Many of us have believed that adding depth to the frontcourt was more important to the Golden State Warriors than adding another guard after both Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry left the team as free agents this past weekend.
The Warriors apparently agreed as they have agreed to a three year deal with forward Marreese Speights, as first reported by ESPN. A trio of tweets thus far fill in the details as they've trickled out.
Speights deal with Warriors is three years.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 8, 2013
Can confirm Marreese Speights to Warriors on 3-year deal, last year team option.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 8, 2013
One source close to process contends Warriors' forthcoming deal w/Speights, does NOT impact their pursuit of free-agent C Jermaine O'Neal— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2013
Marcus Thompson has added a bit more about how the Warriors might fit him into their financial picture.
How the Warriors get him is still unclear. He could be signed outright as part of the mid-level exception. He could be signed-and-traded for guard Jarrett Jack (who agreed to a four-year, $25 million deal with Cleveland). The Cavaliers could also sign Speights and trade him to Golden State for part of the Warriors' trade exception.
What Speights might bring to the Warriors
One thing that immediately stands out about Speights is his shooting efficiency: a career true shooting percentage of just 51.5% is not exactly what you'd want to see from a power forward. However, it's not necessarily because he drifts away from the basket that he's an efficient scorer overall - to the contrary, he's quite good from the 16-foot to 3-point line range (48.4%) according to Basketball-Reference. Where he really struggles is from 3-16 foot range where he shot just 32.51% last season.
And comparing his shooting tendencies in Cleveland (where he was a more efficient scorer than either of his two years in Memphis) to what a player like Carl Landry did last season is interesting:
Landry was clearly much better around the basket, which you could argue is something the Warriors needed - the majority of his shots (59.5%) came from that range. Speights, on the other hand, shot more shots in that long two pointer range in 32 games with Cleveland than Landry did in 81 with the Warriors but he was knocking them down from the top of the key and the right wing at a very high rate. So it will be interesting to see how the Warriors make the most of his strengths, but given that he simply does not finish well it might be advantageous to set him up on the perimeter.
But something he has consistently brought during his career is a solid offensive rebounding presence, albeit in limited minutes. He was off to a career-high in offensive rebounding last season with Memphis (15.2% offensive rebounding rate) before grabbing closer to his career average (11.2% career offensive rebound rate) in Cleveland, according to Basketball-Reference. If he could get something closer to what he was doing in Memphis but also manage to keep his scoring efficiency up he could both add some size and be a productive player in the Warriors' frontcourt rotation.
We'll have more on the signing tomorrow morning. But for now, how do you grade this signing?