The Golden State Warriors have had some highlights and of course, some low-ights of this offseason. They acquired Andre Iguodala, one of the best FA’s via sign-and-trade with the Jazz and Nuggets. That was their biggest move of the offseason.
Unfortunately, they lost also their bench weapons in Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry who came into the game and instantly sparked the offense.
With that being said, have the Warriors truly had a productive offseason? What we can’t forget is the fact that Iguodala is an upgrade from Harrison Barnes, who is now on the bench, giving the Warriors that depth there as well. The Warriors signed Toney Douglas, a point guard, Mareesse Speights, a power forward, and Jermaine O’Neal, a center.
How do they compare? Position by position?
1. Toney Douglas vs Jarrett Jack:
There may be a clear leader in this case, but only to the naked eye. Jack is a great ball-handler, a true point guard, and an all-around player. He was, by far, the Warriors’ best one vs one player. He really knew what he was doing when the shot clock was winding down. Sure, he made some simpleton-like errors, but everything always seemed to be fine.
Douglas, on the other hand, doesn’t always appear motivated, but I believe Golden State is a perfect fit for him. Jack wasn’t an incredible shooter, but when Douglas gets it going, he’s terribly hard to stop. He never does a slapdash job when running the offense. Instead, he’ll get aggressive and attack the basket. This is the type of player that the Warriors want to have on their roster. A tough worker. He’s already expressed his pleasure with the signing, and appears to be more motivated than ever.
Winner: Jarrett Jack
2. Kent Bazemore/Nemanja Nedovic vs Brandon Rush:
Klay Thompson never really had a backup player for him last year. Instead, Jack would come into the game for Harrison Barnes, and he would shift over to the small forward position. Hats off to Bazemore, as he ingratiated himself with the team nicely, being the undrafted rookie last year. Nedovic will hopefully fit in with this Warrior team. There really is no need for competition here, but the fact that Rush was injured the whole year automatically gives this matchup to Bazemore and Nedovic.
Winner(s): Bazemore, Nedovic
3. Harrison Barnes vs Richard Jefferson:
The old versus the young. In most cases, the older one almost always wins, unless he is down on his luck and washed up, matching up against the 7th pick in the NBA draft. That’s right, this is that case. In his prime, Jefferson was one of the biggest All-Star snubs in the NBA, but now, however, he’s evened out and has almost become obsolete.
Barnes is one of the youngest and explosive guys on the Warriors’ roster. His 6th man role surely won’t hinder his performance, as he will get as many minutes as Jack did last season at around 30 minutes per game. That is enough for Barnes to truly flourish, and win the 6th Man of the Year award.
Winner: Harrison Barnes
4. Mareesse Speights vs Carl Landry:
Last season with the Grizzlies, prior to being traded to the Cavaliers, Speights was having his best stint of games. He was averaging 10.2 points per game, and hitting jump-shots from almost everywhere. Coincidentally, Landry averaged around 10.2 points per game last season with the Dubs. Landry uses a series of pump-fakes to get the open shot, and he has the right positioning as well.
Speights, from what I’ve observed, can do the same exact things of Landry, but he can hit deeper jump-shots. Landry, however, can score on the inside a bit better.
Festus Ezeli is still apart of the Warriors’ roster, but has been ruled out six to nine months thanks to knee surgery. This is why the Warriors signed veteran center and former All-Star Jermaine O’Neal. This is a very good signing for the Warriors. Not only can O’Neal play defense, but he actually knows how to catch a basketball. Last year with the Suns, he averaged around eight points per game in a starting role.
He’s surely capable of doing that this year. He’s already said that he’s motivated to play for the Warriors and thinks that they have a legitimate shot to contend for a championship. What does that mean? He’s motivated.
Winner: Jermaine O’Neal
Have the Warriors gotten worse?