Marreese Speights: “I Can Be a Stretch Five or a Four.”


Earlier Monday, Bay Area News Group writer Diamond Leung caught up with Marreese Speights at the Warriors Summer League shootaround in Las Vegas. The big man joined the team and put up a few shots, and afterward he ended up playing a pickup game with assistant coach Luke Walton, assistant general manager Kirk Lacob and general manager Bob Myers.

He also had a small chat with new head coach Steve Kerr, a conversation in which Speights wasn’t shy voicing his opinions. Other than telling Kerr that he expects himself to be at training camp in better shape than last year, Speights said that he believes he could be the stretch big man that Kerr has desired since day one on the job.

Kerr also spoke to Leung on that matter, telling him that he would encourage Speights to shoot more from outside if he proves he can be a consistent force behind the arc.

"“If he’s making ’em,” Kerr told Leung, “he can take ’em. But…he was 8 for (31) last year.”"

Though only a 23.0 percent three-point shooter, Speights did drain a couple shots from long-range and averaged 25.8 percent from three-point territory last season. Aside from his 32-point performance against the 76ers last year, he also had this memorable little gem from WAY behind the arc:

The possibility of Speights building himself into a stretch big man is certainly intriguing and shouldn’t be ruled out completely, but it will definitely take some convincing to get Kerr to give him the green light. While it’s unlikely, reports that Kerr’s experiences as a general manager with Channing Frye in Phoenix has taught him to expect the unexpected.

"“I’ve seen Channing Frye in Phoenix, he was a 20-foot jump shooter his first three years in the league,” Kerr said. “We signed him thinking he’d be a 20-foot jump shooter and all the sudden he’s shooting threes… but it’s got to be a consistent shot.”"

If Speights can prove himself to be a reliable outside bomber while continuing to be a physical presence on the boards, he could be the key to unlocking the potential of Kerr’s hybrid offense.

Now wouldn’t that be something?