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Ranking the Warriors' assets, Part 2: Chris Babb (and voting for the second cut)

The mighty Golden State of Mind community will once again rank the value of the team's assets by voting, from worst to first, until only the best remains.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, thank you all for participating.

I've always felt that Golden State of Mind was a collection of the the most knowledgeable fans in the NBA, and that I could learn more about basketball here than anywhere else. Furthermore, it's not the things that we agree about that make this an excellent source for basketball knowledge. Quite the opposite, really. It's the disagreements that make this place special, giving us valid reasons to debate, to state our differing opinions, to research our notions and challenge each other. The discussions that we have in the comment streams are the true strength of our community, and I appreciate your insights. Those are what make us great.


This series is designed to be an ideal environment to nurture these contretemps and (hopefully) provide a new level of insight for the Golden State roster. At the time of writing this, the second installment of this season's series, 1,224 esteemed members of our community have voted. And while Nemanja Nedovic was the runaway choice (58%) for least valuable asset last season, no players dominated the polling this time around.

Instead, the community is relatively split, with a mere 4% separating two of the contestants. Unlike United States presidential voting, we don't use an Electoral College around here, and a vote's a vote in my book. The people have spoken, and Chris Babb is off the island per the will of 41% of participants. The newcomer edged out Brandon Rush (37%), while the team's most recent free agent signing, Ian Clark, showed up in a distant third place among voters with just 13%.

You've done your job, and now it's time for me to do mine. Sometimes that job is easy, like when I wrote about our diminutive MVP's rise to the top. There's a ton of information about Stephen Curry, and it's really a matter of choosing your angle when you write about a star that you've followed closely since he was drafted. It was fun to write about Bob Myers winning the NBA Executive of the Year award too, since I had the pleasure of revisiting all of the great moves he had made. After 30 years of following this team, watching Myers build a 67-win championship squad was poetry in motion, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to recap his work.

This time is different. Not that I hate writing about Chris Babb, mind you... it's just that I'm not very familiar with his work. Honestly, I've never even seen him play. Any information I can share with you is recycled. I can tell you about his selection to the All Big 12 defensive team and his spot on the NBA DLeague All Star squad, and provide links to his stats page showing his DLeague averages of 15.4 point (.578 TS%), 5.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in 34.7 minutes for a 34-11 Maine Red Claws team.

I can talk about his NBA size (6'5", 225 lbs), the 119 shots made from beyond the arc last season (6th in the DLeague), or his paltry 7.1 TOV%. I can mention his family's barbecue restaurant, Babb Bros BBQ in Dallas, Texas, though I haven't eaten it.

I can bring up his spot on the DLeague All-Rookie 3rd team (2014), and his selection to the All NBA DLeague 2nd team (2015), or his lockdown defense that got him onto the DLeague All-Defensive 3rd team twice (2014, 2015). But I've never actually seen it.

He's a guy you can count on.-Maine coach Mike Taylor


I can find quotes from his former coaches, like Red Claws coach Mike Taylor gushing, "Chris Babb is a very educated basketball player, one of the most intelligent players I've been around. He knows how to play. He's like a Peyton Manning out on the court."

Or Celtics coach Brad Stevens, saying "Chris Babb has been one of the best workers, has had one of the best attitudes and been one of the best teammates since day one."

And while Babb's body of work in the NBA has been small (he's only played in 14 NBA games, all back in the 2013-14 season), the Celtics have signed him to multi-year contracts (unguaranteed) on two separate occasions. He's about as close to his dream as an NBA player as a DLeague All Star can be.

I can find out all of those things about Chris Babb, but I can't give you the kind of in depth analysis that you've come to expect from me. I just don't have the experience with him as a player. The former Cyclone is a collection of news snippets and stats sheets with an unguaranteed contract to most Warriors fans, filler in the David Lee trade. And the Warriors are really stocked up on the wing, with Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Leandro Barbosa expected to take the bulk of the minutes, leaving Brandon Rush, Ian Clark, and Chris Babb to duke it out for the last spots at the end of the bench.

The odds are long, and that non-guaranteed contract might be the factor that keeps Babb off of the roster when opening day rolls around. The Warriors are way over the cap this season, and the luxury tax for keeping CBfor3 would likely more than triple his contract. However, there are two reasons we haven't seen the team cut him yet. The first one is the competition for the end of the bench spot. Rush had an awful season last year, and Clark hasn't proven himself as a legitimate NBA player yet. The other reason is that Bob Myers is possibly shopping Babb (and the cap space created by his contract) for a talent upgrade. We won't know until a move is made if the front office agrees with GSoM's voters about Babb's status as LVP (Least Valuable Player).

One thing I think worth noting is that we're doing this exercise with 16 players for a 15 man roster, so at least one of the players we are discussing will not be with the team when the season begins. I've included the players' salary (rounded) to remind voters just how much each player costs against the cap this season and in the future. If players sign extensions while we are conducting this exercise, I will reflect that in future installments (it happened with Klay last season). Also, I couldn't find Ian Clark's contract information, so I slotted him in at the NBA minimum for a player with two years' service. I used Hoopshype.com and Spotrac.com for the players' salary information.

That brings us to our next selection. Remember to consider skill, age, contract, injuries, need, and anything else you find valid in your reasoning. Also keep in mind that your vote is for the LEAST valuable asset TO THE WARRIORS. Make sure to share how you voted and why in the comment thread following your vote, so that we can engage in a healthy debate. I certainly would love to read the reasoning behind the votes.