do was watch another freshman hurt their chances of playing in the NBA. As a result, the team had no flow and a coach that did a lot more recruiting than coaching. 

DeRozan is the type of freakish athlete that excels at the NBA level and there is every reason to believe he could blossom into a great player. There is no denying the huge risk that he represents because of his lack of production at USC but his upside is enormous.  You can teach people how to be great athletes but you can teach them how to shot.  DeRozan is the definition of the type of risk NBA GMs should take when picking #7 in the draft.  When you ask the question - “Can I see this player turning into an IT player?”  The answer is YES!

Why he works for the Warriors: The Warriors have not had an IT player that cannot only score but defend his position since … Tim Hardaway?

1. Ricky Rubio

Simply put, he has the most upside in this draft. There isn’t one player (including Griffin) that could be a regular All-Star more than Rubio. He has been playing pro basketball for years and playing it well. If he comes anywhere close to living up to expectations as a passer, he will improve everyone around him and, almost more importantly, sell a lot of tickets. Until hand checking is allowed back in the NBA, Rubio is the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Why he works for the Warriors: He works in everyway possible. He is a pure point guard that can create open looks for their solid wing players. He is not a great on ball defender which is also not a huge problem for the Warriors if they start playing Biedrins and Turiaf together down low.  There is no reason the Warriors should not trade up to get him.

(The Clippers should trade Griffin for Rubio and another player. Of course, this trade makes too much sense for the lowly Clippers)

Random Draft Thoughts

* Every scout agrees that Griffin and Thabeet are offensively challenged. If they go 1 and 2 in the draft, isn’t this like saying the top two picks in the MLB draft can’t hit a fastball?

* How good of a couch is Roy Williams? He has won two National Championships with basically low first round talent.

* If the Warriors take Jordan Hill, I may turn my allegiance to a NBDL team.

* Is Kevin Love really that much better than Tyler Hansbrough?

* Rubio will regret the day he said he was willing to play in Sacramento over OKC.

* Did I mention that taking Jordan Hill would be a huge mistake?

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Christmas Day for Warriors Fans, Part 1

by RT

For die-hard Warriors fans, the Baron Davis led 06-07 Warriors team ruined our annual holiday which is the NBA Draft.  Luckily for us, the 08-09 Warriors lived up to expectations and failed to make the playoffs.  As a result, I get to write this two-part NBA Draft preview.

In part 1, we will look at a few of the players that are making headlines this week.  Each of the selected players will be put into a group that (I believe) accurately predicts where they should be drafted based on their actual potential. 

Group 1: Should not be drafted in the first round let alone the lottery

Hasheem Thabeet

I am so sick of people comparing this guy to Diekmbe Mutumbo.  From his first day at Georgetown, Mutumbo gained satisfaction in blocking shots and reminding opposing players that he owned the paint with his signature finger wag.  Later on, he developed a serviceable offensive game and was at his best when he teamed up with Allen Iverson to make the NBA Finals in 2001.  Thabeet has nothing that even resembles the fire or the pride in his game needed to be successful at the highest level.  All you need to know about Thabeet is that he was so broken up by his team’s loss at the Final Four that he sat in the stands during the National Championship game wearing sunglasses with a big smile on his face.  He could be out of the league in 5 years.  Where is the upside?

Jordan Hill

Let me get this straight – Jordan Hill is a 6’9” power forward who is (“in theory”) a top 5 pick yet his team barely made the NCAA tournament and were dominated by their rivals (ASU) during his time at U of A. At best, he is good everything, great at nothing.  Sounds like the perfect franchise player to me!  Can you say Jared Jefferies?

(Brandon Jennings would have made this list but he is no longer projected as a lottery pick)

Group 2: Could be a productive NBA player but not worth the pick they will be taken at

Blake Griffin

Maybe I am missing something but isn’t Blake Griffin a poor man’s Dwight Howard

Freakish Athleticism: Check

No Jumper: Check

Low Basketball IQ: Check

Never going to be a go team player at the end of the game: Check

Don’t get me wrong, I know the guy is going to average 10 and 10 but he is not going to pay the dividends that teams should expect from the number one pick overall.

Stephen Curry

Why does everyone think Curry is going to be this great point guard?  He has been a scorer his entire life and now he is going to be asked to distribute the ball at the highest level of basketball on the planet.  Not exactly the easiest transition.  The majority of great point guards in the league played point guard in college and the best exception to that statement is Rajon Rondo.  However, how good would Rondo be if he was drafted by the Bucks? Think about it. Again, I think Curry will be a decent NBA player but stardom seems far from likely.

(More on Rondo, Danny Ainge would not be shopping the guy if he was as good as the media makes him out to be.)

James Harden

There is a very good chance that James Harden could have the mid-level exception named after him when his career is over.  Remember Will from Good Will Hunting?  Of course you do.  Well, James Harden will be Will Hunting’s equivalent in the NBA.  Harden has borderline All-Star talent with zero desire to do anything more than give B+ effort and collect $5 mm a year.  There is no doubt in my mind that one team will be tricked into picking him in the top 5.

Group 3: The NBA is a star driven league and these guys could become “IT” players

DeMar DeRozan

Besides Ricky Rubio, who in this draft has a higher ceiling than DeMar DeRozan?  The guy has an NBA body right now and is a super athlete.  He is not nearly as polished as O.J. Mayo was when he came out but is a better athlete and could be viewed as having more potential.  As long as David Stern is running the NBA, you will always need IT players to win the NBA Championship and DeRozan is one of the few players in this draft that could develop into an IT player.

Tyreke Evans

All I should have to say is 6’5” 195 lbs. and he plays the point.  What you need to know about him besides being a big PG is that he can distribute the ball and has the potential to cause all kinds of match-up problems if he is selected by a team with an above-average point guard.  There are very few teams that can boast two proven ball handlers on the perimeter and Evans could provide certain teams with that type of versatility. Similar to DeRozan, he has a higher ceiling than most players that are projected to go in the lottery.

Ricky Rubio

His ceiling is a taller version of Steve Nash (two-time MVP).  I don’t understand how he is not the automatic #2 pick.  How exactly can the Grizzles justify to their fans taking Thabeet over Rubio?  Numerous players on the Redeem Team raved about his skills in Beijing and yet some NBA GMs are afraid to take him.  Not only does he have the potential to be a great player, but he will also increase ticket sales which will offset the money you might have to pay to get him out of Spain.  Nobody is going to go out and buy season tickets to see James Harden or Jordan Hill but they will to see Rubio.  Besides Griffin, Rubio is hands down the best pick a team can make in the 2009 NBA Draft.

(Part 2 will focus on the Warriors and their draft “situation”)

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Checking the Wire 6/24/09


Kawakami examines the Warriors' case for drafting Stephen Curry.

From yesterday, Kawakami compares and contrasts the Spurs and Warriors after the Spurs were able to unload three expiring contracts to add Richard Jefferson.

Bruce Jenkins says Jordan Hill will be the Warriors' pick, if they pass on a point guard.


Matt Downs is still playing 2B for the Giants and not Kevin Frandsen. RT steps back from the ledge.

Ricky Henderson is a great interview, Hall of Fame even.

The A's 1989 reunion party wasn't a bash, probably because the Bash Brothers weren't there.

Baggs makes the case for Pablo Sandoval to be an All-Star. Baggs makes another good point, sorry RT, that there should be a Bay Bridge trophy that one team keeps from season to season.


The 49ers are who they will be on opening day.

What to do with Vernon Davis?
Kevin Lynch takes a closer look.

Practive squad eligible 49ers.


This press conference remix is making the rounds, so I might as well link to it. Broadway Joe and T-Pain need to do an album!

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Checking the Wire 6/23/09


Tim Kawakami's Warriors Draft Scenario #2, DeMar DeRozan. Remember when the Warriors drafted Anthony Randolph even though they already had Brandon Wright? This is like that, again.

Gwen Knapp kicks some dirt on Donald Fehr after he announced his retirement yesterday, but the link is worth clicking for the McGwire picture reward.

Warriors Fast Break Blog looks at rookie playing time under Don Nelson. No bueno.


I smell a September call up, don't you?

The Giants may have lost to the A's lsat night, but they've won the more important matchup. 1989 team reunion attendance! FACE, A's fans!

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First Round Rookie WRs. What 2009 Statistics Mean Going Forward

by Koski

Perception is everything in the NFL, and the NFL is perceived as being very mobile from the top of the standings to the bottom from year to year. Such is the case in the Bay Area, where six seasons of losing has not soured the offseason optimism of Bay Area football fans. In fact, regular offseason optimism has been bolstered by the selection of playmaking wide receivers in this year’s draft. “With the seventh pick of the 2009 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Darrius Heyward-Bey…” As soon as the words left Commissioner Roger Goodell’s mouth, the 2009 NFL draft had its first round storyline. Desperate to make a move in the standings and in need of a dynamic receiver, the Raiders selected Heyward-Bey, which consequently enabled highly touted Michael Crabtree to fall to the 49ers with the 10th pick. Not only did experts claim Heyward-Bey was a reach over Crabtree, but they had fellow first round picks Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks rated higher as well. After 2008 saw zero picked in the first round, 2009 saw six teams select playmaking receivers in the first round. The Vikings picked Percy Harvin to compliment Adrian Peterson’s running attack and free up Bernard Berrian’s downfield speed. The Eagles picked Jeremy Maclin to bolster their passing game and appease Donovan McNabb. The Giants picked Hakeem Nicks to fill the void left by Plaxico Burress’ release, while the Tennessee Titans picked Kenny Britt hoping to draft the first reliable receiving option since Derrick Mason in 1997 and balance out their offensive attack. That’s six fan bases that will be scrutinizing and dissecting their first round receiver all year long, searching for a verdict on ability. But what rookie statistics are important for a successful career? What can 2009 tell us about who made the “right” pick and who whiffed? What statistics can the average fan point to and say, “Receiver X was a good pick because….?” In an attempt to answer who was the better pick, Heyward-Bey or Crabtree, I searched for some statistical indicators that fans can keep track of this season that, hopefully, will help evaluate this year’s first round receivers solely on the basis of their rookie year statistics.

The first indicator is seemingly basic. No, not seemingly basic, just basic: the number of games started. Most first round rookie wide receivers (FRRWRs) are thrust onto the field immediately. After all, that’s why they were drafted in the first place, right? The reason Games Started is a good indication of future success is because it shows that the FRRWR is good enough to displace those ahead of him on the depth chart and, more importantly, he possesses the ability and health to stay on the field throughout the season. You’ve probably heard it before, but it warrants repeating. Health is a skill. Heyward-Bey is already battling hamstring problems during OTAs while Michael Crabtree has yet to get on the practice field as he heals from foot surgery. Tim Kawakami addressed the issue of rookie health last week:

An old coach told me long ago that the first thing rookies have to prove is that they can stay healthy in the NFL–the practices are harder and more important than in college, the games are tougher, and the willingness to baby players is less prevalent.

If they can’t get through practices, doesn’t matter how talented they are, they’ll never make it as NFL standouts.

Since 1988, the average FRRWR has started about half of the sixteen game schedule. That’s the average FRRWR, but what number of starts is an indicator of a promising future? Starting a lot of games may not mean anything more a stubborn coaching staff or a lack of better options. A FRRWR may get thrown onto the field at the beginning of the season and not produce, leading to a loss of playing time as the season goes forward. Conversely, a FRRWR may have trouble getting on the field early in the season due to various reasons and only log starts after his team has thrown in the towel. Parsing the data, most successful receivers started at least 10 games as FRRWRs. Seventy-six FRRWRs have been chosen since 1988. Of those, thirty have started more than ten games in their rookie seasons. Of these thirty, twelve have made at least one Pro Bowl, with ten selected to multiple Pro Bowls. That’s more than a 40% chance you have a Pro Bowl caliber player if your FRRWR starts at least 10 games. A 40 percent success rate is nothing to hang your hat on, but it’s more than double the success rate for FRRWRs who start fewer than 10 games, where only nine of forty-six made a Pro Bowl. 10 starts is a good start (get it) but is still incomplete for evaluation purposes, as Reggie Williams and Rod Gardner each started 10 games as rookies.

Scoring is the second FRRWR success indicator, but we should first eliminate the unrealistic expectations. Don’t expect double digit touchdowns from a FRRWR. Of the 76 FRRWRs drafted since 1988, only one has caught double-digit touchdowns: Randy Moss in 1998 when he burst onto the scene with 17 receiving touchdowns! Seventeen! That was good enough to tie fifth best all time among all receivers, not just rookies! Over the last twenty seasons, no other FRRWR has reached double digits. The next highest FRRWR totals are Eddie Kennison in 1996 and Lee Evans in 2004 with nine apiece. I think it’s fairly obvious that a FRRWR who catches double-digit TDs is probably going to be pretty good, but if he only sniffs out one or two, it doesn’t mean he’s doomed either (For example: Sterling Sharpe 1, Roddy White 3, Calvin and Andre Johnson 4). After all, Donte Stallworth caught eight TDs as a rookie while Reggie Wayne didn’t catch one. The best TD indicator of future success seems to be five touchdowns. Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson are notable FRRWRs with 4 TDs, but so are JJ Stokes and Charles Johnson. Of all the FRRWRs since ’88 with five or more TDs, nine of the 19 are Pro Bowlers, with seven having more than three Pro Bowl appearances. Also among those 19 FRRWRs with 5 TDs is Dwayne Bowe. Add Bowe to the Pro Bowl party and you’ve got the majority of FRRWRs with 5 TDs being Pro Bowl caliber players. Great receivers are great playmakers. Great playmakers know how to find the end zone and five seems like the magic number for FRRWRs. Less than a quarter of the FRRWRs catching less than five touchdowns have made a Pro Bowl.

The next indicator is receiving yards, and the cut off number was surprising. First off, forget about 1,000 yards. It’s big, it’s sexy, but it’s rare and won’t help us evaluate the FRRWRs going forward. Only four FRRWRs have gone over the 1,000 yard mark since ’88: ’98 Randy Moss, 1313, ’04 Michael Clayton, 1193, ’96 Terry Glenn, 1132, ’95 Joey Galloway, 1039. Since 1,000 yards is not going to be helpful, what yardage total will help us evaluate our FRRWRs? Surprisingly enough, that number appears to be a rather unimpressive 650 yards. Twelve of the 25 FRRWR with at least 650 yards receiving have made a Pro Bowl and that group of 12 does not include our friends Dwayne Bowe and Calvin Johnson. Add one of those guys and a majority of FRRWRs with at least 650 yards are Pro Bowl caliber players. The crazy thing is that 650 yards is that it’s a pretty mediocre total for a receiver. In fact, 650 yards comes out to slightly less than 41 yards a game over an entire season or roughly Bobby Wade’s 2008 yardage total. That’s it. Match Bobby Wade’s numbers from 2008 as a FRRWR and you’re more likely than not to have a promising NFL future. The FRRWRs who failed to gain 650 yards is a mish mash of hits and misses with less than 20 percent of them becoming Pro Bowlers.

Each indicator so far offers some value in and of itself, but when a FRRWR achieves all three, you can be fairly certain you’ve got a Pro Bowl caliber player. The list of FRRWRs who started at least 10 games, gained more than 650 yards receiving and caught 5 TDs totals 13 players, 8 of whom made a Pro Bowl:

This is a pretty impressive list, even the non-Pro Bowlers on the list were worthy of being first round selections: future Pro Bowler, Dwayne Bowe, surprising non-Pro bowler, Joey Galloway, deep threat, Lee Evans, better numbers than you thought, Eddie Kennison and injury plagued Michael Clayton. The evaluation of the 2009 FRRWRs will be incomplete until several seasons of data reveals the complete truth, but we can still make some reliable predictions based on rookie statistics.

Research Bonus: Which was the best first round draft for wide receivers since 1988? Time will tell, but right now it comes down to 1988 or 1996. The 1988 first round receiver class was headlined by Tim Brown, Sterling Sharpe, Michael Irvin and Anthony Miller with Aaron Cox and Wendell Davis the less notable selections. The 1988 picks combined for a total of 24 Pro Bowl selections, 3,343 receptions, 48,852 yards and 315 touchdowns and two became Hall of Famers (Irvin and Brown). The 1996 first round featured Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Eddie Kennison, Marvin Harrison and Eric Moulds. A total of 15 Pro Bowl selections, 3,821 receptions, 52,314 yards and 327 touchdowns and probably only one Hall of Famer (Harrison). The 1996 draft has better stats and is more talented overall, but 1988 has more Pro Bowl appearances and an extra Hall of Famer. I want to say that the 1988 class came of age during a less pass happy offensive time in the NFL, but the average pass offense in 1988 threw for 3210 yards passing, while the average NFL offense in 1996 threw for 3318 yards. I give the edge to the 1988 class for having more Super Bowl rings, an extra Hall of Famer and more Pro Bowl selections.

You'll find each draft class and their rookie numbers below. Click on the tabs to see how the data sorts out for a given category.

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Checking the Wire 6/22/09


Fear not, Tennis fans! Bruce Jenkins has your Wimbledon preview! Can you name more than 10 people who like Tennis? Bruce Jenkins, Ted Robinson, maybe Ralph Barbieri, umm, Mike and the Mad Dog, I think and that's all I can manage.


Will Clark played with the Giants for only seven seasons, but he is my favorite Giant and the favorite of most Giants fans of my era. Why? I don't know exactly what it was, but it's all over this article.

Sandoval batted clean up and, what happened, Scott Ostler? He "cleaned up." Let me get this straight. The Giants' best hitter still hit well batting fourth instead of third or fifth? I have to sit down.

In slightly less shocking news, Moneyball: The Movie, is pretty much done.

Randy Winn: The Bad News, trade value might be negative. The Good News, he won't be a Giant next year.

Nobody writes about the A's. I'm actually beginning to feel a little sorry for A's fans. Not even their beat writers do post game notes. So, here are the MLB standings, enjoy the analysis, A's fans.


Nelson? Riley? Rowell? Cohan? Who is running things in Oakland? Monta Ellis.

Kawakami's first installment of Warriors' draft scenarios(NBA draft is Thursday), today's episode: Jordan Hill
Money Quote:

(Again, hate to do the negative thing, but just for comparison’s sake, Ike Diogu was a 22.6/9.75 guy in his third and final season at Arizona State. That’s a bad comparison for any Hill drafting, I realize.)

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Checking the Wire 6/19/09


All it takes is a little cynical speculation by Kawakami and the TK haters flood the comment boards. Seriously, read a few of the comments below the post, those people are insane!Even if yo believe that RileSon flew to Memphis just to tell ME he's their cornerstone and massage his ego, you should realize that is outside normal opporating procedure.

Adam Lauridsen with a nice overview of Nellie's draft history and preferences.


When Scott Ostler is taking dumps on your team, that's pretty much the bottom of the barrel, right?


Orlando Cabrera says he sucks right now. Edgar, do you have something to say for yourself?

From Rob Neyer's Friday Filberts, Ben Zobrist is leading the AL in Slugging. Almost as surprising, Torii Hunter is second.

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RT Checks the Wire 6/18/09


* If you like soccer, you cannot miss FC Barcelona's visit to the Bay Area.


* The Giants have been secretly shopping Sanchez for two years and they have been holding out for a bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles but the best offer they got was day old Cheetos. As a result, they realized is a mediocre pitcher and might be moving him to the bullpen.

* This is what Mel Hall's lawyer said after they handed him a 45 year prison sentence for rape: "For all the good this man has done in his life, it seems like this was an excessive verdict" HE RAPED A 12 YEAR OLD GIRL AND RUINED HER LIFE FOREVER!!! This guy should be in jail for saying that.

* Extra Baggs asks (in theory) a rhetorical question: "Can any matchup in baseball be more entertaining than Tim Lincecum vs. Vladimir Guerrero?". Lincecum v. Pujols, Manny v. Santana, Verlander v. A-Rod, King Felix v. Cabrera ... I guess nobody told a guy whose job is to watch baseball that Vlad is washed up.

* You should be kicked out of baseball if you give up a home run to Rajai Davis.


* Great players do the work to be great ... JaMarcus Russell talks about it. I would like to thank my parents for not making me a Raiders fan.


* Jonny Flynn is better than Jordan Hill but not that much better.

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Wire Check 6/17/09


The Monta Situation has not diffused over time. Kawakami runs down the options that face the Warriors heading into the draft regarding The Monta Situation. Let me float my own theory out there. Riley and Nelson heard the grumblings of ME and decided to preemptively strike before Monta's trade value plummeted by him demanding a trade through the media. Rileson flew out to Memphis and massaged ME's ego and said his best option was to tow the line while Rileson look for the best deal. Rileson told ME that if he demands a trade publicly, it will make things exceedingly more difficult to move him, so they come up with some BS story about not drafting another play making guard. Aren't you supposed to draft play makers in the Top 10? Very suspicious to say the least.

Kawakami's then expands on how The Monta Situation and other actions since the back-stabbing of Mullin have reverberated around the league, and not in a good way, at all.

Kevin Love tweeted that his coach, Kevin McHale, was going to be fired and broke the story. How is it different than some unknown front office source leaking that info to someone in the media? This isn't an issue of Kevin Love mis-twittering(?), it's ownership's fault for taking too long to pull the trigger publicly.

Mark Purdy spotlights a rookie free agent with tremendous measurables, but a lot of baggage, tasered by police baggage, to hurdle before he makes it.


Frank Gore and Moran Norris are BFFs!
Isn't it strange? A tailback and his lead blocker becoming friends? Weird, right? I know.

Thanks for mailing it in, Ratto. You told us nothing and nothing.


Sammy Sosa. Tested positive. For PED's in 2003. I guess someone has to write something, but this:

If Sosa had any chance for a Cooperstown induction, Tuesday's development seriously hurt.
Sosa had almost no chance for Cooperstown before Tuesday's development and all Tuesday did was give the BBWAA more ammunition to continue being holier than thou.


The Sharks are in the mix for a Swedish goalie.

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RT Checks the Wire 6/16/09


* Am I the only one saying here we go again?

* Just in case you were wondering ... Billy Beane signed this guy over Tim Hudson, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon ... the man is a genius alright.


* The red card against the US yesterday was borderline criminal.


* In the world of stupid headlines, this headline is one of the worst. However, you do get a picture of what the new Niners stadium might look like.


* What you need to take from this is that NOBODY wants to play for the Warriors. Will somebody rich please buy the team ... PLEASE!!

* Headline 5 years from now: After two years on the bench for the T-wolves and 3 years on 3 different Euro league teams, Patty Mills agrees to become an assistant head coach at St. Marys.

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Checking the Wire 6/15/09


"See what you get Warriors? See what you get when..." you suck for more than a decade? We are subjected to articles about how the Lakers can maintain their roster for another C-h-a-m-p-i-o-n-s-h-i-p run. I hate the Lakers.

In actual Warriors news, MTII promotes the idea of drafting Stephen Curry and if not, at least make the Knicks pay to get him. I'll say this about that. Even if Stephen Curry's basketball IQ is the complete opposite of Mikael Pietrus' Bball IQ, he's too small to match with Monta. Just for fun, let's look at how a Monta/Curry starting lineup would matchup against the World Champion Lakers.

PG Curry 6'3 180 v. Derek Fisher/Jordan Farmar 6'1 210/6'2 180
SG Ellis 6'3 180 v. Kobe 6'6 205
SF Jackson 6'8 215 v. Ariza 6'8 210
PF Randolph 6'10 210 v. Gasol 7'0 250
C Biedrins 6'11 240 v. Bynum 7'0 285

This is from Friday
, but apparently it doesn't matter if Janny Hu is on vacation or not, you won't get a lot of substance from the Warriors writers.

It would probably be something like: the rights to Hill and Corey Maggette for the rights to Williams, an easily bought-out contract from Jerry Stackhouse and a future first-round pick.
You still in?
Are you kidding me? Of course I'm in! By all accounts this is not a great draft after the first two picks. Isn't it a no-brainer to make that trade if it means moving Corey Maggette and his $40MM over the next four years for one year and $7.5MM of Jerry Stackhouse?

Bruce Jenkins points out that all of Kobe's rings have come against sucky Eastern teams: Old Pacers, AI and the Sixers, JKidd and the Nets and the Magic.


Nate Shierholtz hit an inside the park HR and had a nice assist from right field and he's from Danville. Giants fans, get your hopes up!! This guy must be the real deal.

RIP Eric Chavez' baseball career.

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Checking the Wire 6/11/09


Bruce Jenkins is bitching about the Giants' 6-4 road trip? The game to bitch about was the first game in Washington where the bullpen blew the game for Lincecum.

Gwen Knapp points out the hypocrisy that is the NCAA.

Some guy (is Susan Slusser on vacation?) tries to produce some smack about the Giants to hype up A's-Giants this weekend. FAIL!

In Baggs' post game notes, a quote from Nate Schierholtz sums up the whole Bay Area-Giants-A's vibe.

Schierholtz said he went to more A’s games, but he was a bigger Giants fan.


Something just doesn't sound right reading Ratto's head line. Just keep those 2 girls away from that 1 cup. Ratto seems to be hinting that the Sharks may have been passed by several teams in the west, with or without Marleau.


The Warriors need a PG and this is the draft to get one. Kawakami on the latest PGs to workout with the Warriors.

MTII takes a closer look at potential Warriors' draft pick, Brandon Jennings. Thompson sums up what the Warriors choices are:
The question is going to become what the Warriors want most: a playmaker who can’t shoot (Jennings), an excellent shooter who isn’t really a true point (Stephan Curry), a shooting guard with some point guard skills (Evans), a prototype NBA point guard who needs a lot of development (Holiday), an undersized, hard-nosed PG (Flynn), or a veteran off another roster.


Matt Maiocco wraps up the latest round of 49ers OTAs with some interesting stuff about QBs coach Mike Johnson.

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RT Checks the Wire 6/11/09

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Peavey to the Giants...Why not?

by RT

One of the best pitchers in Major League baseball is on the trading block and there has been no discussion of the Giants having any interest. Up until 3 years ago, the media and fans would have been demanding the Giants at least make an attempt to acquire such a player. Now, we can’t even find a random fan tweeting about the topic. Has the Giants pitching become so good that they don’t need to consider such an acquisition? No. It is time to wake up the fan base and so we can tell the front office … we need Jake Peavy.

Here are some reasons on why it is a good idea:

* Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Lester, Sabathia, Beckett, Lincecum, Zambrano, Peavy, Billingsley and Hamels. What do these 10 pitchers have in common? They are the only proven strike out pitchers that are under the age of 30. It is no mystery that if you have one of these guys on your team, you have an ace for the next 4 or 5 years (at least). The only team with two of them is the Boston Red Sox and it just might be the reason they are the gold standard when it comes to major league baseball franchises. Guess what … there is only one guy that is available to the highest bidder.

* The 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in the World Series for two reasons: Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. Two proven aces on one pitching staff makes ANY team an instant contender and, in some cases, the favorite to win a pennant. Again, the Red Sox are the favorite to win the World Series and it little to do with Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. If the Giants acquired Peavy, they’d have the best one-two punch in the National League for the next 6 years.

* Winning World Series is about having dominant starting pitching not great starting pitching. Greg Maddox and Tom Glavine were great pitchers but John Smoltz was the dominating pitcher on the staff and the reason they won the World Series in 1995. Dominant pitchers have a distinct advantage over their less dominant peers, fear. If you surveyed every national league hitter and asked them the top 3 pitchers they fear in the National League, how many of them mention Matt Cain?  

* Pop quiz, what is the wealthiest area in the United States after New York and Los Angeles … the San Francisco Bay Area. The Giants fan base is predominately white collar workers spread across a large metropolitan area and the pay roll is only $2 mm more than the Milwaukee Brewer!? THE BREWERS!!! The concept that they don’t have money to spend doesn’t make any sense. We are in the middle of one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen and people are still buying $700,000 homes with only one bathroom! If you are not selling out the stadium you don’t need to look any farther than the second floor of the Giants building where the sales and marketing department sits. The Giants can afford to pay Lincecum, Cain, Peavy and a couple free agent hitters if they ran the business correctly.

* Prospects are exactly that … prospects. Holding on to prospects to see if they will become proven entities is just stupid when you can acquire a top flight player. Period.

So here’s what I am proposing …

Cain, (any player on the team not named Lincecum or Sandoval) and top pitching prospect Tim Alderson for Peavy.

The Giants get another number one starter who is under 30 and do not have to give up their two best prospects in the minor leagues. The Padres get a major league proven pitcher, a young major leaguer (thinking Burriss here) and a 5-star prospect in Alderson.

What’s the worst thing that could happen … the Giants don’t win the World Series. Wait, that happens every year.

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RT Checks the Wire 6/9/09


- The A's have won 7 straight and could finish second in the AL West this season.

- Funny story about the first pick in the MLB Draft.

- I guess having a mistress can come back to haunt you.

- Bruce Jenkins has determined that no amateur player was worth a $1 mm signing bonus. If A-rod was not worth $1 mm at 18 what is Renteria worth at 33??

- Hilarious article about the clown that is Aubrey Huff.


- Some guy named Dashon Goldson is playing well in Niners camp. Football season is too far away to care ... I know, I am not allowed to hate on the NFL if I want to consider myself American.


- The real story is that Cam Inman is still allowed to write after picking the Magic because Dwight Howard can dunk.

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RT Checks the Wire 6/4/09


* You have to love a guy writing for the first major newspaper that will likely go out of business who rips a city for not getting a new stadium.

* David White suggests patience when looking at Heyward-Bey. I suggest a new pair of hands and better route running. We will see who is right.


* As long as we continue to get killed by inferior countries, soccer is never going to be big in the United States.


* I think I might have a case for plagiarism against Kawakami

* Cam Inman has decided that the reason the Magic are going to beat the Lakers is because Dwight Howard is charismatic and dunks hard. Impressive argument counselor.


* A's win ... nobody cares.

* Great trade yesterday by the Giants. It is about time they started aggressively going after a young hitter. (sarcasm)

* A national look at what the Giants need. HINT: it's not pitching

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RT's Quick Thoughts About the NBA Finals

* I’ve told my brother, I’ve told my Dad, I’ve told the guy down at Pete’s, I said “IT” to anyone who will listen (Koski is sick of hearing about "IT"…) … you cannot win the NBA championship with at least one “IT” player and most champs have two. Dwight Howard is the best the Magic have to offer when it comes to an “IT” player, but his offensive game is far from polished. The Lakers have the greatest scorer of all-time and if Howard is an “IT” player then Pau Gasol is because what Gasol lacks in athleticism he easily makes up for in scoring ability. Like it or not, the NBA is a star driven league, all the way from its marketing strategy to its champions.

* All this talk about Kobe being the best player of all time is ridiculous. He is the best scorer this game has ever seen, but he should never be in the same conversation as Magic or MJ (to name two better all around players). To be considered the best, you have to do more than score and play good defense. Kobe has questionable leadership ability and has given up on his teammates numerous times throughout the year/playoffs. Anyone with half a brain knows that Magic and MJ were the complete package. Kobe is not.

* No matter who wins this series, the 2008-09 NBA Champions will go down as one of the worst champions in recent memory. (I would even take the ’04 Pistons over either of these teams)

* Prediction: Lakers in 6

* In the spirit of accountability, I chose the Lakers at the start of the season to win the NBA championship … against the Sixers. You can’t get them all right.

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Checking the Wire 6/3/09


The Bay Area could feature two upper echelon starting rotations in the near future. However, as Ray Ratto points out, "The A's, in short, are repelling more people than they are attracting."

Third base has been very ugly for the A's and Matt Holliday would rather be traded to a contender than rot on the A's. Well, if he wants to get traded, he should probably start hitting home runs and up his trade value. Billy Beane will try and get as much value from Holliday as possible and if Beane can't get what he wants in a trade he'll hold onto Holliday and take the draft pick when Holliday leaves as a free agent in the winter.

As the Big Unit targets win #300, Cam Inman looks at former players who came close, but failed to hit milestones. I think my favorite is, "Dale Murphy (398, retired after hitting 0 home runs in 26 games with 1993 Colorado Rockies)" I used to despise Dale Murphy, because he was on the Braves, and the Braves were in the same division as the Giants way back when and he was their best player. You have to give him credit for trying and then realizing if you go homerless in 26 games, 13 at Coors Field, it's probably time to hang 'em up.

Mark Purdy's Top Ten Bay Area related milestones.


Really, Scott Ostler? Really? You're going to critique Stan Van Gundy's coaching? After he's knocked off the defending champs and the team with the best record in the regular season to reach the finals? "Ideally, timeout speeches inspire the players to think." Umm, usually timeouts are to stop the other team's momentum, or to draw up a play a the end of the game. This is the NBA. The players are PROFESSIONALS. They know what is required.

Is it just me or are journalists the only ones really upset about the LeBron James thing? Sure, it was poor sportsmanship, but it seems that it's only a story because by walking out of the media, King James made it harder for them to do their jobs.


Jerry Mac has some statistical markers for Raiders fans to keep an eye on.

Nate Clements is missing OTAs with pneumonia.

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RT Checks the Wire - 6/2/09


Gavin Newsom doesn't like the 49ers.

Dre Bly is excited to be a 49er ... fans not so much.

I think I read this story every year about the Raiders.


John Shea says RJ could be the last 300 game winner. Sabathia might have something to say about that.

I would rather be an A's fan than a Sharks fan because at least I can expect to lose.

Is there any way the Giants cannot take a guy named Grant Green!? Anyone who has been to North Beach knows what I am saying.


Patty Mills is staying in the NBA draft ... no word on which Euro team he will play for next year.

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