With the Golden State Warriors making some tough and yet much needed decisions this offseason, the Warriors World staff looks at what other decisions the team could make and whether the roster as presently constructed could obtain a playoff berth. Let’s go 3-on-3…
1. Should the Dubs re-sign Dominic McGuire?
Benjamin Cruz: Should they? Absolutely. McGuire embodies everything that Mark Jackson and the front office want out of all their players – a defensive-minded, tough, scrappy player. The stellar defense he provided the team last year was a revelation and it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the Warriors would welcome him back with open arms.
Now this is where the problem arises. While I’m sure Golden State would love to have him back, there is simply no more room to have him on the team. With the signing of Carl Landry on Monday, the re-signing of Brandon Rush on Tuesday, and the three rookies drafted in June, that brings the team to a total of 15 players, the maximum allowed on any one team. Add to that having essentially no more money left to spend on him and that equates to McGuire playing elsewhere next season. Now, there is the possibility that they could cut ties with Kent Bazemore or explore a trade for Jeremy Tyler but neither of those moves make sense at this point seeing as how they just signed Bazemore for super cheap (quite possibly to be a “diet” version of McGuire) and no one is exactly blowing up Bob Myers’ phone for Tyler.
In a perfect world, yes, the Warriors should sign McGuire but in reality, that doesn’t look like it’s happening.
Jordan Ramirez: Should they? Yes. Will they? No. Any time you have the ability to upgrade your bench and add depth, you do it, especially if that player is relatively cheap like McGuire. McGuire proved valuable last season as a defensive specialist, and that’s about it. Did he need to score on the offensive end? Not necessarily, but are the Warriors going to invest what little money they have left (they’re actually slightly over the luxury tax after the Rush deal) for a “specialist?” The Warriors brass has always been wary of going into the luxury tax anyway, and a one tool player like McGuire seems like a long-shot even though he would be on the cheap side. Every bench needs these type of gritty, hard-nosed players, but with the recent additions of Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and the re-signing of Brandon Rush, McGuire simply seems like the odd man out.
J.M. Poulard: McGuire certainly seems like the odd man out with the drafting of Dramond Green and the signing of Car Landry. With that said, I would still like to see the Warriors re-sign the big man given his ability to play multiple positions on the team.
Last season he floated from small forward, to power forward and then to center and was even asked to defend Chris Paul in a contest last season with the game hanging in the balance and he actually managed to get the stop needed. Good teams need good role players and McGuire certainly fits that category.
2. Based on the current roster, what other moves would you like to see the Warriors make going forward?
Benjamin Cruz: The easy answer here is to get rid of Jefferson and Biedrins possibly causing a Bay Area-wide holiday. Unfortunately, getting rid of both of them is basically impossible at this point given the amount of money they’re both getting paid. For those of you wondering, they make a combined $19 million this season. Feel free to throw up now.
Since freeing themselves of both contracts is out of the question, I’m going to go with one. As appalling as Biedrins has been since Baron Davis left, my pick to get the axe would be RJ. Simply put, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jefferson’s game. He became quite effective with San Antonio because they figured out a way to maximize his usefulness (shoot corner threes) but other than that, he’s an average to below-average small forward in the league. He’s not a tremendous scorer, not a great defender and doesn’t provide any notable intangibles. With Harrison Barnes waiting in the wings as the Warriors’ small forward of the future (and Draymond Green as a backup), there’s really no reason to delay the inevitable. Furthermore, Jefferson flat out looks like he doesn’t want to be on the team and that is exactly the type of attitude you don’t want in the locker room.
At least if you keep Biedrins, you’ll have plenty of vodka and free throw jokes to make.
Jordan Ramirez: I’d like to see Andris Biedrins and Jeremy Tyler off this roster as soon as humanly possible. The Warriors roster is pretty set now with the Landry signing and Rush re-signing, so now it’s time to shed some players. Keep in mind this is all wishful thinking on my part, but we all know Andris Biedrins is a lost cause and Jeremy Tyler isn’t far behind. Biedrins looks like he wants nothing to do with basketball and would rather ride in the back of a tinted SUV. Many Warriors fans had high hopes for Jeremy Tyler after the Warriors paid $2 million for his draft rights two years ago, but he simply hasn’t panned out. After the drafting of Festus Ezeli and watching Tyler struggle in Summer League, it’s become clearer that he has no part in the Warriors future.
J.M. Poulard: The easy answer would be to jettison Andris Biedrins in the same deep place in the ocean where the humans attempted to keep Megatron in the Transformers movie; but that may prove difficult to accomplish given that the Latvian’ trade value decreases with every passing game and every passing season.
But in conjunction with moving Biedrins, it certainly couldn’t hurt the team to get a good back up center and also another backup swingman given the limitations in Richard Jefferson’s game.
3. Is this roster good enough to make the playoffs?
Benjamin Cruz The way they are constructed, the Warriors are currently a good “on paper” team as well as a good “if they stay healthy” team. I even expect them to have a fairly high rating in NBA 2K13. But, just like everyone else, the Dubs will have to go out on to the court and earn their spot in the postseason, no excuses. With that being said, if everything goes right, (and by “right” I mean relative health from Curry and Bogut coupled with close to expected production from everyone) the Warriors should be able to break their playoff drought.
Despite the positivity surrounding the team’s playoff hopes, actually making it is still not going to be easy. You can argue that six or seven spots are already spoken for out West depending on what you think Dallas, Denver and Utah do this year. Throw in the improved Minnesota and Portland into that mix and you have quite the battle brewing for those last two to three slots.
However, the Warriors boast a fairly impressive starting five with Curry, Thompson, Jefferson (let’s just assume Barnes isn’t starting right away), Lee and Bogut and a fairly deep bench consisting of Jack, Rush, Landry, Jenkins and the rookies. This is the deepest and most talented team Golden State has fielded in years and the opportunity for them to sneak into the playoffs is right there for the taking.
Jordan Ramirez: Yes. I joked on Twitter after the Landry signing that the Warriors official pre-season hashtag should be #IfHealthy, as Warriors fans should plan on hearing that an infinite amount of times before the season begins. If healthy, the Warriors are definitely a playoff team. I can see them as a sixth seed — 47-35 my prediction — if healthy. With the slated starting five of Curry-Thompson-Barnes-Lee-Bogut and a bench consisting of Rush-Landry-Jack-Jenkins-Jefferson-Green-Ezeli, the Warriors undoubtedly have the talent to make the postseason. If one of Curry or Bogut get hurt however, those playoff aspirations will quickly be forgotten.
J.M. Poulard: Bring on da playoffs!!!
The team should be in the thick of things come April 2013 with a playoff berth at stake.
The Warriors have managed to build up a solid roster with talent at key positions and have also managed to slowly build up a good bench. In addition, a young team will definitely struggle to adjust to playing together early in the season but should get a greater feel for themselves and play better as the season wears on. This could prove to be beneficial to the Dubs given their home heavy schedule in March, which might help boost the team record and catapult them into the postseason.