Former Golden State Warrior Brandon Rush will be working out for a small group of teams in Las Vegas on Tuesday, according to a published report by the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Warriors, who exiled Rush to the Utah Jazz as part of a cost-cutting move to acquire Andre Igoudala last summer, are apparently among the teams who have expressed interest in Rush. Given that the Warriors are already in Vegas, one would assume they'll attend the workout - it's not entirely clear which teams might be there at this point.
Source: Warriors have expressed interest in bringing back free agent G/F Brandon Rush.— Jordan Ramirez (@JRAM_91) July 12, 2014
Putting sentimentality aside, e workout is huge for Rush: having played just 40 games in the past two seasons with Utah, the 29-year-old wing has to prove that he can still contribute to a rotation. You probably recall (or perhaps choose not to) the season-ending ACL injury that Rush suffered in November 2012. Rush never really recovered last season, playing just 38 games and, for a sort of quirky stat, finishing the season without a dunk, according to Amar at SLC Dunk.
So the stats beyond that really don't matter: the real question is whether Rush has anything left to contribute.
Why Rush makes sense for the Warriors
Rush would probably be a (relatively) low-risk, high-reward player for the Warriors, who could stand to add some scoring to their bench rotation: Rush is a career 40% 3-point shooter and shot an outstanding 45.2% in the 2011-12 season. What doesn't show up well statistically is that Rush was arguably one of the team's top defenders during the 2011-12 tank-a-thon.
If he can regain anything close to the form he was in during his lone full season in the Bay Area, he could be a really nice addition at an affordable cost due to coming off an unproductive season in Utah. Even if he doesn't become the promising rotation piece that he was with the Warriors, he already has good chemistry with most of this unit and just knows how to play team basketball; his shooting touch and willingness to play within a team concept sounds perfect for new coach Steve Kerr's system.
Why the Warriors might not make sense for Rush
The Warriors are a team reportedly not willing to go into luxury tax territory this season and are looking to find a guy to give a minimum contract. When you look around at the free agent signings thus far this summer, anybody who has ever made threes consistently has a chance to make more than the minimum - the Warriors are likely not the only team who look at Rush and see a potential free agent steal.
Although getting a chance to slowly work himself back into a rhythm in the Warriors guard rotation might be nice in one sense - and given himself a chance to work himself back to a point where he could go get one more solid contract down the road - an opportunity for more minutes and money elsewhere could trump that.
With a small contract, Rush would be a good fit for almost any team. What the Warriors would have to hope for is that he finds the camaraderie and opportunity to play for a winner more appealing than playing elsewhere.
But the first hurdle is showing what he can do in that workout on Tuesday. Regardless of whether he ultimately chooses the Warriors, here's hoping he impresses.