Friday, July 19, 2013

Warriors Doing Best to Add Depth

One of the reason's why the Warriors weren't able to outlast the Spurs in the Semi's this year was due to lack of depth so obviously it had to be addressed. After the Warriors deal for Andre Iguodala earlier this month, it forced them out of the market for Jack and Landry, which made thin bench nearly non-existent.

Needless to say, additions needed to be made, and they needed to be made swiftly. Under the circumstances, I think Bob Myers did a fine job in finding replacements. The first addition after Iggy was Jermaine O'Neal, as the Warriors needed another veteran center to help take the load off of Andrew Bogut while provide some of the same type of things Bogut does, which O'Neal can. Jermaine had a bit of a resurrection in Phoenix last season, averaging 8.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 1.4 BPG in just 18 minutes of play last year. Festus Ezieli did an admirable job when called upon last year, but for a team trying to go to the next level, a veteran like O'Neal should be getting those key minutes when Bogut is resting. After the O'Neal signing, the team nabbed another big, tough defensive minded player who also contributes on the offensive end in Marreese Speights. While O'Neal should get the majority of the minutes at the 5 when Bogut sits, Speights will likely do the same with David Lee at the 4. Speights also has the ability to play the 5 too though, and is a better defender/rebounder than Carl Landry. Both of these moves certainly got the Warriors tougher in the front court, and have given them some depth to where Mark Jackson isn't using a 6-7 man rotation as he was at times last season.

Finally, the Warriors had to replace Jarrett Jack, which with all his contributions last season, was not going to be an easy thing to do. The addition of Iggy was well worth losing out on Jack, but the Dubs still needed to find a point guard that could caddy Steph Curry, as I don't think they were ready to rely on Scott Machado to play heavy minutes. On Wednesday, they announced a deal with free agent Toney Douglas, who won't quite take Jack's role from a year ago, but with the all-around improvements this team has made, hopefully they won't need him to. Douglas is another guy who can defend well although he won't provide the offensive punch that Jack brought. Still, it's not a bad replacement considering the moves the Warriors made and the limitations they were working with. I don't anticipate them doing much more at this point, and if this was the last significant move of the summer, I'd have to say the Warriors have positioned themselves terrifically and should be a better team heading into next season than they were at the end of 2013.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Warriors Land Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala had been on the Warriors radar for the past few seasons and this week they were finally able to obtain him, though it did come at a price.

On the surface, when looking at the players the Warriors let go in order to clear the space to give Iggy his 4 year, $48 million deal, you'd think Golden State came out with a flat out steal. They were able to convince the Utah Jazz to take on the expiring contracts of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush, none of whom played a significant role in the Warriors playoff run last season. Rush probably would have been a key cog had it not been for the injury that knocked him out before the season even began, but Jeff and Biedrins were hardly used throughout the '12-'13 campaign. However, the Jazz weren't just going to take on those bad contracts without the Warriors giving up something, and they were able to get two future Warrior first round picks, and two second rounders as well. Now, the Warriors brass is hoping that this is the beginning of some sort of dynasty that will put the Dubs in the playoffs for years to come, as they've built a sound young nucleus and should only get better over the next couple of years, but still, two first rounders could end up being a steep price to pay. Nonetheless, I give the move an A because they were able to turn that cap space into a player that makes this team a whole helluva lot better.

Though they still get out and run, and can put points on the board, the Warriors have changed their identity under Coach Jackson as one of the tougher defending teams in the league. With the direction Jackson has this team going, Iguodala makes perfect sense. He's an all-league defender, in the prime of his career, and certainly has the ability to get out and run and knock down the 3-pointer, all qualities which should play greatly with this young Warriors squad. Just look at what he did in the series between Denver and Golden State in April: 18 ppg, 8 rpg, 5.5 assists, 2 steals and a 48% mark on 3-point attempts. With the Warriors brass already interested in him, I'm sure his showing in that series just pushed him over the top in their eyes. The only question the 'Dubs now have to deal with though, is how exactly they'll divide playing time between Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and their new $48M weapon. There had been rumblings of the Warriors possibly including either Barnes or Thompson with Andrew Bogut in a trade with the Lakers to get Dwight Howard, but with Howard landing in Houston, that's no longer an option.

It's hardly a bad problem to have though if your the Warriors. Most likely, someone will have to come off the bench in a 6th man role, but either way, all 3 of those guys should be getting 30+ minutes a night. I'm sure that whoever the hot hand is will see a little more PT, but my guess is that Iguodala would be the Warriors 6th man if there are no other significant moves made with the returning starting 5. This signing also precludes the Warriors from being able to retain Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry which is a bit of a blow to the overall team depth, especially the way Jack played down the stretch and in the playoffs, but one thing the Warriors have had success with over the years is finding suitable backup point guards and I think
Bob Myers will do that again this summer.