Things are about to get real in the NBA's free agent signing period: the moratorium on actual signings comes to an end tomorrow, which means we'll probably have a much better idea of the details for some of the Warriors signings and how much flexibility they have remaining.
But for now, we start with what we do know: the Warriors have achieved more than people expected entering free agency.
"Every team should be as proactive as Golden State was in chasing a dream that looked unattainable": Zach Lowe of Grantland heaped praise on the Warriors in his piece looking at what we've learned from the 2013 free agent moratorium period so far. Also, I'm not one of the fans who's nervous about the team missing Jarrett Jack's late game shot selection.
Warriors sign Marreese Speights: The majority of folks here at GSoM gave the Warriors' signing of Speights a "B" in yesterday's poll and that feels about right. It's understandable that some people are seeing Speights as The Carl Landry Replacement, but ultimately it's clear from his track record that he's about right as a 10-15 minute per game guy. And judged on that basis, if he can come in, hit jumpers created for him, rebound, and take up space when he needs to play the 5, he can be a useful contributor.
Otherwise, we probably shouldn't over-think this one: when healthy, this is a team with Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, David Lee, and the potential of going small with Harrison Barnes. Speights adds depth, but does not necessarily have to be the guy the team relies on when playoff time rolls around. Yet the one thing that will help us get a sense of how good this deal is for the Warriors is the actual salary information.
Warriors still interested in Jermaine O'Neal: As Marc Stein reported as a possibility yesterday, it's still possible that the Warriors could add O'Neal to the roster even after signing Speights.
Hearing that Warriors are still very interested in Jermaine O'Neal, but Dallas connections and Texas taxes may win out.— Fast Break (@GSWFastBreak) July 9, 2013
Cleveland's signing of Jarrett Jack draws mixed reviews: Although Jack is not exactly a bargain as a backup point guard, he was easily among the top reserves in the league last season and the early reaction to Cleveland signing him has been positive. But that cost-effectiveness dynamic led to some mixed reaction to the Cavs' signing.
Ben Golliver of SI's Point Forward gave the Cavs an A- for the pick up, writing that, "Irving's presence should make life easy for Jack and vice versa." Mike Prada of SB Nation was a bit more skeptical about Jack's age and defensive ability, writing, "...if it were up to me and I was making a decision based purely on the on-court merits, I would have preferred the Cavaliers sign Devin Harris instead, because he would have likely come cheaper and addressed Cleveland's defensive deficiencies much more effectively."
Landry's signing still strikes some as odd: The weird thing about the Sacramento Kings' signing is that they already have depth at the power forward spot, as Mike Prada described. "The Kings already have DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes under contract. Of the five, only Patterson does his best work outside the paint. One has to think a trade is coming, because finding playing time for all five of those players is going to be impossible."
Have the Warriors improved their standing in the Western Conference? Tom Ziller of SB Nation suggested the answer is yes in his piece about the upheaval in the Western Conference thus far in the free agent negotiating period. On the trade with Utah he wrote: "Utah used its cap space to absorb Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins in some sort of weird "thank you" to the Warriors. (What a mystifying deal.)"
Random tweet: Welcome Brian Scalabrine to the Warriors' coaching staff!
Assistant coach Brian #Scalabrine is ready to high-five other Warriors coaches with accuracy and enthusiasm.— InsideHoops.com (@InsideHoops) July 9, 2013
A summer league primer for those of us looking forward to Vegas Summer League: Dave from Blazer's Edge has a great rundown of how to watch summer league with six rules. Rule #5 - "Stats don't always matter." - is always a tough one because it's ultimately not about the stats themselves but how a player gets those stats (or doesn't), as Dave described: "Watch for things a player does with his body that nobody else is doing. Watch for guys you notice getting free in the halfcourt, getting higher than everybody else in traffic, moving to places from which they can't be budged or dissuaded. The little things sometimes make a big difference." If you think back to the Warriors' summer league last season, it was all those little things that really mattered most about their rookies, especially Harrison Barnes who even improved tremendously from summer league to playoffs.
As usual, leave your thoughts here in the comments throughout the day or feel free to create a fan post if you have a longer commentary to make on something.