Q&A: Marcus Thompson - Contra Costa Times + Inside the Warriors (Part 3 of 3)

Make sure to check out Part I and Part II of our Q&A with Marcus if you haven't already. Here's part trey.

After the jump we have MT's analysis of how the Warriors should approach the Andris Biedrins contract decision this summer and what they need to do to get back to the playoffs.

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Golden State of Mind: Stats-wise young center Andris Biedrins hasn't show any major improvement from last year's break out season. His man-to-man defense still needs a ton of work and his weakside defense doesn't seem as strong as last season (Biedrins' blocks are down by 0.5 a game compared to last season). He is still however the Warriors best rebounder and his per minute rebound rate is excellent. Additionally Andris is a great finisher near the rim and has a gaudy 62.6% FG. Do you think Biedrins will make any more major leaps in his game or has he leveled off? Also, Biedrins is up for a contract extension this summer. Are the Warriors looking to extend him for a big money deal this summer? Some of the numbers tossed around last offseason for Biedrins were $10 or $12 million a season, but the TWolves were able to retain 20-11 machine Al Jefferson for $13 million. Do you see any other teams offering him a contract as a restricted free agent?

Marcus Thompson (6/10/08)This is a big year for Biedrins. He has improved so much from when he first joined the Warriors that it’s almost unfair to demand more from him. But they need more from him. They just cannot win without more from him unless they find a power forward who can pick up his slack, which are few and far between. If they got a dominant power forward – someone who can score inside, protect the basket, defend one-on-one – than Biedrins is the perfect center to have. But if they stick with Harrington – a perimeter oriented power forward – or someone like Brandan Wright, who share some of the same shortcomings as Biedrins, its tough to justify keeping him around. Biedrins may be more valuable to the Warriors on the trading block, especially if it means getting someone like Elton Brand.

However, Biedrins is in the same boat as Monta, still young (22), still improving and growing as a basketball player. It’s somewhat risky to think he’s hit his peak, move him, and watch him become the exact player they needed for someone else.

 

The ideal situation for the Warriors is that Biedrins develops some kind of low-post game and becomes a better defender. Sounds like a lot to ask, but remember, this dude was a gangly mess when he came into the league. If he can develop in those areas quick, the Warriors won’t need to go out and break the bank on a grade A talent. Someone like Brandan Wright will do fine.

 

The Warriors seem to have settled on hoping Biedrins adds more to his game because Mullin said they would match any offer he received. He is in the same boat as Monta as far as the offers he’ll receive, etc. I think the Warriors are going to get him for a bargain, especially compared to the $50-55 million they would’ve had to pay to sign him last offseason. I’m think he’ll get six years at an average of about $8 million a year. So like six years, $48 million. I don’t see them offering more than $55 million, but I definitely see them trying to give him somewhere between $40-$45 million. The reality is, he doesn’t deserve more money than Monta, or even Stephen Jackson. 

 

Golden State of Mind: What do the Warriors need to do to get back to the Western Conference Playoff bracket this offseason? Is this roster good enough as is with internal development or does it need a major talent upgrade?

Marcus Thompson (6/10/08)This roster is not good enough. They need help. They need a veteran presence off the bench, someone reliable and consistent. They need a rebounder and defender. If they can fill those holes with one player, fine.

Most important, they need someone else who can create for others and breakdown defenses off the dribble. If Baron isn’t doing it, the Warriors become a jump-shooting team. Sure, they can get hot. But they can also get cold. They need someone who can score when their outside shot isn’t falling.

 

If they get someone like that, they can get back into the playoffs. Denver, Dallas nor Houston is really that good. They can overtake either one of those three, or all of them.

 

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All of us GSoM wanted to thank Marcus for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to talk shop with us. Definitely make Inside the Warriors a regular destination.

GSoM Search for Marcus Thompson

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