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Warriors Ranked 21st In ESPN "Future Power Rankings"

ESPN has recently developed something they call their "Future Power Rankings (Insider-protected)." These rankings are ESPN's projection of the on-court success expected for each team in the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. ESPN ranks each team in five categories:

1. Players: Current players and their expected development and possible departure
2. Management: Ownership, front office, coaching
3. Money: Salary cap situation and willingness to pay the luxury tax
4. Market: Appeal to future potential free agents of the overall team and geographic market
5. Draft: Future draft picks

ESPN has now run four versions of this and after starting off poorly, the change in ownership is helping the team. More after the jump.

This is an Insider protected post and while I can't quote the whole thing, I'll draw out what information I can.

Through the first three sets of these rankings, the Warriors bounced from 26th to 29th to 28th. The newest ranking has the Warriors ranked 21st. The most recent rankings came in light of the sale of the Warriors, and ESPN put it quite well:

Rejoice, Warriors fans. After spending a year near the very bottom of our Future Power Rankings, thanks to a terrible management rating, Golden State is moving up. Chris Cohan is selling the team, and while we don't know what the new owners will do, we're confident they can't make as big a mess as Cohan, GM Larry Riley and coach Don Nelson have made.

The Warriors individual rankings were:

1. Players: 18th
2. Management: 27th
3. Money: 8th
4. Market: 19th
5. Draft: 14th

Considering they were dead last in management previously, this is certainly an improvement. The team dealt away Anthony Randolph for a talented David Lee (minus potential Randolph upside) and now would seem to be looking to build around Lee and Stephen Curry. The question, as ESPN put it, is what will the team do with Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins. Both are talented players, but given their involvement in what has generally been a culture of losing, one has to wonder if the team will unload one or both in the re-building process, and build around Curry. How they handle that will indeed be the first big test of the new ownership group.