Almost halfway through the regular season, this seemed like a good time to gather the Golden State of Mind writers for a quick roundtable. We continue our conversation with a discussion about free agency and the organization’s long view.
Are there any free agents you think the Warriors should try to sign or trades they should try to make before the deadline?
Apricot: Rajon Rondo. Ho ho. Paul Millsap would be great, but that won’t happen. Dubs could really use a wing to replace Varejao (or McAdoo).
Duby Dub Dubs: If we could somehow swing a trade for more draft picks, I’d take that in exchange for one of our end-of-bench guys. This roster is currently #1 in point differential in the NBA. There are no glaring weaknesses that “should” be addressed via trade.
Basketball Jonez: Thabo Sefolosha is available, and capable of playing meaningful minutes. I would love to see him somehow replace McAdoo on the roster. Elijah Millsap might be a nice temporary fit. I wish Elliot Williams had managed to stay healthy; I think he had the tools to contribute. Still, we’re talking about the end of the bench. The Warriors probably won’t have the opportunity to make any improvements to their top 10-12 players.
Hugo Kitano: During one of Danny Leroux’s and Nate Duncan’s post-game Twitter Periscopes, Danny mentioned that Tiago Splitter was a possible buyout candidate for the Warriors, given rumors of a Hawks’ rebuild. He was the starting center for the Spurs when they won the championship in 2013, and brings a good deal of size and defense. He’s been injured a lot lately, and his play has declined since his Spurs’ years. But he’d be a smart no-risk signing that could fill an important role for the Dubs if things work out.
Mike B: I like the idea that Jonez suggested of Elijah Millsap. Aside from that, I don't think there’s much out there for the Warriors and with the way they’re racking up the wins I’m not sure they should bother trying to change anything just yet.
Andrew Flohr: Donatas Montiejunas would have been a great pickup. But the Warriors have a championship-caliber roster already. They should be more worried about how their puzzle pieces fit together rather than trying to find new ones.
Kim Stubbe: I agree with Andrew. I think it would be most beneficial for the Warriors to continue working with their current roster since they already have so many new players on the team. Adding another new member would complicate matters further.
Bram Kincheloe: Anderson Varejao for DeMarcus Cousins. Let’s make this happen — I don’t care that he’s rumored to be on the precipice of signing a huge extension in Sacramento. C’mon Boogie!! You know you don’t wanna spend your whole career in the vastly dysfunctional netherworld of Kings-land.
Derek Knight: Bob Myers isn’t going to tinker this team to death. The onus for improvement is now on drying the glue on the parts already in place.
Assuming that Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston aren’t both re-signed in the offseason, how do you feel about Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw potentially becoming the future leaders off the bench?
Apricot: McCaw should be good and solid by his third year. Not sure about next. Clark has turned himself into a nice average NBA player.
DDD: I actually owe Nate P. an article on this exact topic. Ian Clark is ready. He’s not quite the calming influence that Livingston is, but as a slashing scorer off the bench I think he would be a good fit at backup PG. I’m much more hesitant to make any judgement on McCaw. While he has shown multiple promising flashes, I’m concerned about his defensive fundamentals. However, assuming Livingston AND Iguodala both leave (which I doubt), I think we would try and retain both of these guys. In that case, I guess I would be cautiously optimistic, but not stoked by any means.
Jonez: I don’t think that either of them is ready to “lead” a bench. Don’t get me wrong — I’m ecstatic with both players’ performances so far this season. I just think that either player has a long, long way to go before they are ready to replace Iguodala or Livingston. Don’t forget, Shaun and Andre are both capable starters (and team leaders for an all-time GREAT team), let alone bench players. I also think that both Shaun and Andre are much stronger ballhandlers than Clark and McCaw, so replacing them would likely necessitate signing another point guard.
Hugo: Clark and McCaw are good fits on the Warriors because they don’t need the ball in their hands to be effective. However, the future of the Warriors’ bench is a bit concerning: it is imperative for them to hit on a few draft picks and veteran signings. At this point, though, it’s too early to tell what will happen.
Mike: Hugo really nailed it. I’m a big fan of McCaw and Clark is a solid bench player, but I’m a little concerned about the future of the bench. I read somewhere recently that the only way the Warriors could retain both Iguodala and Livingston this offseason is if they both take a significant cut in salary, and I don't see that happening. My guess is Livingston leaves for one last big check while they re-sign Iguodala. They will really need to lure some solid veterans onto the team next summer.
Andrew: I’ve been on the Pat McCaw bandwagon since Summer League. He was a lot of fun to watch. I still think he has about 2-3 seasons before we see any real impact from him, but he can defend at a high level and has a nose for jumping passing lanes. His shot is more natural and fluid than Iguodala’s as well, but he has similar play-making capability. He seems very comfortable with the ball in his hands.
You can tell that Ian Clark is gaining more and more confidence as we get deeper into the season. He has the full confidence of his teammates and his coach, which is important for a guy that doesn’t know how much playing time he may get on an individual night. However, Clark doesn’t have the defensive versatility that Livingston has nor does he have equal play-making ability. I look at Clark as more of a Barbosa-type player. The Warriors will need a more defensive-minded player to fill Livingston’s void.
Kim: I think a lot of what ends up happening depends on the Warriors’ postseason performance. If they win the championship, I think everyone will come together (players, coaches, the manager, the owners) and try to keep as much of the team as possible, especially those who made a positive impact in the quest for the ring. Ian Clark is for sure ready to have an even bigger bench role. Patrick McCaw may need a couple of years of growth.
Nate P.: Ian Clark took a step-back three-pointer with All-Stars on the floor against the Blazers. He has come along so fast that I just can’t help but think he’s gonna keep getting better. McCaw has a lot of promise, but I’m not entirely sure how the Warriors would replace the veteran savvy of Iguodala and/or Livingston in the short-term.
Bram: What are y’all talking about? The leader of the bench unit is going to be Damian Jones, until he blossoms into the next Amar’e and then ends up leading the whole dang team, first unit and all.
Derek: How do I feel? Meh. McCaw needs reps against NBA-speed defense and a sandwich. Clark may’ve played his way off the Warriors (again), depending on what he considers a reasonable home discount. A lot has to break the Warriors’ way for the bench not to take a step back going into next year.
We asked the GSoM community to submit questions for the roundtable on Twitter and Brandon Higashi asked why the Warriors didn’t try to sign Donatas Motiejunas and if they should contemplate waiving Varejao?
Apricot: I suggest, instead, going back in time to prevent Donatas from sweating on the court during the playoffs.
DDD: Motiejunas is a risk with a relatively low “best case” scenario. I don’t advocate waiving Varejao unless it’s part of a more significant move. That said, I certainly wouldn’t have been mad if the Warriors somehow pulled this exact move off. But Moteijunas may not be healthy and I think there’s enough concern about carrying an injured big on the roster to scare our front office away.
Jonez: I don’t see Motiejunas as a game changer for the Warriors, so I don’t mind that the team didn’t pursue him. I mean, he’s a career .532 TS% shooter, and that’s supposed to be his strength. I’d rather see the Warriors sign a wing that can switch on defense than a big man that doesn’t defend or rebound or shoot well. On the Varejao question, I think I’d rather see McAdoo get waived, but either way, I expect one of them to get waived by the playoff roster deadline.
Mike: I’m not sure Motiejunas was worth the risk and honestly I’m still mad at him for sweating all over the floor and indirectly injuring Curry in the process.
Andrew: Great question. My best guess is that Montiejunas probably wanted to go to a team where he would get more guaranteed playing time.
Bram: I’m all for waiving Varejao, just so Coach Kerr isn’t tempted to relive Game 7 again in the the 2017 playoffs.
Derek: Myers actually tried to sign Montiejunas but the pen squirted out of his sweaty palms.
How do you suggest the team handle the trade deadline? What will be best for championship potential this season? What will be best for moving forward? Let us know in the comments or write a FanPost if you have longer thoughts to post.