It was no secret Warriors wanted a center. They bid for Tyson Chandler, went hard after DeAndre Jordan, even enquired about Nene, but in the end, it's Kwame Brown who will be manning center for the GSW's in 2012.
First off, not a huge fan of the signing although for only a year, I do think they got a player comparable to DeAndre Jordan, who would have broken their bank to sign. I don't get the infatuation with Jordan, he can jump and rebound and cause havoc in the middle, but so can Epke Udoh and Brown will bring just that kind of presence if he's motivated and healthy. Not saying I think Brown's a better player than Jordan, just saying that the W's have overpaid their share for mediocre big men already. I'm glad they didn't waste a bunch of money in order to do so and got themselves a defensive presence in Brown. As a player, Kwame had his best seasons since '03/'04 last year with Charlotte and does seem to be maturing into a player who knows his limitations and is effective because of it. He's never lived up to his #1 pick billing, so people will always look upon him with a frown, but he's a Warrior now and he's got my full backing. If the W's get the player who showed up in Charlotte in the 2nd half (10/7 per night), then he'll probably take the starting job from Biedrins without much of a fight. The only other center being possibly discussed was Samuel Dalembert, so Brown doesn't look so bad considering. What surprised me the most upon hearing this signing was that Biedrins was not amnestied, instead they used it on Charlie Bell. Should make for an interesting short preseason!
So, assuming Brown wins the mini-starting competition vs. Biedrins this preseason, the W's lineup looks pretty set, especially since Chris Paul has been dealt and the Warriors down figure to make any more significant moves before opening night. There lineup is a little stronger overall with the addition of Brown, but I'd have liked to seen them beef up their small forward position a bit as well. Without Reggie Williams, they don't really have a true backup to Dorrell Wright unless they go with Klay Thompson, while also using Wright at 4 and Lee at 5, which could be the plan when they run on teams. There aren't really any wing players left now that everyone signed withing a 72 hours of free agency opening, though Yi Jianlan could be a nice fit as wing with quick outside scoring potential off the bench when Wright is out. But the player, or type of wing especially, this team needs most is a defensive hog like an AK-47 (Andrei Kirilinko), though he'd be a pricey 6th man and may not even take on a non-starting role unless he was paid handsomely. Unfortunately though, that's the kind of player the W's need, a tenacious defender who can shut down a Kobe/Durrant guard or the Lebron/Carmelo-type small forward. I'd go 2 years between $15-20 million for AK, but he probably wouldn't come here with all the players they already have. The W's would have to convince him to be like their version of Lamar Odom, coming off the bench and playing his 3-4 positions and still get 30+ minutes a night, just not as a regular starter. Problem is, you'd still have to pay him starter's money, but that's exactly the type of player they need. They've missed that since JRich has been gone. Brown was a nice, logistic signing that improves the team with an emphasis on defense, now lets see them keep building off that solid move!