Are the Golden State Warriors Better Off Now?

May 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack (2, left) celebrates with point guard Stephen Curry (30, right) during overtime in game four of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Spurs 97-87 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have made plenty of offseason moves this season, although it cost them two of their best bench players. These two guys, Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, were there for the Warriors when they were struggling offensively.

The acquisition of Andre Iguodala was definitely huge for the Warriors, but was it the right move? What if Harrison Barnes plays the regular season like he did the playoffs?

That’s a huge what if, but the Warriors are lucky to be getting Iguodala in the rotation. First of all, he’s a great ball handler, he can pass the ball, rebound the ball, and shoot when he needs to. He’s the ideal swingman. The loss of Jack to Cleveland isn’t so damaging knowing that Iguodala can do all that he can do and play defense better. What stings, however, is the loss of Landry.

The Warriors signed Toney Douglas to be a backup point guard to Stephen Curry when Igoudala is out of the game. Douglas is a great role player, and had great seasons with the Rockets and the Knicks.

Now, however, he’s looking for a new home, and the Warriors could possibly be that place for him. From what I’ve seen before, Douglas doesn’t do too well unless he’s getting big minutes. He won’t get over 20 minutes per night with the Warriors, but if he’s in the game with players like Curry, he should be able to thrive in the system. He may be able to average around eight points per game and two assists off the bench.

As for the void of Landry, the Warriors signed Mareese Speights, who had his best season as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, until he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s definitely not as good as Landry in terms of clutch performances or helping the Warriors score when they need it, but he’s a solid backup power forward who will get on the glass and attack the basket if he has to. For the scoring and rebounding void that Landry beats him out in, Iguodala makes up for it in the small forward area.

What many don’t realize is that the trade of Andris Biedrins was pretty tragic. Beans was the last player remaining from the 2007 playoff roster where the Warrior upset the number one seeded Dallas Mavericks. Unfortunately, he was making too much money, and the Jazz assisted the Warriors by taking his expiring contract.

Because Festus Ezeli is out for six months, the Warriors did not have a backup center. They covered that whole by adding Jermaine O’Neal to the lineup. That was the second best signing of the offseason for the Warriors. Although O’Neal is washed up, he’s still got a lot to offer as a backup center. He was one of those players that has always killed the Warriors in their career. O’Neal has what it takes to put up eight or nine points per game, and about six or seven rebounds. Not to mention, he can create offense for himself.

The bleeding started when Iguodala signed for the Warriors, driving Jack and Landry to other teams. The Warriors, within the next few days, didn’t hesitate to sign more than competent backups. Douglas and Speights are great signings, without a doubt, but they’re nowhere close to a Jack and Landry-level in terms of bench scoring. Rather, Douglas and Speights make it up on the other end of the floor, where they play defense very well.

The instant scorers off the bench for the Warriors are now Barnes at backup small forward and O’Neal at center. If Speights and Douglas can find ways to work the rotation and score while playing defense, the Warriors will be a better team.

Topics: Golden State Warriors

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