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Warriors roster breakdown: How will Steve Kerr Divide up Golden State's minutes?

Now that the roster is starting to become clearer, we take a very early look at how the minutes will break down for the coming season. Which of the new Warriors will get their crack at the main rotation?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the addition of JaVale McGee, Golden State is getting closer to their 15-man roster to start the season. Yes - McGee is a non-guaranteed deal, however the Warriors do need another big man and would probably prefer to have Damian Jones start in Santa Cruz after missing time this offseason due to injury.

Many fans worry about the main rotation players that found other homes during free agency, so this week we can take a look at the roster as a whole to break down who will be playing big minutes for the coming season. Do the losses on the bench have as big of an impact as we think? Will the new players - Zaza Pachulia, David West, etc - fill those minutes? Or will it come from rookies like Patrick McCaw?

The Warriors have a total of 240 game minutes to be played per game: 5 positions, 48 minutes for a total game. These 240 minutes are mostly taken up by the starters, but the remainder get filled in by bench rotations as we all well know. This rotation shrinks during the playoffs, however the Golden State coaching staff has been fantastic over the last two years limiting the minutes of key stars, even getting Curry and Thompson to sit out complete fourth quarters during blowout wins.

We will look at the projected 15-man roster below, and start to make a guess at the total number of minutes played by each. Note: we are not looking as much at who will be playing which position at this point. And to that point, we shouldn't care as much as some make it to be. The Warriors are mostly a positionless basketball team, with guys like Andre Iguodala getting run at the point guard in some places.

The Starters

Steph Curry

Minutes averaged last year: 34.2 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 34 mpg
Explanation: No reason to think that Curry will play less minutes, unless the blowouts start coming more frequently and he can take more 4th quarters off.

Klay Thompson

Minutes averaged last year: 33.3 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 33 mpg
Explanation: I think Klay relatively stays the same regarding playing time this season, though as his game matures I believe he can take on more of the roll of primary scorer with Curry and Durant on the bench. We have seen the expansion of his offensive arsenal over the years, and with that I think it will be hard to keep him off the floor, especially when the second unit needs shooters.

Draymond Green

Minutes averaged last year: 34.7 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 30 mpg
Explanation: The king of snapchat took on the heaviest load of the team last year, and with the addition of a third veteran center to the roster, I believe the team would like him to have more rest. Green slowed down in the playoffs, and even as looked slower in the lead up to the Olympics. While his fingers have warn out pressing the wrong buttons on his cell phone, his jumper has also started to flatten out. The staff should trim down his minutes if possible, but its hard to keep the heart and soul of the team off the court.

Kevin Durant

Minutes averaged last year: 35.8 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 30 mpg
Explanation: Durant was a workhorse on the Thunder last year, putting up massive minutes having to carry the second unit scoring. HIs body has warn down over the years after a massive workload - the Warriors recognized this and paved his way to the bay by offering him an "easier time and less stress on his body". I think this translates to more breaks, and extension on his time on the bench. Durant will be another of the first bodies to the bench when the blowouts happen - which leads us to ask who will take Barnes' minutes during clean up time? HB averaged 30.9 minutes last year, but I don't picture Durant's numbers going that low. Instead I picture the player that regularly replaced Barnes - Iguodala - to get less minutes in the coming year.

Zaza Pachulia

Minutes averaged last year: 26.4 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 20 mpg
Explanation: Here is where it starts to get interesting. The Warriors have consistently filled the role of center by committee - mostly because Andrew Bogut's body has been limited, somewhat because of the Lineup of Death having Green at the 5, and somewhat because they have had two great centers on the roster with Ezeli off the bench. With that said, Bogut averaged 20.7 minutes per game last year, with Ezeli getting 16.7 to his rescue. That two headed monster made up the majority of the minutes, with the Green lineup cleaning up the rest. Now they turn the keys over to Pachulia and... well we will get to that later. Pachulia seems to have a hard ceiling on his body with the minutes he can play - the 25 mpg mark seems to be his limit. I would picture that number is kept relatively down, with guys like David West and Kevon Looney getting more minutes at the 5. Zaza isn't getting younger, and if you push him his body, which has been known to break down, will break down again. I'd say 25 is the max, but 23 mpg is more likely.

With that said, the Warriors starters make up an estimated 147 of the 240 possible minutes in a game, or 61.2%. Who on the bench will play the rest?

The Bench

Andre Iguodala

Minutes averaged last year: 26.6 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 18 mpg
Explanation: Iguodala has been the first off the bench over the last few years, partly because of defensive matchups, and mostly because of his maturity over Harrison Barnes. You have to imagine Barnes, who was given so many chances by the staff to be a leader on the 2nd unit, had his minutes carefully controlled with Iguodala playing the role of the "6th starter". His body subsequently wore down, especially in the playoffs where he needed to take on a larger role with Curry going down to injury. This year? I picture a large decline in minutes, for the better of the team and to save his body for the playoff run. I'd even picture more games off for the vet - he lost a large amount of time to injury himself and only played 65. I think he will have more than that, but still with the bi-weekly breather.

Shaun Livingston

Minutes averaged last year: 19.5 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 15 mpg
Explanation: S Dot is coming off one of his best seasons as a Warrior. He contributed large in the playoffs, and looks to be playing healthy. Even with that, I think the amount of ball handlers should still allow him to stay under the 20 mpg mark, which is where the staff wants him to be anyway. If Patrick McCaw can mature quickly, watch this number to drop even more as the season progresses, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Save that body for the playoff run.

David West

Minutes averaged last year: 18.0 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 12 mpg
Explanation: David West could see a lot of game time this season. He effectively replaces Mo Speights, who played 11.6 mpg game last year, but I picture the staff loving the vet West on the floor. Hard to see him playing less than Mo did, especially as he won't be asked to be a large part of the offense at any time and can save his body during his run.

Kevon Looney

Minutes averaged last year: 4.2 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 10 mpg
Explanation: Kevon Looney has the most to gain from the offseason roster changes. Can he step up his game coming off so much missed time to take the opportunity? He will find minutes at the 3, 4 and 5, and with his potential could show value all around the court. It's his spot to lose

Ian Clark

Minutes averaged last year: 8.8 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 8 mpg
Explanation: Make or break time for Ian Clark. Clark showed signs toward the end of the year of being able to control the offense himself and even get to the rim when needed. The Warriors picture him taking up most of what Barbosa was playing nightly, and as long as his jump shot is going down he should be able to pull that off.

Patrick McCaw

Minutes averaged last year: n/a
Estimate for 2016/2017: 8 mpg
Explanation: For some reason I picture McCaw getting a lot of time coming off the bench. He will play a lot of minutes during garbage time, and could even get key minutes as a defensive stopper. Kerr already loves him.

Anderson Varejao

Minutes averaged last year: 8.8 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 8 mpg
Explanation: Even though Anderson officially holds the 2nd center role on this roster at this point, I still don't picture a large workload for the Brazilian. The last time he played over 15 mpg was back in 14/15, and rightfully so. The loss of Ezeli will give him more of a shot, but I think Golden State won't ask much of him.

James Michael McAdoo

Minutes averaged last year: 6.4 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 7 mpg
Explanation: Looks like another flyer for JMM, a guy who already knows the offensive system and can bring energy when needed. I think the Warriors give him more run, and lets hope he can continue to balance out his game to match.

JaVale McGee

Minutes averaged last year: 10.9 mpg
Estimate for 2016/2017: 7 mpg
Explanation: I think McGee makes the roster, with Damian Jones going to the D-League. With that said, I picture seeing McGee on the court during plenty of clean up minutes, ala Jason Thompson last year. You could even see McGee getting minutes during tough games against bigger centers (DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert).

Damian Jones

Minutes averaged last year: n/a
Estimate for 2016/2017: undecided
Explanation: There is part of me that hopes Jones comes out and wins the 3rd string center job, sending McGee back to the unemployment line. I can also picture a world where Varejao misses games with his bad back, and Jones suits up for 40 games this coming season. Anything can happen with the bottom of the roster - and I hope this guy gets a chance to shine.


Starters: 147 minutes
Bench: 93 minutes

It will be hard to keep this dynamic starting group off the floor. Durant brings more offensive balance down the roster, which means the minutes can be spread out more to more players. Iguodala will probably get more minutes from the estimations above, with Jones and McCaw playing the role of guys in suits for most nights. In the end, it's hard to see more stress going on the stars with the depth on the bench and chances for the rookies to shine. After all the changes, I predict much of the same strength in numbers as we have seen in years past.

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