Friday, June 21, 2013

The Lacob Factor: Pt. 1


One thing you should never do is count Joe Lacob out if spending money is involved. The Cohan era is over people, this organization is concerned with winning. Just because the Warriors do not own a pick in this years NBA Draft does not mean they will not be making one. This wouldn't even be the first time Lacob has bought a pick. In 2011 Lacob bought the rights to big man Jeremy Tyler in the 2nd round. Did it work out? No, not really, but that's not the point. The point is and was that the Warriors lacked for young potential on the interior and Lacob had a player identified, and went and got him regardless of whether or not he had a pick.
The Warriors did a spectacular job in last years drafting process nabbing Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, and Draymond Green. They also signed Kent Bazemore to play for the Summer League team, and behind Steph Curry he may be the most beloved Warrior. They excelled in last years draft by making great picks at the end of the first round and the beginning of the second. That's what we're looking for this year, and that player may well be needed with the potential departure of Jarret Jack and Carl Landry.

The qualification to be eligible to be a Lacob factor pick is simple. I have taken three of the NBA mock drafts that I respect the most and found players that are mocked to go at pick number 20 or later in the draft. The three mocks I used are DraftExpress,, and Chad Ford's from ESPN. If a player was consistently in the late first round or even later, they were eligible to be bought by Joe Lacob. The first player eligible to be this years Lacob effect winner is...

Tony Mitchell SF/PF, North Texas, 6'9" 236 lbs. 

This would be an ambitious move by Lacob & Co. Mitchell has been consistently mocked from picks 20-25. He can be seen as a bit of a tweener, but he has incredible athleticism which can help him out at the 4 spot. We know the Warriors aren't afraid to have undersized players at the 4 with David Lee, Carl Landry, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes. Mitchell would be another young talent to add in the mix at power forward, however he is unique in that his best asset would be pure athleticism.

How he'd help: The power forwards that the Warriors have the most trouble with are the incredibly athletic ones. It seems like if a power forward can run fast and jump high, he can dominate the interior. Maybe what the Warriors need is their own super athlete to combat that. Mitchell would be able to run with anyone and go up as high as any others for a rebound.

Potential problems: One of the big questions about Mitchell was whether or not he looked so good in college was because of the level of competition he played while at North Texas. If he was just able to coast by on his athleticism, he may try and do the same in the NBA and that won't be enough. There are subtle questions about his motor and he turns the ball over a lot. The turnovers wouldn't be as much of a problem because he won't handle the ball as much as he did at North Texas. His offensive efficiency was low but that's also not a large concern because he will be far down on the list of scoring options.

Where he'd fit in: He would be added to the mix at power forward and to a lesser extent at small forward. David Lee is the unquestioned starter, but behind him coach Jackson likes to mix and match. Draymond Green takes his hard hat and lunch pail into the post every time he is called upon. Harrison Barnes saw some time at the 4 in the playoffs where we saw that having an athlete there can do wonders. Carl Landry was a key to last years Warriors team, but it is unlikely he'll be back in Oakland. Mitchell could play behind Draymond Green at the 4 which would give him some spot minutes here or there, but more importantly, time to grow and expand his game at the NBA level without being thrown to the wolves.

Conclusion: Mitchell could bring the Warriors some real athleticism at a position where they lack it. He is not needed right now, so he will have time to grow and develop. Mitchell has plenty of bust potential, but he also has the athleticism and willingness to defend to be a very nice change of pace at a position where he would be unique to the Warriors.

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