The Golden State Warriors announced the acquisitions of guard Charlie Bell and center Dan Gadzuric from the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday in a deal that saw Golden State part ways with forward Corey Maggette.
Milwaukee also received the Warriors’ 44th overall selection in this week’s upcoming NBA draft. The Warriors acquired the 44th overall selection in exchange for the 34th overall selection the previous day when a deal was cut with the Portland Trailblazers.
Warriors General Manager Larry Riley cited the team’s youth in a press conference Tuesday as the main reason behind the trade. The average age for Golden State last season was just 25.2 years old according to ESPN.com, making them the NBA’s second youngest team behind the Memphis Grizzlies.
“Charlie (Bell) and Dan (Gadzuric) are two high-character veterans who can provide us with some of the intangibles that we need on our squad,” said Riley in a press release. “They are both experienced veterans who will be welcomed additions to our very young team.”
Gadzuric, a 6’11” center originally from Holland, has spent the past eight seasons with Milwaukee since being drafted by the Bucks with the 33rd overall selection in the 2002 draft. Gadzuric averaged just 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season with minimal playing time, but has made three playoff appearances in his NBA career.
Riley feels that nabbing an established big man in exchange for the Warriors second round pick will help a team that already has a slew of young players vying for playing time next season.
“Instead of adding a youthful guy (at pick 44), we have a person who is experienced, and the same is true for Charlie Bell,” he said. “Both of them fit in that category, which is very helpful to our team right now.”
Bell, a six year veteran, has played almost his entire career with Milwaukee in addition to brief stints overseas in both Italy and Spain. He averaged 6.5 points and 1.5 assists last season with the Bucks and also has a couple of playoff experiences under his belt. While at Michigan State, Bell was named the team’s defensive player of the year all four seasons.
Maggette, who was signed by the warriors as a free agent in 2008, averaged 19.8 ppg last season while pulling down 5.3 rebounds. Although Maggette was the second highest paid player on the Warriors roster last season ($8.9 mil.), Riley maintained that the salary cap was not the reason for trade.
Although neither one Golden State’s new additions pose much of a scoring threat compared to Maggette, Riley hopes that the trade will create more space at the small and power forward positions where the team has Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright scheduled to come back from injuries that plagued their 2009-10 campaigns. The hope is that these two, along with young forwards Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Williams, will step up and replace Maggette’s offensive production.
“We’ve got to open the door for Anthony Randoloh and Brandan Wright,” said Riley.
The trade leaves Golden State with only one pick in this week’s upcoming draft, the 6th pick overall. Riley was adamant that the team will keep trade possibilities open leading up to the draft, with the potential for more movement and the addition of another veteran player. But he said that the team is set on picking at no. 6 unless an absolutely tremendous offer is presented in the next 48 hours.
Riley wouldn’t specify on who the team was looking at with the no. 6 pick, but did say that the organization is “very close” to coming to a final decision regarding their draft board.