We sometimes forget that the 50 or 100 most vocal members of GSoM aren't necessarily an accurate microcosm of the entire community, and a lot of the folks that read articles here don't spend very much time in the comment thread. Those readers are why I usually I start these segments out with an introduction trying to explain the idea and rules for this exercise. I'm skipping that part of the process in favor of a quicker start to the action and a link to last week's article. The first 2-300 words explain the premise, and you should click the link if you're new to the series or want to read a little bit about Leandro Barbosa.
I'm also inclined to skip the ending where I talk about getting my stats and contract information from NBA.com, ESPN, Basketball-reference, Hoopshype, Spotrac, RealGM, Draftexpress, and a variety of other widely-used, free websites. You either know that I do or you don't care (or both).
Here's where the best fans on the internet have ranked the Warriors as assets so far:
16) Chris Babb (41%)
15) Brandon Rush (68%)
14) Ian Clark (68%)
13) Jason Thompson (34%)
12) Leandro Barbosa (36%)
and now, the sixth "least valuable asset", as chosen by the people, with 41% of the vote, James Michael McAdoo!
James Michael Ray McAdoo earned his spot on the roster. He was a preseason cut by the Warriors that signed with the Santa Cruz Warriors and ended up with two championship rings and a job on the NBA roster. As an undrafted player, there are no guarantees about playing time or an organizational priority to develop him. He's had less opportunity with the Warriors than Nemanja Nedovic, but he stepped up and played his way onto the Warriors.
To say that McAdoo had a big role for the champion Santa Cruz Warriors would be a huge understatement. He played nearly 33 minutes a night for the Warriors DLeague affiliate, averaging 19.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks a night. His play was so strong that he landed a place on the DLeague's all star squad. He was a leader for that squad, much like he was in Summer League play this summer.
He also put up really good rate stats and efficiency numbers last season in the NBA, his first as a pro. Per 36's of 16.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.3 steals on .564 TS%? 113 ORtg, 99 DRtg? The sample size is very small, just 15 games at 9.1 minutes per, but they certainly grab your attention at his salary. Those numbers are worth taking a look at.
All of his points come from the rim; 11 of his 24 made baskets last season were dunks, mostly of the thunderous variety. Nearly 71% of his attempts were from within three feet of the rim, and about 89% of them came with one dribble or less. Not a lot of dribbling or point forward duties for young James Michael (he had just two assists last season. Two.), but the former Tar Heel is fast enough to run the floor and quick enough to make defenders pay when they forget to box him out or let him sneak past for a back door cut.
Think Chris Anderson, without the substance abuse history, 3" shorter, and playing at forward instead of center. He jumps, he runs the floor, he blocks shots. Birdman rebounds a little better and blocks shots a little more, but it took him much longer to post acceptable efficiency numbers. McAdoo's offense is limited, but he plays well by understanding his strengths. His 19.4 USG% show that he was aggressive and that .564 TS% shows that he was effective in his role.
His sample size was very small, and it could be a "chicken vs. egg" thing, but he performed well in the games where he played more minutes. McAdoo's numbers were much better in the five games where he played 10+ minutes. In fact, he was so much better that the five games were enough to offset his .263 TS% when he played 9 minutes or less.
I had a chance to see McAdoo play a career high 27:44 minutes in the throw-away game against Denver back in March. Steph, Klay, Iguodala, Speights, and Bogut were on the bench. The air is thin in Denver, and the team decided to take the night off. Draymond Green only played 20 lackluster minutes. Harrison Barnes and David Lee combined to shoot 5-19, and none of the starting frontcourt looked like they wanted to play.
Meanwhile, the beleaguered Nuggets frontcourt was having a grand time beating up on the Bogut-less Warriors. The team seemed doomed. I had first row seats to see Kenneth Faried put up 24/17, and Danilo Gallinari played center, effectively shutting David Lee's offense en route to a 24 point night for the oft injured Italian. Jameer Nelson and Randy freaking Foye put up 37 on better than 70% TS.
I wasn't watching the eventual champs; I was rooting for a team reminiscent of the '04 squad on one of JRich's rare nights off.
I kept checking the bench to see if Mike Montgomery had kidnapped Steve Kerr, but alas, this was a loss by design. For some die hard Nuggets fans, the Warriors are public enemy #1. They're still sore about the upset in the playoffs a few years ago, and a lot of them still refer to Iguodala as "the mole". The Warriors had embarrassed the Nuggets in their previous contest, beating them by 43 points in January, and I suspect that had as much to do with the night off as altitude, rest, or suspensions.
No reason to take any chances on the road against an opponent that might have revenge on their minds. From the baseline, Tony Brothers cackled when Draymond Green fouled Gallo and left the lineup with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
Enter McAdoo. Less than a minute later, the high energy rookie was on the free throw line. He attacked the basket over and over, battling for position, drawing fouls, and abusing the rim. He played angry, like a man with something to prove. Halfway through the second quarter, he returned to his spot on the end the Warriors' bench with 10 points. He finished the game with 16/5 on .633 TS%. Four of his rebounds were offensive.
The effort was infectious, and the corpses that were the Warriors rose from the grave. What looked like a wasted night turned out to be a zombie apocalypse. I was there. McAdoo was Patient Zero.
Like the 2004 squad, the Warriors still lost. And like the 2004 Basketball Jonez, I had to look for the silver lining in the loss. I didn't have to look very hard though; the bright spot was McAdoo. The bottom of the bench guys (Rush, Barbosa, Ezeli, and McAdoo) fought valiantly, vastly outperforming the starters, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Nuggets at home. The bench even managed to take the lead for about six minutes of the fourth quarter, but eventually the Nuggets rattled off a 9-0 run in less than two minutes when Lee returned to the lineup, and a five point lead turned into an eleven point loss.
I'm not claiming to know how they project these things, but the NBA's official development league website estimates that McAdoo's likely a guy that puts up per 36 numbers of 12/7 with decent efficiency. Not bad, especially at his paygrade. Big Mac's are on sale this year only for the bargain price of $845K, As your team's 5-7th big man, he's pretty good, he's cheap, and he has some upside. Plus, he's the obvious third string "small ball" power forward after Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes, and a great choice if coach Kerr needs to inject some energy into the lineup.
Which brings us to our next selection!
Did you check out the poll? I think the Leandro vote hit some people in the gut... who would have thought that the Brazilian Blur would effect voter enthusiasm like he has! Only 892 votes at a time when the voting really should be heating up! There was 1,466 votes in the last segment. Disappointment, followed by apathy.
Don't be that guy! Be heard at the polls and in the forum!
Guess what? I don't agree with a lot of the poll results either. It's not about my opinion. It's about yours. "Basketball Jonez ranks the assets" might be a comment in a thread someday, but that's not what this series is.
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.